Social media marketing etiquette – do you know the rules?

Social media marketing etiquette – do you know the rules?

Virtually all brands are making use of social media these days to reach out to new customers and engage existing ones. If a brand isn’t, it definitely should be. Social media is an effective digital marketing tool, one that is relatively cheap and that has a wide reach in terms of your target audience.

Before you plunge into the social media world with both feet, there are some important rules of etiquette that could be very useful to bear in mind. If you want to avoid a potentially embarrassing faux pas or reputation-ruining gaffe, take note of the following tips…

Think before you post

This is one of Hootsuite’s top tips for social media etiquette, but it doesn’t just mean think before you post something ill-judged or rash. You should still do this, but you should also ask yourself a number of questions such as:

  • Does this offer value?
  • Does it fit with the campaign strategy and brand image/ethos?
  • Am I posting at the right time?
  • Is this the best format for the post?

Avoid auto-messaging

Twitter users in particular are very savvy when it comes to brands who set up automatic responses to messages and interaction. They can spot it a mile off, and these pre-drafted calls to action are rarely effective – in fact, they can have the opposite effect and annoy users. Social media platforms are designed to be spontaneous and about engaging in real time, so don’t fall into lazy habits and overuse automation and scheduling tools.

Get back to people quickly

Develop a policy so that you can be consistent in responding to messages, comments and tweets. Be as quick as you can feasibly manage – it will get you a good reputation for committed customer service.

Get to grips with copyright rules

Not all businesses realise that they could potentially get in trouble for copyright breaches when using social media, especially when posting things that you don’t have explicit permission to use. At best, you’ll be asked simply to remove an image or video, but at worst – an individual or business could sue you for a lot of money, with the accusation that your business is profiting through unauthorised use of their property or work. It’s a bit of a minefield, but smallbiztrends has some useful advice for steering clear of the main pitfalls.

Don’t badmouth your competition

It’s just bad manners, and it makes you look petty. Rather than being negative about your competitors or constantly comparing your services or prices to their, go for a more positive approach and focusing on letting customers know about your own successes.

If you aren’t sure whether to post something on a social media platform on behalf of your brand or not – follow the golden rule. Take a minute to think about it before posting, and get a second pair of eyes to check over it.

Have you come across any other examples of poor social media etiquette? What rules does your brand follow when using Facebook, Twitter and other social networks for digital marketing? Please feel free to share your thought.

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