Just as with social situations offline, online social media has its unspoken rules and its notions of etiquette. Breach of this etiquette, as we all saw recently with certain fast food burger establishments' faux pas, can result in a lot of criticism and negative media coverage.

So how do you make sure that you don’t overstep the mark and find yourself taking flack from your consumers? Here are a few pointers.

Stop selling

Not entirely perhaps, but social media is not the place to shove sales messages down your consumers’ throats. The vast majority – 90-95% - of your messages should avoid any reference to your products or offers. Instead, engage your audience with mutual interests. If you’re selling cars, for example, touch on motorsport, TV shows about or featuring cars, events and so forth.

Be platform savvy

Not all posts work on all social platforms, so select carefully before you post. Images work well almost anywhere, but a link to a white paper is better suited to LinkedIn than Facebook. Think about your audience on each specific platform and tailor the tone and content of the post to engage them.

Courtesy is everything

Your latest customer may have posted something harsh on your Facebook wall about one of your products, but that’s no excuse for a rude answer. Before responding to anything, take a step back and formulate a polite reply. Thank them for their feedback and direct them to a resolution away from social media by giving a contact telephone number or email address for them to use.

Accidental account mixing

This is one to watch, particularly for those who update business accounts on their mobiles. More than one marketer has been sacked for accidentally posting a message intended for their personal account onto the business one – don’t join them. Always double check where you’re posting before doing so, and never post anything offensive.

Response and reward

The growth of social media has meant that consumers tend to expect prompt answers to their posts. Reward followers by engaging in conversation with them – ask their opinion, thank them for feedback, show interest in their photos and stories. If you want to take it a step further, create special offers exclusively for your Facebook followers to reward them for their loyalty.

Recommend others

You are not in direct competition with every other business on social media, so connect with other companies that can complement your products or services. This can often lead to joint ventures and mutual promotion of products, as well as acting as an endorsement that users can trust. With this in mind, be sure that the businesses you connect with are reputable and offer quality products – recommending a bad business only makes you look naive.

Learn More on Social Media Marketing

To find out more about best practices on social media marketing, contact Whitefish Marketing in Folkestone.  Call us on 01303 720 288 for a frank and no-obligation chat with a member of our team and tell us about your company and project.


About Justin Wilson

Justin Wilson is a Digital Marketing Manager with a passion for helping businesses to develop their digital proposition. He has an expertise across the spectrum of digital, including search engine marketing, social media, website optimisation, email marketing and web analytics.