Social media has become a go-to repository for both legitimate marketers and for spammers. It’s difficult to know if a new friend, like, follower, retweet or mention is in the collective goodwill spirit or part of a dastardly ulterior motive. To use social media platforms effectively, users must adhere to certain unwritten rules. But this isn’t to say you can’t have a bit of fun.
Social Media Marketing Versus Spamming
Everyone with a Facebook and/or Twitter account has at least one friend or follower that posts updates and links ad nauseum–usually about their product, service or business. There’s never even a mention about a great weekend (unless, of course, it includes some sales pitch). There’s rarely a peek into their day to day life (unless, of course, some kind of call-to-action is wedged in). These users are considered spammers and other behaviors are just as bad.
Keep it Classy
Seems to be self-evident, right? But consider it in another way. Image social media as a dinner table. You are among the many guests. Every turn you have to speak, you utter something that includes, “I”, “me”, “my” or “mine” at the root. You never speak of others. While you don’t have to outright promote the competition when using social media, mentioning something other than yourself is just good manners.
So a new friend, like or follower has been added to your social media profile. Great! While you might feel grateful, there’s no need to write a thank you note every single time. Consider it cyber littering. A round of applause for several new likes, followers or friends now and again is quite enough.
Don’t Talk Behind the Backs of Others
Okay, so it’s public and everyone can see what you posted about so-and-so on your social media page. Even if it was a compliment, it means little without a link. If you have something nice to say about someone else, let your audience know where they can be found. It’s just plain polite do so, anyway.
Give Credit Where It’s Due
You didn’t coin the phrase, “Pardon my French”, so don’t try to take credit for it. When you pass on a link or retweet through social media, make sure to include the source. After all, it is the Internet and you’ll be found-out sooner or later. So when you pass something on, make sure the person who found it gets their props.
Think Globally, Act Locally
And remember, your social media posts, updates and tweets are more than local–they are global. But unlike changing customs from culture to culture across sovereign borders, there are recognized international manners which exists on social media platforms. Having said that, there can’t be an outright abandonment of your locality. Here’s where walking a fine edge comes into play. While you need to grow your business across geographic boundaries, you can’t ignore the locals. So remember to keep a balance between world wide and your own word.
Don’t Be a Character Hog but Know When to Say When
Twitter only allows for 140 characters. So, leave a bit of room for others to “customize” your update when retweeting them. And while other social media platforms like Facebook and Google+ allow for much more, it doesn’t mean you should try to break James Joyce’s record in Ulysses.
Collective Bargaining and Spiritualism
If politics is your business, then have at it. If you’re an ordained minister, Rabbi or Bishop, then proselytize all you want. But going back to the dinner table, politics and religion aren’t a good idea. While many business owners recognize social media is a great marketing tool, some seem to forget their customers might have very different views. Keep it professional and spout off about politics and religion in appropriate settings.
If you want to learn more about how to use social media more effectively with your SEO, contact CQuinnDesign for a free consultation.