Top 5 Social Media Etiquette Rules

Gary Green
Gary Green
February 26, 2020

It may have only been around for a decade or two, but there is already a whole social media etiquette that you have to master.

Ignore social media etiquette at your peril! Ever since social media first burst into our lives in the early 2000s, a whole set up unwritten rules has sprung up.

By following these 5 rules, you'll ensure your social media interactions are  smooth and productive.

And remember, if you'd like to work with us, you can learn all about our social media management service. We take over the day-to-day running of your channels, constantly feeding them with fresh content that will interest your audiences.

1. Know Your Platform

"Social media etiquette" is actually rather misleading. It would be more accurate to talk about the individual etiquette rules of each platform.

For example, LinkedIn is the most formal and corporate.  You need to ensure your pictures, comments and profile are completely professional. Don't post anything that isn't related to your work, career or industry. Check out these DOs & DONT's for a really thorough breakdown.

Twitter is a bit more chatty and conversational. Feel free to bring in other aspects of your life: pets, hobbies, travel... Just remember that the internet (especially Twitter!) has a long memory. So make absolutely sure to think before you tweet.

Facebook, Instagram and YouTube reward a balanced tone. There's no need to be too stuffy, but remember you are representing your company (think of how you'd speak to a loyal customer).

2. Always Add Value

Social media is a vital part of an integrated marketing strategy. Just don't have "marketing" or "sales" at the forefront of your mind.

It sounds like a paradox. But if you always remember to "add value" in your social media interactions, you'll strike the right tone:

  • Share tips
  • Give advice
  • Offer solutions
  • Entertain
  • Make suggestions
  • Connect people to each other
  • Review, recap and recommend
  • (Advertise)

Consumers in 2020 are very savvy, very demanding and very impatient! If your social media channels are simply there to advertise, they'll quickly find somewhere else to go. So put their needs first, and the marketing will largely take care of itself.

3. Reply Quickly

If someone sends you a message, or even just mentions you, on social media, reply as soon as you can. A quick response has a number of benefits:

  • If the person is a potential customer, it makes a very good first impression
  • It shows that you are "on the ball" and monitor your social platforms
  • If the message or comment is critical, it allows you to control the situation
  • If the initial comment was public, everyone else can watch you react promptly

Nothing looks worse these days than a company taking ages to reply. It makes them look out of touch, understaffed or just uninterested. Set yourself apart from your competitors by making sure you react immediately to all comments - good or bad.

4. Speak Like A Human Being

It's important to be courteous and professional when you interact with clients on social media. That doesn't mean, though, that you have to talk like a robot!

Ditch the marketing-speak and industry jargon. Lose the "please find attached" and "it gives me great pleasure to announce". Scrap anything that sounds like it's been through a focus group.

Talk like a human being. Maybe a human being who's in a job interview. Or a human being who's talking to a potential high-value client. But a human being nonetheless.

People don't visit social media platforms to read corporate brochures or reams of exaggerated sales copy. They want to connect, share, learn and be entertained. So give them what they want - natural, readable, human content.

5. Post Frequently (But Not Too Frequently)

According to a piece of research by the social media software company CoSchedule, here are the optimal post frequencies for each of the major platforms:

  • Facebook: 1 post per day
  • Twitter: 15 Tweets per day
  • Pinterest: 11 Pins per day
  • LinkedIn: 1 post per day
  • Instagram: 1-2 posts per day

Frequent posting is necessary to get traction on social media these days (unless you decide to pay for help via social media adverts).

Having said that, we would advise you to treat these numbers as a top-end. Err on the side of sending too few rather than too many. You can always increase your post frequency once you begin to master social media. Too many posts, however, can turn off potential followers and clients.

If you'd like some help managing your social media platforms, please get in touch.

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