Social media etiquette for business: are you getting it right?

When you’re busy running your brand, it can be hard to know whether the posts you’re hurriedly sending out are hitting the mark in terms of social media etiquette for business. There are a few simple rules that you should follow to ensure you’re keeping your audience of followers and fans onside. Here’s a few to keep in mind:

Know your audience and communicate appropriately

Posting on social media without having a good idea of who you’re communicating with is a common trap for many businesses starting out with social media. Social media etiquette for business centres around this main principle: know your audience. In order to get a better snapshot of who your audience are, use the analytics tools available to you for free with most social media platforms. If your audience are from an older segment, then tailor your messages accordingly, ensuring that your tone and language is respectful. On the flipside, if your audience skew younger, then it means adapting your messages to capture their attention, and perhaps being able to push the boundaries a little further.

Listen to your audience and adapt

Social listening is as important as social posting when it comes to social media etiquette for business. What are your fans and followers saying about your business? And are you responding in a timely manner? Are your fans and followers suggesting ways in which you can change the way your business operates? It pays to listen, adapt and evolve where you can; the most important thing a business can do is to show that the opinion of their customers matters and is valuable. Remember: “Social media is a two-way conversation, just like in the real world.”  It’s also good social media etiquette for business to reply to and acknowledge feedback, whether it’s constructive or not.

Be yourself!

People follow social media channels in order to get closer to a brand or business. Don’t keep it so business-like: show a little humour and insight so that a fan or follower feels part of the team. It can be useful to sketch out the authentic ‘brand voice’ you hope to communicate with when thinking about social media etiquette for business, and refer to it every time you post to ensure consistency.

Watch your competition, but be nice

Don’t like something your competitor is doing? Think you do a better job? Keep it to yourself. Your fans and followers don’t need to hear your opinions on other businesses in the community. Go one step further and reach out to other businesses in your area – you never know when you may need to collaborate or share ideas!

Be careful mixing personal social media with business social media

Ever accidentally posted something to a business account when you meant to use your personal account? What a nightmare. People are human and mistakes do happen. When you’re fine-tuning your social media for business etiquette strategy, try to keep in mind that in order to avoid these mistakes, you’ll need to take some precautions.  Try having a separate device for your accounts and keeping the number of people who know your login details to a minimum to avoid mistakes – intentional or unintentional!

Using someone else’s content? Give credit!

Lifting a particularly beautiful photo or video from somewhere on the internet to use on your own page? Make sure you give a shout-out to the person who created the content in the first place, and if possible, ask permission first. This principle also applies if you’re regramming a follower’s image or posting any user-generated content. People love being recognised for their work, and it’s good social media for business etiquette to give props where it’s due.

There are many other rules a business should follow when it comes to social media etiquette, but these are a good starting point. For more information, or an assessment of your business social media, get in touch for a free consultation.

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