You’re popular in the real world, so why are you losing friends online? Are your posts lonely and forgotten without a ‘like’ in sight? Does your twitter account sob in a cobwebbed corner: tired and alone? Here are ten tips to making your social media a social gathering instead of event that no one bothers with:
1:Thou Shalt not Think it’s All Work, Work, Work!
Do not just post offers and sales related updates. It’s boring. Really: it is. People followed or liked you in the first place because they want to hear what you have to say. You may have some great special offers and by all means post about them…. but mix things up a bit. Post some funny pictures that relate to your industry or product. Engage with people using statuses that show there is a person writing them, not a humorless robot who stuck in ‘sales-pitch mode’. If every blog we posted was promoting SEO Management Services then people would soon get bored and de-friend us!
2: Thou Shalt Not Make it Too Personal!
Beware of the balance! If you are posting on your work page then you are representing your industry or company. It’s no place for relationship status updates or venting your personal grievances. You may be having a horrible day; you may have a partner or client that is giving you grief, your kids may be driving you nuts. But this is you work page. Treat it as such.
3: Thou Shalt Never ‘Like’ Thy Own Posts!
Seriously! It makes you look A) desperate B) silly C) slightly arrogant
People can assume that you liked what you just posted because…… well, you posted it! If you don’t like what you’ve written, then why did you write it?! It may be one extra ‘like’ on Facebook but it’s the equivalent of making a public statement in real life and swiftly following that statement with another statement saying “I agree with myself”. No one does that in the real world but people seem to think it is OK to do the social media equivalent.
4: Thou Shalt Not Ignore People!
Depending on your online popularity you may garner a few responses to a decent post or tweet. Your friends or followers may click to say they ‘like‘ on Facebook, Re-tweet it on Twitter or take time to make a comment. You should reward them with an incentive to interact with you in the future by ‘liking’ their comments and replying, maybe even taking a moment to look at their page and ‘liking’ a status of theirs, maybe re-tweeting something they have said or commenting on a picture. It takes a few seconds but they will think more highly of you and want to get involved in the future……. and it’s considered good online manners to give as well as receive. Think of it in real world terms: If someone speaks to you, then speak back or they will eventually get bored ad probably not talk to you in the future.
5: Thou Shalt Not Spam!
You’re offering a blistering deal with 50% off a product or giving away a free iPad, you posted a link on twitter and Facebook at 9 AM. Then one at 10. Then 11. Then 12. PEOPLE GET THE MESSAGE! Do not overdo the repeat posts or the reminders. Let’s assume your followers do not consider themselves stupid and assume for a moment that they are looking at their live feeds and you are dominating that with excessive updates or offers. Then let’s assume your followers are hovering over the “un-follow” or “unlike” button because you’ve just spammed them. Now you cannot post any deals for them…. because you’ve lost them!
6: Thou Shalt Not Ignore it And Hope it Shalt Go Away!
Social media is here to stay. In fact it is expected to tie in with online advertising more and more in the coming years with Facebook alone being responsible for a huge portion of online advertising and connecting with the online public. Twitter has recently allowed Google to index its entire site which means that it will be relevant in the future more than it ever has been before. Your statuses will not write themselves and replies to your followers or page likers will not magically appear. It takes a bit of time, but it’s a great way to connect with people and build up loyalty to your brand. The big companies know this and have teams dedicated to their online media. You might not be at this stage yet, but getting involved is essential to reminding people you exist. So make the effort and you’ll (eventually) reap the rewards!
7: Thou Shalt Not Forget to Check-Read Thy Posts
We are all guilty of this. The odd typo is acceptable (if not ideal) but if you have a mountain of errors then you have to assume that the reader may think you have a ten year old managing your twitter or Facebook: It’s not big and it’s not clever. (The lack of check – reading, not the fictional ten year old.) Take a couple of minutes to read what you’ve written. Then read it again to be sure. You have spell check and possibly colleagues who will happily have a read through your blog post for you, so use them! You may be professional and know everything there is to know about your industry or profession but if your posts do not appear that way, then you’re not representing yourself or your company as well as you could.
8:Thou Shalt Not be Troll Bait.
Wikipedia’s definition of an “’Internet Troll’ :
“In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.”
– Basically there are people who are going to try and wind you up. They crawl out from under bridges and take to typing with bad intentions in mind. Don’t rise to it. If you take the bait and get annoyed or argue then you are wasting your time. Laugh it off or remove the post and move on. Don’t let it put a dent in your day.
9: Thou Shalt Not Troll Unto Others
So we have established that ‘Trolls’ are a pain in the backside, right? So do not become one! Here is one example: Your online number one rival posts a blog article that breaks several of the above rules. You see a link on their Facebook page. Gleefully you write them a list of the grammatical errors and factual inaccuracies in their post. Other readers of that blog now think you are a bad person. (You may be right, but you appear to be a bad person!) Just leave your rival to look idiotic instead of making yourself look bitter. DO NOT TROLL!
10: Thou Shalt Always be Thyself.
Post what you know and feel confident about. If you try and blag it, then it shows. You may sell shower curtains and know everything there is to know about them, so why have you written an article about the Large Hadron Collider? Or if you are writing about something you know little about then research it thoroughly first. Opinions or conjecture based on no evidence is pointless and should a troll see what you’ve written then you’ve handed them an excuse to openly mock you in public. The best idea is to stick to writing about things you can be confident with. Equally, if you write a controversial status based on your opinion, then be prepared to defend it because the reader may not see things in the same way. Once you set a post, status or blog free into the wilderness of the internet it becomes open to the online public. So make sure you would be confident in having to defend what you have written.
There are a simple list of rules above for social media etiquette. Everyone makes mistakes every once in a while. (I am guilty of breaking most of these rules on my personal account over the years!) but remember that if you are representing your business on Social Media then once you set a status, tweet or blog free on the internet you can expect support, scrutiny or disagreement.
People will comment and every once in a while you may get ‘trolled’ for ‘lolz’. Just make sure you would stand by what you say, that is grammatically correct, not excessively in-your-face sales related and in keeping with how you wish to be portrayed. Follow these tips and you will see your online popularity rocket, which is a great thing for visits to your website!