Somehow it’s already 2015, and that means it’s time to reactivate our brains and make a valiant effort to pursue our resolutions for longer than a week. Those likely include a few work-related items you would like to achieve and improve upon. Perhaps growing your brand’s social presence while avoiding a disaster that ruins the company’s reputation and lives on as a bullet point in blog posts about social media mistakes for years to come?
Even though social media is far from ‘new’, there are still users and brands out there that are still trying to figure things out. So without further ado, I present to you four basic social media commandments you should follow this year and beyond.
Thou shall not talk about yourself 24/7. Don’t be that guy. You know, the one who won’t shut up about himself. His favorite topic starts with ‘m’ and ends in ‘e.’ No one wants to listen to someone who talks about his or herself nonstop – both in person and on social media. The glory of social media is that it’s a two-way street. You have the opportunity to connect directly with your audience. That means you need to avoid the never-ending sell and start listening and engaging. It’s more fun that way. I promise.
Thou shall not use 50 hashtags per social post. If #you #think #this is #cool, it’s #not. There’s no denying that hashtags are a great way to be a part of topic-specific conversations; they’re also a great way to discover new people to follow and for others to find you. There is such a thing as too many hashtags, though. If you’re going to use a hashtag or two, stick to the core topics you’re discussing. Don’t water down what you’re saying by hashtagging every other word. It looks silly, and quite frankly, it’s annoying.
Thou shall not join social networks that have nothing to do with you. This is for all the brands out there that feel it’s necessary to be on every single social network that exists. I can understand why some do, but the social channels you need to be on are the ones where your audience lives. Do a little research. Find out where they spend their time and which networks are driving the most traffic to your website. Then, spend your time cultivating communities by participating on those sites. If you’re selling cloud storage, you can probably skip spending time on Pinterest and focus more on Twitter or LinkedIn. But again – it all boils down to you doing your research. It will pay off (and keep you sane). Our friends at Spin Sucks shared a few super niche networks and you may find more like them that you didn’t even know exist and fit your demographic perfectly.
Thou shall use your head before posting. Here’s a rule I recommend brands live by on social media: if you even remotely question whether or not it’s appropriate, don’t post it. While you may think it’s funny, you can risk offending and alienating some of the people who adore you most. There is no such thing as a delete button in today’s social media world (just ask a few of the brands that have learned the hard way). Screenshots give your poorly chosen post an eternal shelf life that will live in blog posts about what not to do forever and ever and always. There’s nothing wrong with being feisty and edgy, but know where to draw the line.
Senior Marketing Analyst