A Few Good Moves: Social Media Do’s and Don’ts For Business

With the fast-track evolution of social media networks, staying on top of best practices for business can be a daunting task. What flies? What flops? How can you make little changes that spark better results? Practice these eight basic do’s and don’ts and you’ll start striking a more productive balance between being socially active and faithful to your brand.

DON’T Try To Be Everywhere. Be realistic about your social media time investment. If you can’t devote hours each day – and not many businesses can – pick one or two networks for starters and go from there. A Facebook Business Page and profile on LinkedIn are good places to begin.

DO Be Consistent. People develop expectations for your postings. If you share quick tips and fun facts about your industry and then drop them in favor of links to scholarly or technical articles, you’ll risk creating some confused and disappointed followers.

DON’T Overshare. For business posters, quality is much more important than quantity. With a Facebook Business Page or LinkedIn, once a day should be plenty. With Twitter, you can tweet several times per day and not overstay your welcome, if you provide value.

DO Give Credit Where It’s Due. Hijacking a good post just isn’t cool. Not without giving credit. Take the time to mention the source in your re-post. It will be appreciated and help cultivate some potentially useful connections over time.

DON’T Neglect Grammar and Spelling. Many social media posts fly fast and loose – or at least appear that way when they’re filled with typos and slang. This is bad for your image, reputation and business. The smart move: Prepare the bulk of your social media posts in a Word doc and spellcheck before going public just to make sure.

DO Think About Your Target Audience. Who are you trying to engage? What makes their world go round? Before you post, ask yourself if you’re sharing something that your audience will care about. If it’s just of interest to you, it’s likely to miss the mark.

DON’T Abuse Hashtags. When used selectively, hashtags (#) can help get your Facebook posts and Twitter tweets categorized with similar content so when someone searches for that keyword, they find you. Turning too many words into hashtags, however, becomes #distracting, #counterproductive and downright #annoying.

DO Match Your Content’s Tone To The Right Network. Being on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter doesn’t mean that all your posts belong on each network in the same style and tone. The post you put on Facebook or Twitter may have a conversational flavor that should be dressed up a little bit when shared with the more professionally-oriented LinkedIn audience.

Follow these rules of etiquette and you’ll be well on your way to being a more socially effective business. Even better, you’ll be opening the lines of communication with those you most want to attract, engage and impress – online and off.

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