I’ve seen a few articles floating around recently talking about how to (and not to) behave on social media. I find this a really interesting subject, so I thought I’d throw my opinions about a little.
I’m no expert on the matter of social media; I don’t think anyone is, it takes a hefty amount of time to become an ‘expert’ in something, so unless you’re counting your time on mIRC or ICQ as research… I’d probably remove that title from your email signature toot sweet. I do however spend a lot of time on social media, for my own purposes and on behalf of my clients.
I work mostly for small businesses, so some of this advice might be useless for you, say, if you’re the CEO of Coca-Cola. Also, I’m really only focussing on Twitter and Facebook in this post.
Here’s a few things I think are worth noting.
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Make a plan.
Why are you on social media? What do you have to say? Who are you trying to reach? What’s your online tone going to sound like? These questions (amongst others) are things you should be asking yourself before your first post. Write yourself a plan and set some goals, it’s a handy thing to look back on down the track.
Have a point.
Unless you have something to say, say nothing at all. Tweeting about what you ate for breakfast or what shoes you’re wearing does not make for interesting reading. Make your content appealing, industry relevant and not all-about-you. It’s fine to inject a little of your personality into your posts, as long as you’re considering that everything you write is in the public eye.
Be generous. Share interesting links you find.
Interact with people in your field. Particularly those you find inspiring.
Don’t be consistently negative.
Don’t re-tweet every compliment you receive.
Check your spelling. And your grammar.
Behave. Try not to be crass, or swear too much.
Don’t post ‘selfies’. Save it for your personal Facebook account, if you must.
Understand the platform you’re using.
People behave (and expect different behaviour) on different platforms. For example, on Twitter you have 140 characters, hash-tags are (over)used and people respond well to links. Over on Facebook, you have more writing room, there are no hash-tags and people respond well to imagery. Tone is also different between the two. It’s worth looking into how other people are using each platform well and following their lead until you get the hang of it.
Make it easy.
Most platforms offer you the opportunity to link your various platforms together - so when you post something on Facebook, it goes directly to Twitter - don’t do it. As I just mentioned, different behaviour is expected on each platform and it’s just plain annoying to read half a Facebook post that Twitter’s cut short and then be directed back to Facebook to read the rest. However, resources like Buffer and Hootsuite exist to make your life easier.
. . .
Well, there’s my two cents. There’s plenty more to say about this subject and a multitude of articles all over the internet, so if you’re up for some further reading, here’s a few that I found interesting.
Top 20 Marketing Tips for Social Media.
30 Brilliant Social Media Marketing Tips From 2011.
Social Media Marketing - Info-graphics.