Social Media Tips and Etiquette

It can be difficult to maintain social media when running an SME.  You know you should be tweeting and keeping your Facebook page up to date but it seems difficult to find the time and also, often, the inspiration.  Getting started on social media can be tough if you are not familiar with the medium.  What should your social strategy be, how much, how often?
There are some general rules of etiquette for social media and these are different depending on the platform and also your audience.

Aim to inform and entertain more than sell – constantly posting about your products and services with no thought to what your audience wants to see is a social media turn off and won’t gain you many followers.  By all means share your successes and innovations but try to do so in a way which is engaging and offers something to your reader.  Sharing interesting news related to your industry, content pieces from your blog, events information, new products, case studies and white papers are all appropriate ways to raise awareness of your company.

Don’t try and piggy back on trends with irrelevant content – a recent terrible example of this was Homebase using #RIPPrince in a completely inappropriate and irrelevant post – Twitter reacted with customary vigour! 

Do be topical and timely in your posts as this can be a good way to get extra exposure, just make sure that the use of any trending tags or words is relevant.

Don’t be needy – Posting along with a plea to ‘please like and share’ or ‘please RT’ does not really work – it is great if people want to share your posts and retweet you but this should be because you are posting relevant, engaging and share-worthy content, not because you have asked.

Don’t overuse hashtags – Posts which are peppered with multiple #hashtags #are #difficult to #read.  Hashtags are a great way to categorise your posts and link them to a topic. Try to limit yourself to two or three relevant hashtags in a post.  #avoidmakinguphastags -  creating hashtags is also something which you need to be wary of – there are many examples of when this can go wrong online in terms of accidently including an offensive or inappropriate word (Google it!).    Equally, if you are the only one using a hashtag because it relates to your own brand or product which is not well known – then it is not going to be something which gets your content in front of people who may not otherwise have seen it.  Try using more generic terms, it is always worth searching a hashtag you are considering using to see what other posts a search for this would bring up.

Do make your posts visually interesting – Use of images, GIFs and videos will make your posts more interesting and improve engagement. Some estimates are that posts with images get 94% more views than those without.

Give credit where it’s due – If you share someone else’s article on social media, make sure to mention the original source in your post of tweet.  It is this kind of reciprocal give and take which helps to build followers as well as being good etiquette.

Don’t be a lurker – It is important to engage on social media rather than just watching from the sidelines, so don’t be afraid to like and share other businesses content, the likelihood is that they will reach out to thank you for it and reciprocate.  With social media, the more you put in, the more you are likely to get out.

Keep it coming - It is worth trying to set aside the time to keep on top of your social media profiles and make a contribution regularly.  A profile which is not kept up to date with new content will soon lose the interest of it’s followers. It takes time to build a social media presence and regularly posting is one of the keys to this.

If you would like some assistance keeping your profiles up to date, this can be done in just a couple of hours a week. Pure Systems offer a range of content marketing and social media management services and we are able to put together a social media schedule on either a weekly or monthly basis.  This can be linked in with a wider content strategy or managed as a stand alone service.  Contact us for more information.