Social media is increasingly becoming more essential to everyday life. From big, multi-national corporations to single trader’s social media is become more of a tool to connect with their stake holders, including customers. With society becoming somewhat reliant on social media it has now overtaken many forms of traditional media. More and more companies are being told to embrace instead of rebelling against it. So, here’s a quick checklist of 13 important “Dos and Don’ts” to bear in mind when using social media.
DO: Keep it short
You’ve got 140 characters on Twitter and who reads beyond the first few sentences on Facebook? Tweets between 100 and 115 characters are more likely to be retweeted and Facebook posts should be short and to the point.
DON’T: Be a robot
Let posts convey a human tone. Generic content such as automated DMs are a turn off for friends and followers. Social media is your moment to shine, set a tone and show some personality!
DO: Engage with followers
Engagement is key. Why else would you have Twitter or Facebook? Build a strong following by engaging with friends and followers regularly, but not every two minutes. A like, retweet or reply to a tweet or post can spark a conversation about anything. Simple as that.
DON’T: Engage just with your followers
If you’re talking with friends or colleagues and someone has something interesting to say, you wouldn’t ignore them, so why do it on social media? Don’t just chat with followers, talk with everyone. If someone mentions your company in tweet or Facebook post then acknowledge them. Be engaging and increase your following.
DO: Tweet/post strategically
A social media strategy is good. Be smart about what and how you post. If you’re talking about news or a product, include a link. But try to use a short URL tool as links can use up precious characters, especially on Twitter. Also, Use hashtags. But there’s nothing worse than users using more hashtags than word. That leads us onto…
DON’T: Overuse hashtags
Hashtags are great, but using them incorrectly can be a nightmare. There is nothing worse than using more hashtags than words. Just pick one or two that are relevant to what you’re talking about and you know that others will engage with.
DO: Tweet promotions
52% of people follow brands on Twitter for offers and promotions. This is definitely something to take into consideration when planning your content strategy.
DON’T: Be self-centered
Just talking only about yourself or your company and products is boring and is going to exclude and diminish your friends and followers. So don’t do it. Try to include posts about your employees and posts about things in the news that might affect your business or customer.
Debate, even heated debate should be welcomed, but only do it if you’re confident of your facts…and keep it polite and professional. Try to reply to everyone.
Avoid being drawn into an argument, particularly if it is in regard to subject matter that you are not familiar with. Try and wing it, be abusive, re-post inaccurate or hostile information and you will be called out by others who know better.
DO: Learn how to take it offline
Conversations sometimes turn abusive, find yourself getting drawn into controversial subject matter, receiving personal criticism…take it offline. Try using “Please DM me your contact details so I can reply comprehensively to your point.” Or “You will find answers to most of your questions here [post link], but feel free to DM me your details.” if things start to get out of hand
DON’T: Swear, be rude or post offensive material
For some companies, social media is the face of the business so this sounds obvious, but every time you post or tweet, think about your audience. The aim is to reach new people not alienate the ones you have attracted. Keep it clean, if you wouldn’t say it to a close family member, don’t say it on social media.
Finally, DO: Include Picture and Links…
Statistics show that you’re more likely to drive traffic towards your company and its website if you use link and pictures. It goes to mention use relevant pictures of your employees and products but if it’s off topic make sure you use a colorful and eye-catching picture that people will engage with.
About the Author
This blog post was written by Jack Robson, a public relations student from the University of Sunderland, and originally appeared on his blog That’s Bizarre PR, where he looks at a variety of different subjects related to public relations.