There are etiquette guides for everything from business meetings to dining out, so it’s no surprise that there are rules for social media as well. These guidelines feel like they change as often as the algorithms, but we’ve outlined our 5 most essential rules so your page remains welcome + respected in this age of social media!
Know Your Audience
You wouldn’t walk into an important meeting to crack a silly joke because the mood doesn’t fit, right? Reading the room is simple etiquette and just as important online as it is in the real world. Social media is exactly that – social. It’s a two-way conversation between your followers and your brand, so it’s important that you know how to talk to them.
Use the Insights tabs on your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages to better understand what your audience likes, when they’re online, which topics and phrases to use, and which to avoid.
This skill – it’s called “Social Listening” – can help you better understand how to engage with your audience and give you an edge over other brands your customers may follow!
Responsiveness Is Key
The next time you think about putting off responding to that tweet or not responding at all, think again. Based on a comprehensive study completed by Lithium Technologies, more than 70% of users expect to hear back from the brand they’re interacting with on Twitter, and 53% want a response within the hour! This number jumps even higher to a whopping 72% if someone has commented or tweeted a complaint.
Being active in the age of social media means you live in an age whose customer service etiquette operates by fast, direct, and highly public communication. Customers have come to expect satisfying, fast customer service 24/7. While that may sound like a tall order, their brand loyalty will increase which means they’re far more likely to make purchases from you or recommend you to friends!
Don’t Be Hashtag-Happy
Hashtags are an absolute must on Twitter + Instagram. Using relevant, appropriate hashtags can help boost your reach by an impressive 80% but going overboard can cause that number to drop as fast as it rose. Using too many can give the impression that your post or brand is spammy and desperate.
The best rule-of-thumb is to use between 3-8 hashtags that are relevant to your brand, industry and trending topics. Your hashtags should help you join a larger discussion, target a specific audience, or engage with a specific campaign without making your audience to question why they follow you.
Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
UGC, or user-generated content, is a great way to gain brand trust and create a story around your products. Studies have actually shown that followers trust UGC more than branded or created content! It’s a great way to give your followers a consistent feed full of fresh and engaging posts, but you must give proper credit. It’s as simple as mentioning them as the owner of the post at the beginning or end of your text!
If you don’t, you risk coming off as disrespectful. After all, a photo is a personal part of someone else’s life they decided to share! Since laws are still coming up to speed with social media rules and behaviors, asking permission before sharing someone’s content is also a good idea.
Don’t Be A Robot
With all of the messenger bots, AI, and automated responses, it’s easy to sit back feeling like you’re covered. Well, we’ve got good news and bad news.
The Good: A fast response is possible 24/7!
The Bad: Customers know an automated response when they see one, and they usually don’t like it.
While chatbots and other forms of social media automation are really useful, it’s a good idea to avoid it in direct interactions such as messages or comments. After all, your followers follow you for a reason! Taking the time to interact will create customers that come back time + time again.
What Social Media questions can we answer for you? Leave them in the comments below so we can find you an answer!