Your company has jumped into the social media arena. Well, maybe tiptoed is the right word. Now that you are there, how do you act … and not act? Knowing where to draw the line is vague and arbitrary to many small businesses.
Various social media experts offer the following advice:
- DON’T: Link to bad sites. Links are what hold the internet together by connecting websites. Good links to productive sites help enhance your customers’ knowledge and insight. Bad links are unproductive and turn your customers into non-customers. It should be obvious, but take care in picking sites you link to, and make sure the links are correctly expressed. Check them regularly.
- DO: Be upbeat, positive and inspiring. Social media can be a “snark factory.” On some platforms, particularly Twitter, there is a solid percentage of posters who try to out smart aleck each other. The traffic often turns personal and negative. Avoid that tone altogether. Stay positive and upbeat and don’t take the bait of those trying to lure you into an unproductive verbal fight.
- DON’T: Overshare or flood your recipients with too much content. Now that have the hang of good, productive, upbeat posting, don’t overdo it. Be consistent and regular in your postings, but if your customers see 10 or 20 posts a day they will get irritated, even if some of the content is good. Be selective and don’t flood the zone.
- DO: Stay with it. A common mistake that small businesses make is to unveil a new social media effort with much fanfare and two weeks later all but abandon the effort. Chances are that any benefit you gain from social interactions will take time. Don’t so much aim for the home run every day, but focus on hitting solid singles that will add up to lots of runs long-term.
- DO: Be interesting. While you want to be positive and upbeat in your postings, that doesn’t mean deathly boring. Try to make your postings a tad more interesting than the run-of-the-mill posts and set your company apart.
- DO: Quickly correct any mistake. It is inevitable. No matter how careful you are to maintain an upbeat, positive tone, there will be an occasion that your post will be misunderstood and unintentionally offensive. If that is the case, act quickly and apologize if necessary for the error and explain what you meant clearly.
There is often not script for social media. It is human interaction in the cyber age. Just like with old-fashioned interaction, let common sense be your guide.