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By Janette Leon-Speyer and Alison Brown, Web Success Team
Since social media is supposed to mirror interactions that could normally take place in “real life,” it’s important to uphold proper social media etiquette. By maintaining an appropriate “netiquette,” you can actually help your company preserve its online image by showing others that your brand is respectful, personable, and professional. By following just a few simple rules, you can avoid disastrous situations and prove to customers that your brand is transparent and reliable. If you do it right the first time, you will never have to spend time on damage control and can show your audience that your company is worth being loyal to.
Maintaining a Professional Appearance
Maintaining a professional appearance is extremely important, especially if you are using social media for business. The more effort you put into your profiles, the more likely you will be to get followed on Twitter or get fans on Facebook. You can get creative with your Facebook cover image to help your brand appeal or by setting up your Twitter page with an appropriate background. Just make sure you are clear about who your company is and keep it consistent across all social media platforms. This can help preserve your reputability as well as provide transparency, which can only be helpful in the long run.
Friending ettiquette is also important to keep in mind when using social media. If you follow someone, don’t get upset if they don’t follow you back. However, if someone follows you and you see that they are posting interesting Tweets about topics that are related to your business, it would definitely be a courteous gesture to follow them back. Also, in regards to Facebook, try to avoid adding people as friends who you don’t know personally. Getting friend requests from strangers can sometimes put people off and give the wrong impression, even if you are just trying to make a business connection. A good rule of thumb is to connect with people through your company fan page and keep personal friends and relatives as actual Facebook friends.
Be Personable and Considerate
Getting personal via social media is a great way to connect with people and generate business leads. It’s important to be personal because it’s easier to get conversations going and have open dialogues with people. You will get better feedback, positive reinforcement from customers, and more followers the more personal and considerate you are. If you come across as a personable and courteous company that cares about its clients, it will definitely go a long way in today’s world where customer service may not always be a top priority.
Promoting and Content Sharing
Spamming people and taking self-promotion too far is an important aspect to be aware of when it comes to social media space. Of course you want to get your name out there and your products seen online, but be careful or you may rub some people the wrong way. Being tactful with your posts and making sure you post frequently but not too often is an important balance to maintain. Even if you aren’t promoting your own products, re-tweeting other people’s content is a great way to show respect for your fellow social media mates. If you share their information, they will hopefully share some of yours as well.
Say Thank You Often!
Most importantly, when it comes to social media etiquette, you must say thank you often. The Twitter trend called “Follow Friday’s” or what is commonly known as “#FF” is one great way to show your gratitude by using your social network to suggest people to follow. You can also just reply and acknowledge comments people have made on Facebook, LinkedIn or Pinterest. Thanking your fans on your social media platforms is definitely one of the best ways to ensure that people keep reading your posts and saying positive things about your company.
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