There are so many unwritten rules for social media, how do you possibly keep up? Learning the proper etiquette comes down to watching, testing, experimenting, and trial and error. It can be hard to know which rules (if any) are put in place, which are real, and which will significantly affect you if you break them. This blog post should help shed some light on some essential social media “rules” that will help you start your social media presence off strong.
Entertain and inform eighty percent of the time, sell to your clients twenty percent of the time. Research from Buffer shows that followers are far more likely to engage if a social media account is sharing actual information, instead of just menial personal information. While obviously, the goal of your social media is to grow your brand, if you are solely using social media to pitch your followers, no one is going to be interested and you are likely to push them away. It is essential to provide information and insight into relevant topics. In doing that, you can build an audience who will then be more likely to trust and buy from you.
Don’t ask for Likes, Comments, or Shares
If people want to engage with your post, they will. Instead of asking for engagement, ask a question so people can naturally engage, instead of just liking or commenting because they feel like they have to. Promotional text lowers the visibility of your content. In fact, research into the Facebook algorithm shows that posts that include promotional text such as asking for likes are less likely to be shown in followers’ News Feeds.
Don’t mix your professional and personal accounts
There is a clear divide between personal business and professional business. Although it may be exciting to share your weekend plans with your followers, if it’s not applicable to your professional life, keep it to your personal social media. There is a difference between you as a person and you as a business, and keeping the two of those separate is key to success. Your business may be a part of your life, but it shouldn’t run your life. Your followers follow your business for a reason: they care about updates from your business.
Don’t post bursts
Space out your content updates because otherwise, your followers will get annoyed. No one likes to see too many content updates all at once. It can be overwhelming, and people will just scroll past instead of taking the time to read your updates. By spacing things out, people are more likely to stop, read, and engage with your posts. Research has shown that posting in bursts is one of the main reasons that people choose to unfollow an account.
Keep your online presence consistent
Don’t change your tune from post to post. The way you address your audience should stay the same; drastic changes can lead to confusion or disengagement from your audience. Your social media voice should remain consistent as every post is not an opportunity to try out a different character. Let your audience get to know you, in order to build credibility and trust. This is important to keep in mind and strategize if you have multiple people working on social for one brand.
Keep it cool on the hashtags.
Quantity and relevancy are the key to hashtag success. On Twitter, keep your hashtags between 1 and 2. On Instagram, you CAN use up to 11 hashtags, but they should all be relevant to your post. If there are only 4 relevant hashtags, then it is okay to just use 4 hashtags. Don’t use hashtags such as #likes4likes, as something like that may get you likes, but no meaningful engagement on your post. You want the people who engage with your post to actually care about what you’re posting, so hashtags like #likes4likes won’t help you grow an engaged audience. You can learn more about hashtags in this post!