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You might have to do as you are told, but you still need to know the social media best practices and abide by them. For example, tweeting a link to a helpful article without mentioning the author is one thing, but when you only post links to pages that mention your brand, you are going to get into trouble.

(Thanks to HubSpotTollFreeForwarding and Gryffin, Rebekah Radice [1] [2], Chris Brogan, and Outbound Engine for their great resources and inspiration on these social media rules.)

Rules For all social networks

  1. Share several times a day, but space out your posts every few hours.
  2. Respond to all comments as quickly as you can.
  3. Know the art of the hashtag. 1 hashtag is fine. 10 hashtags are not.
  4. Always keep the 80/20 rule! Entertain and inform your audience first, sell to them second.
  5. Use first person plural when talking about your company brand (We, Us).

For Twitter

  1. Don’t automatically direct message people that follow you.
  2. Provide more context in your tweets with Twitter’s latest update.
  3. Don’t hijack another company’s hashtag.
  4. Don’t buy followers.
  5. Don’t stuff your tweets with keywords.

For Facebook

  1. Don’t Like your own post.
  2. Don’t post or tag photos of fans, customers, or employees without permission.
  3. Don’t tag people or pages that aren’t relevant to your post.
  4. Don’t ask for Likes, Comments, or Shares.

LinkedIn

  1. Personalize your connection requests. Tell them WHY you’re connecting.
  2. Once connected, send a “welcome” message.
  3. Don’t join groups and immediately start selling yourself.
  4. Don’t ignore the more professional tone of the network.

Pinterest

  1. Don’t neglect to provide good descriptions for your pins.
  2. Always link back to the original source and give credit.
  3. Don’t use images that have nothing to do with your clickthrough content to get more pins or clicks.
  4. Don’t pin just your own material.

Instagram

  1. Don’t ask people to follow you or use hashtags like #tagsforlikes – it’s unprofessional.
  2. Don’t overgram. No one likes their feed filled up with one user.
  3. Use hashtags for your brand appropriately. The golden number of hashtags is 11.

Things like this have the power to really get your social media brand into serious waters, and such instances can be hard to recover from. So, if you want to improve your marketing results, and reach your income goals, then here are the things to look out for.

Social Media Etiquette: Best Rules to Follow….

Never Just Talk About Yourself

While you do need to mention yourself and your brand, it should never be the only thing you mention. You can steer the conversation in the direction of your brand, but it should not be the main part of the update. The best method to use is an informative position that helps your followers, with a few personal links thrown in.

Self promotion alone is something that has crushed many brands and online marketers. Why? Because in reality, no one really cares about you or your products. They only care about how it can help them to solve a problem.

So, talk about your audience and give them what they want, and show how something can help them. When describing things, always talk about the benefits of your product, never the features or specifications. Also, put your prospect in the center of the story, as this is where they want to be, and where they see themselves. This will help them to listen to you.

Don’t Sell – Tell Stories and be Helpful

People are turned away by sales messages. People go online to find information, not to hear sales messages. They want to find content that helps them, and gives them advice on what interests them. There are now tons of options for products and services, so you need to make yourself different or you will be overlooked, and never sell anything.

Being helpful and offering advice is the best way to get the attention of potential customers, as they will like and thank you for the new information. They will build an emotional attachment to your website, and buy from you when they want to make a buying decision.

Speak To Real People

When writing your online content, remember that you are addressing real people – not numbers. These people have needs and problems, so you should address these things.

Speak and advise these people like you would a person who walked into your shop. Think about how to really serve their needs. Also, target a select group of people with your message, instead of trying to connect with everyone. Narrow your target market so that those people connect with your message and story.

Know what you customers want, need, fear and worry about. These emotions lead to buying decisions, so you need to be clear about the type of person you are looking for. And then write content directly for these people.

Don’t engage with haters, trolls, and other negative influences online.

Battling them is—and always will be—a lost cause. If you do, you’ll waste time, energy and creativity that you could be using to build your brand and serve your customers.

Don’t try to be everywhere and do everything.

Not every social media platform will deliver results for your business. By trying to maintain too many channels, you’ll become overwhelmed and dilute your effectiveness on those that matter most. Stay active only on the accounts that give you the best return on your time and effort.

Don’t ignore your followers’ questions, comments and messages.

Ignoring your audience is the fast track to creating hard feelings, missing opportunities and damaging your brand. Keep tabs on activity on your social media accounts and respond promptly to your followers.

Don’t use AI as a substitute for human interaction.

Marketing automation saves time, but never use it as a replacement for person-to-person communication on social media. Your followers expect to develop a relationship with your brand, which can only be done if you’re genuinely engaged with them.

Don’t dwell too much on your competition.

Watching your competition is essential, but more critical to your success is developing your business and delivering excellent service to your customers. Nurture your brand’s unique strengths and capabilities rather than trying to be a carbon copy of another company.

Don’t post or tag photos of fans, customers, or employees without permission.

Many sites recommend getting written permission before going ahead with posting and tagging photos of others on your Facebook page. There’s likely to be very valid privacy concerns that could arise if brands aren’t careful in this area.

Don’t tag people or pages that aren’t relevant to your post.

People and pages who are tagged in Facebook updates receive notification of being mentioned; some folks use this as a simple hack for getting added attention on the content they publish. Again, this is one of those tactics that might work well yet doesn’t feel particularly great.

Don’t ask for Likes, Comments, or Shares.

Previously, the social media rule for this one was: Only ask people to like your status if you are doing a poll, i.e. “Like this post if you’re a dog person, share it if you’re a cat lover.” Asking for likes, comments, or shares is one of the factors that the Facebook News Feed considers when it decides what content to show. Promotional text like this lowers the visibility of your content.

Don’t ignore the more professional tone of the network.

This one speaks to an even greater social media rule: Tailor your content and message for each specific network. LinkedIn in particular has a targeted demographic of business people and professionals. Content on the network does best when it fits that tone.

Where To Stop

Social media requires certain rules are followed to find the people who are most suited to buying your products. Don’t chase everyone, don’t make it all about your products, and don’t sell too hard. These are the worst practices that you need to avoid.

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