As an experienced business coach and marketer, I’m frequently watching what other people do in their marketing, including social media. It’s not always done right, or well. Whilst these tips are around business social media, really, I think many of the principles apply across the board – personal or business.
Do’s and don’ts for business social media
1. Know your platform.
Different platforms are suitable for different things. There is an expectation on Facebook to not be ‘selling’ all the time and to be in business mode all the time. Many people are overseeing business 24/7 on Facebook. However, LinkedIn is a professional social network and posting your breakfast pics or party shots there is not suitable.
2. Think about your purpose.
Every post should have a purpose. Is this to simply entertain and engage people, or to educate or to actually sell?
3. Have a plan!
For the above reasons, it’s a great idea to have a social media posting schedule and a marketing plan which incorporates social media. Plan what you will post and when.
4. Ensure your profile is good.
Spend some time fully filling out your profile and take time to regularly update it and ensure it’s current. Whatever you do, ensure the spelling is right, so perhaps write the profile in Microsoft Word or a program which spellchecks and then copy and paste once you know it’s right.
5. It’s there forever.
Potentially your post will exist forever or be shared the world around, so do not post anything inappropriate or abusive or anything which might come back and bite you in the derriere a year or two later when a prospective client (or employer) are checking you out.
6. Don’t overshare.
Newby businesses tend to do this. They are excited about their new activity (which I understand!) but go overboard with posting too often.
7. Treat others as you’d wish to be treated.
This can be from how to comment on someone’s post, to putting up a picture of a friend in a less than flattering pose. Think before you post and on that note, never post after several drinks. The ‘sensible’ filter is usually off! This goes also for tagging; ask before you assume; the person might be at a daytime function but doesn’t want all their clients to know they are not busy in the office working.
8. Humour isn’t always funny.
What one person thinks is hilarious, another may be downright offended. I suggest you avoid anything which is religious, aimed at a group (males, females, blonds, the Irish etc) and political. You may just open a can of worms you cannot get the lid back on.
9. Comment & Like.
Engage on social media and comment and like other’s posts. Share too but be sure what you like or share is congruent with your own message and beliefs. Be true to yourself. However, take care. You may like or comment on your competition’s posts, but keep this minimal. For two reasons – don’t be rude and take over their post and secondly, if you like everything they do, your own tribe will see more of your competition and may migrate.
If you have a team, who are on social, be clear about your rules. What can they post or share as a representative of your business? If they are posting to the business profile, are the messages appropriate, spell checked and relevant – that is, following the plan? You may even have a pre-authorization process for business posts.
11. Don’t be offended.
If your friend doesn’t like your post, don’t worry. In fact, they may not have seen it. On Facebook, only about 2-3% of what we post is seen by our ‘friends’ unless you are paying. Never expect (or demand) that someone reciprocates.
12. Please share.
In posts, especially if the post is important news that others will be interested in, ask people at the end of the post to share. This is not a demand (as long as you don’t go asking someone specifically why they didn’t share) but often a good idea as many people simply forget to share and sharing really does help your post be seen by more.
These are a great place to post and share content, such as blogs, but know and follow the group’s rules or potentially be booted out. Even if you don’t get kicked out, others seeing you do not follow the rules (whilst they do) will get annoyed with you. I run a Facebook group (Redlands Business Referrals) and I regularly get complaints about other members.
14. Reviews or negatives.
Whilst some say just ignore them if someone is having a rant about your business (or leaves a negative review) then respond promptly and politely, like “I’m sorry you are not happy – can you give me a call as I’d love to sort this out for you”. Show you care, are proactive but don’t continue the debate or ‘argument’ online. Lots of others are watching and how you respond is more important than the rant. On this note always avoid negative posts, rants about others or gossiping on social.
15. Marketing or Bragging?
There is a fine line between humble bragging and an arrogant vain brag. The tone often is the difference. You’ve won an award can be “We naturally won this award as we do excellent work and completely deserved winning” or “We are so happy and proud to have been selected from such a high caliber of entrants.”
16. Give Credit.
If you have used a quote that someone else thought of – then credit that person. The same goes with sharing or anything which perhaps doesn’t have their name on it, but clearly wasn’t yours. If you do want to use someone else’s content, seek permission first – unless it’s a public post which you have the functionality to share.
17. Imagery Permission.
Ensure any images you use, that you have permission to use them. Don’t just think you can ‘steal’ a pic online and use it as your own. Use free sites like www.pixabay.com or use your own pics.
18. Re-read your post first.
Before you post, read your post – check for spelling, grammar and whether it could be read the wrong way. This is one of the reasons you should never post after a few drinks.
19. Don’t lie.
This can be consciously spreading fake news, or perhaps misrepresenting yourself.
20. Selling Tip.
Social media is about relationships. Don’t try to sell too quickly or too often. You’ll just drive people away. I find LinkedIn sometimes the worse; the second you connect to someone they launch straight into the hard sell. I almost want to say “Yes, I’ll connect with you IF you don’t try to sell to me”.
21. Don’t be bullied!
Don’t allow anyone to cyberbully you and if you see it happening, step up and say something, or report it. In a group, that’s easy, just report it to the Admins. In life and business, there is no room (or acceptance) of bullying. Needless to say, don’t be the person doing the bullying, or being a smart mouth. It’s just not on!
I hope these tips and thoughts have been helpful to you and give you some thought around social media. For someone new to social it can be a little daunting. Firstly, I recommend if you are new that you grab all your handles (aka name logins) in all platforms, so no-one else takes yours in case you want it later. However, don’t try to do every platform in the beginning. Just start with one or two and as you manage those well, then you can add another. Wishing you the best with your business social media marketing!
Check out my business coaching services, call me on 0411 622 666.