Curious about the correct social media behavior as a casual or professional user? We have the five do’s and don’ts of social media etiquette you must see.
From teens and grandmas to small businesses and major corporations, just about everyone is on social media these days. It’s how we connect. It’s how we let the world know who we are. It’s how we get our points of view across.
But are you doing it right? Do you use it to your advantage?
Maybe you’re trying to build a social media following to grow your brand or just looking for a way to engage with family and friends. Either way, here are the top five social media do’s and don’ts.
Social Media Do’s
Social media is sort of like the wild wild west of communication. You can pretty much post anything you want, say anything you want, and portray yourself as anyone you want to be.
The next time you Tweet or post an IG story, keep these social media do’s in mind:
1. Do Stay on Brand
Social media is an avenue for brand building, so it’s essential to be consistent with your brand voice and messaging. It’s fine for your messaging to evolve, but it should evolve naturally. If you want to create a dedicated following, you’ll want to show consistency.
Be extra careful when retweeting and sharing others’ posts. Do your research first to know where it originated from, who created it, and what that person’s values and ethics are.
Whether you develop your own content or share other people’s content, make sure it’s what your audience wants to see and read. Think strategically before you post something for the world to see (and comment on).
2. Do Include Photos and Videos
You might be the planet’s best writer, but too much text can turn some people away. You’ll engage more people by posting compelling images, relevant photos, and video content.
Most people are willing to read brief social media posts, but many prefer content that includes images and video clips. To engage a wider audience, mix up your content with text, graphics, photos, and videos.
If you need help editing your videos you can also leverage easy to use tools like Clipchamp!
3. Do Post Regularly
There’s a fine line to dance between posting too much and not posting enough. It’s crucial to post regularly, but you don’t want to overdo it.
If you’re a Facebook user, try to post once per day or at least three times per week. On Twitter, three tweets a day is the minimum if you want regular engagement. Anything over 20 or 30 times a day (including retweets) is too much.
Prefer to post on Instagram? Limit your Instagram posts to about once per day.
Here’s why this matter:
You want people to come back for more, but you can turn people off with an excessive barrage of daily posts. It’s better to have people look forward to your next post rather than having them skip content because you generate too much.
4. Do Interact With Your Audience
Your followers and audience want to know that you hear them, so when they comment, respond! After all, the whole point of social media is to be social.
You don’t need to get into a long back and forth conversation, but a quick acknowledgment or a thumbs-up response lets them know you hear them.
5. Do Check for Spelling and Grammar
No matter the type of content you create, it should have value. And if you want serious people to take your content seriously, you should use proper grammar and spelling.
Before you click send or submit, be sure to proofread your post to ensure that it’s not full of typos and misspelled words.
Social Media Don’ts
Following what NOT to do on social media is just as important as knowing what to do.
Here are the five social media don’ts to always keep in mind:
1. Don’t Over-Promote Yourself or Your Business
Social media is a superb way to promote your brand. But too much self-indulgence and shameless self-promotion will turn people away. No matter how much someone likes your content, they don’t want you shoving your business down their throat.
Mix up your content in a well-conceived manner. Some should promote what you do, some should be comments on related issues, and some should show support for other people or brands.
2. Don’t Ignore Questions and Comments
When you’re asked a question, it’s because someone wants an answer. When it comes to social media pages for your business, dedicate some time to respond to questions.
Social media is a two-way street, so create a dialogue where your followers ask questions, and you respond with appropriate answers. Having an active conversation is the best way to show your followers their insights matter.
3. Don’t Fall for Trolls
While it’s critical to engage and respond to comments, it’s equally important to know when not to respond. Social media trolls are out there and always will be, so make sure you don’t take the bait. If it seems someone is trying to rile you up for their amusement, they probably are.
4. Don’t Go Crazy With Hashtags
There’s no need to stuff every post with half a dozen hashtags. Restrict your hashtag use to two or three per post at most. Using too many hashtags comes across as juvenile and inauthentic, so keep yours to a minimum if you want to be taken seriously.
5. Don’t Post While Drinking
No matter how funny and insightful you may think you are with a few cocktails in you, you should never post while drinking. If you’re on your second, third, or fourth glass of beer or wine, put your phone down. Posting while drinking is one of the worst things you can do.
When we drink, we’re more likely to say things we otherwise wouldn’t say. It’s also harder to proofread and edit yourself, which means you’re more likely to post with typos and misspelled words and names.
The best practices and “rules” of social media engagement are constantly changing, but these do’s and don’ts are ones you can rely on day in and day out.
Social media will help you grow your brand and business, but only if you do it right. Whether you post serious political commentary or lighthearted comedy videos, always do so with common sense in mind.
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with The Kiley to help them with their online marketing.