Proper Social Media Behavior

Feb 2013

Social media is very popular in the marketing world because of how effective it is.  The reason is that it utilizes the inbound marketing strategy.  Unlike previous marketing strategies, Social Media allows businesses to attract and engage followers so that the business can gain a larger audience.  However there is a fine line between what will attract and what will them off.

You’ve probably been told that content is the most important part of running a successful Social Media campaign. You’ve probably also been told that Social Media is not the place for a hard sell.   If you’ve heard these suggestions over and over again, it’s because they are true.  The content you share on Social Media makes all the difference.  It distinguishes good pages from bad, and is what ultimately attract or scares fans away.  The same goes for your behavior.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. are not places for the “hard sell.”  You are not there to be self promotional every second of the day, and if you are, you’re in the wrong place.

Photo courtesy of @jpithwa

It is important to keep in mind the “cultural norms” of social media.  If you are not careful how you act, you can very easily come across as annoying or worse, spam.  That sort of perception can make your business look unprofessional.  Here are 5 behaviors you should avoid to ensure your business is presenting itself in the best possible manner.

Auto Respond

Auto responses are the sure sign of someone who “doesn’t care.” Sending out an auto response to all of your fans doesn’t make you seem friendly, it makes you seem preoccupied.   You come across as being impersonal, and a personal connection is what your fans are looking for.  Avoid sending out generic or mass auto responses to your fans, they will appreciate you more if you don’t.

Content Overload

Your content is an important piece to your Social Media strategy, but you must handle it delicately.  That means don’t overload your fans with your content.  Do not be the account that posts every 15 minutes.  Sometimes less is more and if you bombard your fans with content they will block you.

Lack Originality

It is okay to share other people’s content, however, at some point you need to be original.  It doesn’t do your business any good to constantly re-use someone else’s content.  That doesn’t mean you can’t share interesting articles, pictures, videos etc. just be wary of how much content you repurpose compared to how much you actually create.  The more original posts you put out there, the more intrigued your fans become.

Talk and Never Listen

A follower can easily pick out a business that is only interested in self promotion.  Businesses that only post about their products and neglect to listen to their fans will have a difficult time retaining an audience.  Fans will surely neglect your business if your business neglects them.  That means respond to what your fans have to save and make them feel acknowledged – that is if you want to keep them as fans.

Take But Don’t Give

No one likes someone who doesn’t reciprocate and Social Media is about reciprocity. Make sure if someone you’re connected with promotes your business, you somehow return the favor.  Likewise don’t simply connect with someone for the sole purpose of asking for a favor.  Your first introductory message should not ask a business or a person to promote your brand.  It creates the appearance that you are using them.

Social Media has unwritten rules and when you don’t follow them you put yourself into a rather unfavorable category.  These “rule breakers” tend to have a tougher time attracting new fans on top of their difficulty with retaining current fans.  People leave no room for brands that come across as impersonal, unoriginal and impolite. For this reason, it’s important to learn the tricks of the trade before you start interacting online.







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