You’ve taken care of business, so to speak. Your company is up and running and you’ve just finished building an online personality on every major social media site. You’ve even started publishing a few posts a day, and you’re feeling pretty good about things.
Little do you know, your work is far from over. Having an online presence does not necessarily mean you should have the same online presence on every major digital outlet. In fact, knowing the right social media etiquette is fundamental to your online success, and therefore, to your business’ success.
Here’s a breakdown of each website’s proper “etiquette”:
With 757 million daily users, Facebook is the friend of every major business. It’s also a great forum for your other social media sites, and the best way to reach out to customers on an intimate, personal level. It’s fine to update your Facebook page several times a day, but make sure your posts are spaced out. No one wants their news feed dominated by Facebook posts, no matter how witty. On Facebook, make sure you respond to every comment, even the nasty ones. You want to have the reputation of reliable and personable on Facebook, and clients will be personally touched if you speak with them directly. It’s also very important to keep the 80/20 rule – entertain and educate your audience first and foremost, then sell to them.
Twitter is a different story. With 100 million daily users (64% of which are female), Twitter is less-checked but by no means less important. Twitter is #hashtag #central, but make sure you use your hashtags wisely and effectively. #Too #many #gets #obnoxious #and #uninteresting, not enough won’t get you enough followers. While Twitter can be informal and casual, you also want to avoid sharing too much personal information. Keep your Tweets concise and informational – if you don’t use all 140 characters, you give people room to retweet you.
Google Plus is just entering the new wave of professional marketing. With a 63% male following, a lot of businessmen are using Google Plus for business to business marketing because it allows you to create Circles of followers, i.e., other businesses or targeted clients. This allows you to compartmentalize your followers by circles, which is great for organizational purposes. Creating a Plus page is professional but informational. When you share a post, you always want to add your personal commentary to it first. Google Plus is one of the only platforms where you can format your posts – this can be done in any way, through #hashtags, italics, or photos.
Speaking of photos, Instagram, the “new Facebook for teens,” is crawling up in followers, with 75 million daily users. Similar to Twitter, Instagram allows you to post brief, single-sentence posts. But it is fundamentally an outlet to tell your photo-story, the digital narrative of your business’ projected “personality.” You don’t want to “Overgram,” but you want your posts to be clean, funny, interesting and eye-grabbing. If you use hashtags, chances are, you’ll get more #followers.
Unlike the other outlets, LinkedIn is your most professional, formal jacket. With 120 million daily users, the majority of which are female, LinkedIn allows you to connect with those you’ve met at networking events or conferences. When you send an invite to a potential client, make sure you personalize your request with a message explaining why you’d like to connect.
Pinterest is still growing, with 16.1 million users, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Try to pin directly from the source material you’ve gathered for better accreditation, and make sure you link back to the original source for credit. Don’t be a spammer and use images that are irrelevant to your content just to get more pins or clicks, and make sure you spread your pins out!
It’s one thing to be utilizing all of the different social media platforms, but it’s another, much more important thing to utilize them correctly. Knowing who uses them, what they look for and how to interact with them is just as important as going abroad to do business and knowing the proper etiquette in the local culture. With these things in mind, now you can translate the same content for different audiences in different environments and reap the benefits.
About the Author: Ivan Serrano is a web journalist residing in Northern California. His main focus is on social media, global business and technology.