Social media dos and don'ts

Using social media platforms for business is an essential way to reach customers, gain valuable insights, and grow your brand.

There are now more than 4.2 billion users across the globe. But if you’re not sure how to capitalise on this inexpensive, and effective way to reach almost half the world’s population we’re here to help with some tips on what’s ‘Thumbs up” and what’s “Sad emoji”

Dos

1. Do post regularly

By this we don’t mean every second of every day. 2-3 times per week will give you the time you need to respond accordingly. Social media is all about keeping it social so join the conversation. Thank your commenters and answer any questions as quickly as you can. Make sure you plan ahead on your conversational calendar so you know what days are particularly important. Are there any events you want to promote? Special awareness days. That kind of thing.

2. Do read what you write

It seems obvious but please, please, please check your spelling and grammar on your posts. There’s nothing worse than a misplaced ‘your’ or ‘you’re’ and they will stick out like a sore thumb to your customers. This is your business’ voice so be mindful of how you use it.

3. Do showcase your brand

Your brand is your business’ persona, it’s your personality and you’ve worked hard to build it so show it off. Make sure your colours, themes and tone of voice are all aligned so that your customers will feel ‘at home’ and know they can trust you.

4. Do show your personality

You don’t have to be serious on social to be professional. Don’t be afraid to have a little fun sometimes (within reason) with your posts. Talk about your staff and how much of an asset they are. Show your human side. Promote your culture and your workplace as a happy one.

5. Do use hashtags

Hashtags are your friend. It’s not rocket science and they won’t necessarily get you massive engagement but they will help. Use your initiative in what you use. Yes, see what’s trending but keep them relevant. Make sure you use as many as you can to get the most from them. There are even tools online to help you generate them if you’re having hashtag block.

Don’ts

1. Don't post for posting sake

If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything. You don’t want to spam your customers and lose followers. This is where careful planning about what you want to talk about helps.

2. Don't think you have to cover every single social media channel 

Some channels will work for your business, some won’t so don’t worry if you only post to one or two. Twitter for example is all about words and conversations whereas Instagram is more visual. Pick what you can manage and where you know your customers will be.

3. Keep your business and personal profile separate

Make sure you keep the ‘human’ posts relevant to your business. Your customers might not necessarily want to see lots of pictures of your dog… unless, of course you own a pet shop or dog grooming parlour and he’s your top model!

4. Don’t design it yourself (if you’re not a designer)

It really is worth investing in professional photography and or a graphic designer to provide your brand assets in formats suitable for social media. Think of your profile as your shop window. You want it to look it’s best and you wouldn’t dump any old stuff in there. Take pride in the way it looks… your customers will notice.

5. It’s all about networking

Your social media channels are a wonderful thing and they can do amazing things for your business but they do require a certain amount of nurturing. Just like in the ‘old days’ talking to your customers, suppliers and fellow business owners is still so important. Networking is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Supporting other business owners and growing your social network helps your social media channels get seen so never underestimate making friends.

Social media is a wonderful marketing tool but in order to get the best out of it, you need to know how to make it work for your business. Not every business uses the same tools in the same ways so understanding what you want it to do for you is the first step. Hopefully following these simple tips will help your business shine online.