If you’ve made it to this blog then you probably already know the benefits of social media. You know social media can increase traffic to your website, generate leads, improve customer service, and much more! Good, now that that’s taken care of let’s talk about something just as important.
As you’re posting to sites like Facebook and Twitter and interacting with your communities, you need to keep etiquette in mind. That’s why I put together this list of tips/advice about social media etiquette for business. It’s by no means extensive and I welcome your input. Share your advice in the comments below or on our Facebook page.
1. Be positive
Nobody likes a Debbie Downer, so try to keep it positive on your social media accounts. I know business is not always peachy keen, but your fans and customers will appreciate it if you put a smile on. And wouldn’t you like to have a reputation for being the positive, optimistic, and friendly business owner that you are?
2. Don’t complain about employees or customers
Yes, this really does happen and I’m not sure why. There’s no reason to complain publicly so if you do have an issue it’s best to speak directly with whomever your problem is with. You don’t want to give potential customers and employees the impression you don’t appreciate them!
3. Get permission before posting photos of customers or employees
So you had a happening holiday party last night at the office and you have the pictures to prove it? Great! That’ll make for engaging content but you need to make sure your employees and customers are fine with you sharing them with the world. You probably don’t need a written release, but you do need to let them know.
4. If you’re feeling frustrated, walk AWAY from the computer
Posting vague complaints and political rants is for your personal account (maybe not there either), not your business. If you’re feeling flustered it’s best to put down the mouse and walk away.
5. Don’t over promote your product/service
Even if you’ve got the best deal in town, you don’t need to bombard your fans. Be tactful and nurture your communities and your fans will take care of the rest for you! In fact, over promotion will most likely lead to loss of fans/followers, which is the exact opposite of what you want to happen.
6. Respond to customers/comments in a timely fashion
Many times your customers will ask questions via social media. Things like business hours, products, or specials are all likely questions. Be sure you’re on the look out for these questions and respond to them as quickly as you can, even if the information is posted somewhere else on the site. Your efforts here could be the difference between a customer walking through your door and a potential customer heading to your competitor.
7. Be social with other companies, customers, etc.
You’ve got tons of good stuff to share, that’s no doubt. Just be sure you are sharing content from others as well. You should also spend a good deal of time commenting on statuses from other businesses and customers. It’s social media, not a broadcast station for your brand!
8. Don’t link your social media accounts to auto publish
There’s nothing worse than scrolling through Twitter and seeing a string of photos auto-published from a business’ Facebook page. I know you’re pressed for time, but this is a tacky tactic that you should avoid. Chances are your audiences are different on each social network so take time to craft your messages accordingly.
9. Answer/respond to complaints quickly and positively
The last thing you want to do is let a complaint go unanswered. Start crafting your response as soon as you see a complaint. After you’ve finished writing it, read it over and get some help to make sure it’s positive and that it will do nothing but help the situation. This a great opportunity to show the complaining customer plus all other potential customers watching that you care about their experiences with your brand and want them to walk away happy.
10. You don’t need to be formal, but follow grammar rules
This means you need to use things like periods and commas. You also need to capitalize words when appropriate and spell things correctly. If you don’t feel up to this challenge, have someone help look over content before you share it. On a site like Twitter you can get away with abbreviations and some slang, but keep it consistent and easy to read.
These are just 10 tips of social media etiquette for business and there are bound to be many more. What would you add to this list?