The recent fall from grace of popular YouTuber, Logan Paul, is one example of how a single mistake can destroy your entire social media presence. Although his mistake may seem obvious to some, even advertisers at large companies, such as retailer H&M, are blind in their efforts to be engaging. From jokes about serious mental health conditions to racially insensitive online advertising, there are a million ways to impair, if not destroy, your social media presence. Here are 5 essential social media rules that every business should always remember.
- Don’t mix personal and professional.
Social media can get messy, and there will sometimes be overlap between personal values and professional objectives, especially as more businesses stand up and take action on social issues, but your professional social media profiles generally need to remain professional. For example: @dashfactor tends to tweet about social media, content marketing, leadership, and small business tips, whereas @shadra tunes in for #LivePD on Friday nights and tweets with fellow watchers about who is causing a disturbance, as well as other events related to policing.
Given the disparity that may exist between your personal and professional life, it’s completely okay to say no to requests from clients and colleagues to add you as a friend on Facebook if you want to keep your relationships with them strictly professional.
- Be authentic.
This is where social media engagement gets trickier, because although you want to keep things professional, you must also offer an authentic presence on social media; a thin line separates the two A human touch provides the connection that your target audience craves, and you’ll ultimately generate better engagement with a greater online presence. Feel free to talk openly about your business goals and aspirations; showcase a loveable family picture from your latest vacation or a photo of your dog visiting you at the office. Your followers and colleagues will appreciate that you’re a professional, but they will love to see that you’re human, too.
- Offer something other than what you’re selling.
Want to know how to destroy your social media presence in a hurry? Make your platforms all about you. Make every post a sales post. Share only your own content, never that of others.
The goal of any social media strategy, regardless of exactly how it is executed, is to offer engaging content that resonates with your target audience. Be willing to provide helpful information, but share articles from other people, being sure to give credit for their great ideas. If someone has said something amazing that pertains to your industry, then share it!
- Respond to reviews and comments.
Everything happens quickly in the social media world, and a prompt response to comments can make all the difference. If a negative comment appears on your page, handling it quickly and professionally can showcase who you are as a person and as a business. Positive comments deserve attention as well, so thank customers for their loyalty and positive reviews. Comments can also result in ongoing dialogues that provide you with insights into what your target audience is looking for and how you can better meet their needs.
- Check grammar, spelling, and message content (twice at least).
While you’re checking for typos, it is important that you double-check to make sure that what you’re posting is not inappropriate or insensitive. A successful social media strategy doesn’t necessitate the avoidance of controversial topics, especially when the public demands that businesses take a stance. But in all instances, remain respectful. When in doubt, leave it out.
Although most social media mistakes can be deleted, the internet never forgets. Screenshots happen in a second, leaving a PR disaster that can take months to clean up. Maintain a professional online presence and protect your brand identity.
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