October 16, 2012
By now it's obvious that social media as a tool for facilitating business relationships is here to stay. With dozens of networks from which to choose, it can be easy to commit a faux pas when reaching out to a particular audience. Some people liken the social media experience to an online cocktail party, but no one likes coming to the party hosted by the loud, selfish host who doesn't greet and engage his guests. Follow these simple rules of social media etiquette for business and you'll be well on your way to crafting a positive interactive experience for your consumers.
1. Know your audience.
If you don't know exactly who your audience consists of, you'll find it difficult to engage with your online community. Be aware of who is receiving your messages and tailor to them. Are they your top users, eager to share your product or service with their colleagues? Are they clients? Are they friends? Are they potential customers who are accessing your site in order to learn about your product's value? Take some time to learn more about your followers and apply your insights to your messaging and overall strategy.
2. Add value, not noise.
Speaking of valuable information, you should have a specific purpose every time you post on your network. What exactly will your audience gain from your post on a social media network? Your post's content could range from a product update to a behind-the-scenes glimpse into your company's office or store, but each post should contain information that is clearly of value and will help drive your audience to engage with your brand. Be careful, however -- just like reacting adversely to the overbearing party host, your audience will disconnect from your social media accounts for good if you bombard them with self-promotional material or irrelevant, annoying posts. Social media is an interaction-driven two-way street, not your personal megaphone.
3. Keep it professional.
This might seem obvious, but it is vital to maintain a sense of professionalism when managing your social media accounts. Despite the fact that social networks have a more informal atmosphere to them, visitors still associate your profiles with you and your business. While it may fly in your office, always refrain from vulgar language and inappropriate humor. Have fun on social media, but please, keep it professional - it's an online cocktail party, not a locker room!
Keep these three, simple points in mind when managing your social networks and you'll be sure to see great results. Remember, if you respect your audience and provide them with useful content, they'll keep coming back for more. What other rules do you follow when managing your social media accounts? Let us know in the comments below!