Although ‘etiquette’ is a term often associated with everyday interactions in the real-world, it is also fundamental to operating a successful social media presence.
On average, a person spends nearly 2 hours daily interacting on social media – Facebook alone has over 1 billion global users. Crucially, with 30% of all online activity taking place on social media, businesses cannot afford to be complacent. The huge potential of social media continues to grow, so not treating these platforms seriously could damage the reputation of your business.
Fear not, here are 5 top tips to help your business harness the best social media etiquette. Adopting these simple yet effective measures will help you thrive online.
1. Follow The 80/20 Rule Of Content
Nobody likes that one person who constantly talks about themselves. Certainly, no consumer appreciates a business that simply boasts about its own products, operating in a constant sales-pitch. How you act on social media should be no different.
This is where the 80/20 rule of content comes into play. Surprisingly, only 20% of your social media posts should be dedicated to promotional content surrounding your business and its services. It is here where you can talk directly about the products, services and promotional offers that your business can provide.
In fact, 80% of what you post should be entertaining, engaging and valuable for your followers. Whether this be in the style of informative and insightful ‘top tips’ articles, links to newspaper articles or even through the humour of memes, it should constitute the bulk of your social media content. Your social media presence should remain first and foremost social – make sure you accommodate to the needs and interests of your audience, which isn’t always directly related to your products.
2. Optimize Posting Times
No matter how entertaining and effective your social media content may be, its success often relies upon the broadest viewership possible. Understanding when your target audience is most active on social media is crucial (expecting students to be active online at 8 o’clock in the morning might not work!).
Optimizing your posting times is key to success, but how is it done? Facebook and Instagram business accounts both employ in-app insight tools to identify these metrics, and alert you to when the best time to post will be. These tools do the hard work for you. Utilising such data will ensure that your well-crafted posts attract the level of engagement that they really deserve.
3. Love Your Product, But Don’t Appear Over Enthusiastic!
Emojis and hashtags are a great way to liven up posts. Nowadays, they are used to inject fun into conversations – adding humour to ensure that no message comes across too blunt or too serious.
However, they can also obscure the purpose of your message and if overused, can even dent your professionality. Of course, this is totally brand-dependent. Some playful brands can get away with using 5+ emojis in one post without impacting the image of their business. Yet, over-using these light-hearted icons can damage your brand. They have the tendency to make your business appear childish, naïve, unprofessional and even a bit over-bearing. Learning how to be savvy in your use of emojis and hashtags is essential to deliver the correct, professional tone that you wish you convey to your audience.
4. Be Active, Regularly
Customer satisfaction should be the priority of any business. Nothing frustrates a customer more than feeling ignored or undervalued. Don’t forget – social media is about dialogue and how you interact with your followers. Make sure you acknowledge any queries, comments and feedback that customers leave. If you see a query or comment on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, send a friendly response!
Not only is it important to consider your reply - you have to be active in regularly checking any activity on your social media platforms. One Ecoconsultancy report concluded that 53% of customers who asked a business-related question on Twitter expected a reply within one hour of them asking. So, make sure you are regularly checking any activity on your feeds in order to reply as quickly as possible.
Don’t be complacent. Ignoring feedback can damage the public’s trust in your business.
5. Keep DM's and Private Messages Professional
You’ve worked hard to fine-tune your tone of voice and type of language, perhaps even re-written and redone your captions plenty of times. Yet many business owners forget that they must follow this professional style, even in direct and private messages.
Private messages are essential to customer service. They allow you to build up a rapport with your customers and followers on a 1 to 1 basis in a more private and personal environment. Here, you can provide a tailored response to any customer queries or comments.
Personalization can make you appear more friendly and approachable, but businesses must remember to be grammatically consistent, correct and punctual at all times. Nothing undermines the credibility of a business more than grammatical errors and overly informal dialogue. Finally, Interacting with followers should never be a formality, but rather a carefully considered process that places their needs first.
With the ever-growing importance of the social media market, it is fundamental that businesses adapt to the dynamic landscape of online interaction. This includes learning these 5 simple but effective rules of social media etiquette that, if embraced, could positively transform the way that you present your business online.
Seem like a lot of work? Don't worry - let us help! We can work with you to develop & implement an effective ongoing social media strategy to increase sales & improve brand awareness. Shoot us an email or reach out to us on Instagram @doubleupsocial.