Although it has evolved tremendously and taken on more and more niche forms, social media is still fairly new, culturally speaking. As humans we have been working on our communication etiquette for millennia now, but in recent times the need to adjust to new forms of communication has come more quickly than any other time in history. Think about the fact that in the last 100 or so years that the telephone, television, internet, computers, texting and many other forms of communication have been introduced. Point being, that they are still in their infancy. Most people know what to say and what not to say during a face to face conversation, but with many newer medium the rules are a bit different. We rely a lot on social signals and other queues to know the meaning of what the other person is saying. E-mail, social media, text, ect., all make these social signals basically impossible to detect.
So what is the point in all this and what does it have to do with Social Media Marketing? Well there are a lot of “do’s and don’ts” with social media that many businesses have figured out, but many still have not. Businesses are pouring a lot of resources into these channels these days and in order to ensure they are being effectively used, I always tell my clients to put themselves in the user’s seat. For instance here in San Diego, California I always use the Padres as an example of how some businesses are failing with Social Media Marketing. I ask if someone would want to go to a baseball game just to look at the billboards in the outfield? Of course not, the billboards are secondary and serve a great advertising purpose for the businesses they represent, but no one would be there if it were not for the baseball game, right?
The same principle applies to Social Media Marketing. Just as someone can like or follow you, they can also unlike or unfollow you. So if you are just throwing a constant stream of plugs for your business at them or SPAMMING them to death they likely will no longer be your audience and could even decide to no longer be a patron of your business. This is one very common example of what businesses are doing wrong with their Social Media Marketing efforts. It is not all doom and gloom though, as most are doing some good, some bad, some in between and there is certainly no “silver bullet” because every business and customer base is a little different. It should be treated as a living experiment, but below are listed some things to help guide that experiment and keep your social media etiquette in order.
- Thank customers for reviews and comments they leave on your page.
- Interact with customers in a timely manner.
- Post relevant industry content that is not always just plugs for your business.
- Highlight employee’s accomplishments and make sure that you are creating a true sense of community.
- Post as much visual content as you can and tag people when responding to them to make sure they receive notice.
- Celebrate milestones and anniversaries for the business.
- Engage your audience as much and as often as you can.
- Link up with other local businesses that are relatable to your own business.
- Randomly tag people in irrelevant posts.
- Constantly bombard your audience with ADS.
- Get into arguments with customers.
- Post inappropriate content (eg. Political, religious, obscene)
- Post anything that you do not want the whole world to see.
- Offer incentives only for positive reviews.
- Tag other businesses in hopes of poaching likes.
- Be a jerk 🙂 – meaning think about how the message will be perceived before posting. If you are not sure, do not post it.
Think about these 8 do’s and don’ts the next time you are planning a social media campaign. Not exactly rocket science, but at least some considerations before getting started. After all, if you are the user, what would you want to see?