Can anyone share the unwritten social media posting guidelines?
I've read and heard of resources lately that touch upon the bad manners of social media, for example like a brand 'liking' their own post. As my team dives more into social media, what other unwritten rules should we be aware of?
Consistency trumps quality every time.
Beyond that, in no particular order...Use different media outlets for different purposes. For example, YouTube is the best place to share public videos, so only share videos there. You can share videos to Facebook from YouTube or pictures from Flickr when it makes sense, though you should custom craft the accompanying message when you do. However, Facebook's reach with media is limited in comparison, so you shouldn't load your content there unless you only want to share it with your "Friends" there.
Build a loyal community of fans. A feature offer shared to 1,000 Facebook fans will outsell the same offer shared to 1,000,000 people on TV almost every time.
Don't let anybody above middle management speak openly online without running it through an experienced professional first. Their friends will tell them they're great at it. They're not, and their friends aren't your customers. At best they'll be benign. At worst, they'll tank your company. Ask American Apparel.
Be open. Be truthful. Be funny or at least pithy.
Play to your strengths. Don't do a podcast if you aren't good at it. "Lame" is more damaging than "bad."
No whitepapers. "Whitepaper" = "vacuous ego stroke" and everybody knows it.
Just because you can doesn't mean you should. You may have a ton of contacts from doing a seminar somewhere, but that doesn't make them qualified leads. At best, send them a one-time email explaining who you are and inviting them to join your media list. If you send a second time unsolicited, you're a spammer.
Decide what brand image you want to present and stick to it vehemently. If you want to be high-class, but your CEO wants to tweet cute cat photos, fire him or at least excommunicate/disassociate him from all media efforts. If you want to sell manly action, but your marketer thinks social media is for linking things that agree with his politics, get him straightened out or move him to the wearhouse.
NO POLITICS. No racism. No sexism. No religion. No expression of opinions of any kind not related to the product/service/cause. Deviate at your own stupid peril.
Great question! It's wonderful that you're taking the time to map your team's strategy before diving in head first.
The most common mistake? Applying the same rules to every demographic, industry and niche. Some social media platforms are excellent for reaching creative types, others for start-ups or small businesses, and yet other for various industries (like hospitality, manufacturing and education). If you're targeting Millennials you'll want to look at different social networks than you might focus on for reaching Gen Xers.
The important thing is to identify your community (peers, competitors, influencers and prospects) online and participate in a helpful manner (sharing not selling, engaging).
More to your question, take time to participate in the discussions, listen to what's being posted and shared, and reflect on what works in your industry or niche. Social media is really a reflection of real life. Any one thing someone might point to as bad manners, for example, liking your own post, may work for some brands in certain settings. It's all about the tone/voice that you adopt for your brand online. Jimmy Kimmel could post things in a way that Dr. Phil could not. Different audiences, different strategies required.
Social media is not rocket science, but it is a nuanced skill that requires thought.
You're on the right track. See what's working and what isn't in the groups you've identified.
Best to you & your team!
I am not sure it is unwritten but I always tried to avoid simply copy pasting public message everywhere. I always tried to make each message unique and personal. Also follow up on reactions. Mind you this can become a full time job and larger companies will in most cases have a "webcare" department handling all the social media communications.
The 50, 30, 20 posting rule. 50% of your posts should be to entertain, 30% education, 20% selling. Original content is not mandatory. Mix posts up with these three types of posts: links, photos, text. The best analytics are the shares, then the comments, then the likes you get on a post. Good luck!
That "likes", "shares", "followers", "comments" are meaningless vanity numbers. The only metric that counts are the effects of your bottom line.
That time is money in business - posting is NOT free.
That unless you have a strategy before you even begin, you are on a hiding to nothing.
That you can't outsource it, no-one knows about or has the passion, the emotional connection to your business like you do.
Lots of good info already posted, and a great question. More to the heart of your question, I would add one example of "bad social media manners" would be to not respond in a timely manner when people engage with your brand. Obviously, if there's a question or direct message, you should have the tools in place to engage in real time, or as close as possible. But even when people leave, for example, any Facebook comment, no matter what the context, you should ALWAYS acknowledge them. I'm sure you've found that it's difficult enough to get people to engage with you in the first place, don't discourage them from future engagement by ignoring them.
You should make use of your employees social networks by creating a company page that they can follow. Then, if they like a post, or even if they make a post in their own name, these can both be linked to your company brand.
Many are obvious but here's an excellent book: "Light, Bright and Polite: How Businesses And Professionals Can Safely And Effectively Navigate Social Media by Josh Ochs.
Hi Kelly, good question and here are some of the rules that I heard of when attending social media training workshops (they are not my rules, however I try to follow them as good as I can):
First the number (or amount) of posts per social media:
1. Facebook & Pinterest 3 posts per day
2. Twitter 5+ posts per day
3. LinkedIn 1 post per day (however this post could be used on several groups that you may be a part of)
4. Google+ (Skip it, only google employees use google+)
5. MosaicHub be as creative as you can be, answer as many questions as you possibly can, ask, post resources etc.
On facebook avoid sales related posts on a regular basis. The people who follow you want to hear from you. Posts of success nature (for example success stories from your business, testimonials from clients, motivational quotes linked to your industry) will make all the difference.
However, if you do want to sell products and services on Facebook a good option is to use the paid services. But this is more a budgeting question and if your target market is actually on Facebook.
Pinterest is similar to facebook however here you should really follow the motto: A picture is worth more than a 1000 words. If you have physical products to sell, this is the place to showcase them. If it's a service, stick to motivational or inspirational quotes related to your industry.
Twitter is turning more and more in to a b2b environment. It's all about engaging with people, following their activity and favourising and sharing their posts. If you share, they'll share, simple as that. Using the right hashtags is key (again depending on your industry) and taking part in b2b networking activity. It's a give and take...the more you give, the more you can take.
There is a saying in social media circles: You only invite your closest friends to facebook, twitter, everybody can follow and you follow everybody that you like, but linkedIn is a way to connect with people for no reason whatsoever. It seems like everybody is connecting with everybody on LinkedIn, simply because it's business. I'm still trying to figure out if it's a good thing or not, but from my own personal perspective, I like to network. I think we can all learn from each other and others can learn from us. If there is business coming out for us or not is a different matter. But the more you network, the more likeminded people you will meet.
I'm a big fan of actual networking events, not necessarily the ones online. Going to chamber events or other networking group events that are available is my bread and butter. I have yet to meet somebody that I've met simply on LinkedIn or any other social media. Maybe I'm a bit old school but I get more business out of physical events than I ever did from Social media. That doesn't mean one shouldn't be on social media. It's all about self and business promotion and the more you put yourself and your business in the lime light, the more business will usually come to you. No matter the preference. So, using a healthy combination of both (online and offline) activity is in my own humble opinion key to success.
I hope this answers at least some of your questions. Simply put, stay away from being too salesy. Not sure if the social media gurus here would agree, would be interested myself what they think. This is as I said, not something I came up with myself, but took it from courses that I visited.
Hope this is helpful.
All the above answers, comments from the members have covered the most. one thing which is very important is not to get in to a verbal fight in social media.
Be original and be diplomatic. This is very very important.
keep low profile...never ever post about your dinners and parties whereby you wore luxuries and your are looking so gorgeous! Never ever make others feel jealous of you! simple as that! Jealousy of others will trick trap you to sensitive issues of religion, race, and politics! people are all generally are doing it everywhere but probably not making others jealous. Be very careful of shallow mindedness, you cause them to get jealous they'll rip you and your loved ones are all RIP!
As I think everyone shall have his own manner & his different message - It should show in different way clearly the targeted mesage he wants to send to his targeted clients , How to make the message attractive & unique than others it not cut & past .
Its very important to understand that our mesage is the main work base which reflects our brand or products , how to convince them .
I might recommend you study the landscape and pick a few social media brands that are somewhat similar to your own. There are unwritten rules that apply to different niches and very different "best practices" for marketers versus say brands that are doing customer service oriented discussions etc.
I'm not going to give away all my media training tips, but here are a few things to add to the good advice below:
1) If you haven't got anything to say, don't bother – there are a million other people like that out there and customers don't care about them, either.
2) If you haven't got time, don't bother – I'm not saying become a full time blogger, but you need regular, relevant postings or you may as well give it up as a bad job.
3) Never say anything to anyone you wouldn't say to their face...in a room that has your employer (or backer) standing within earshot.
My best advice is to apply the unwritten adage that comes from journalism: "If you don't want it on the record, don't say it," because once it's out there on social media, it's out there and you don't want to have to be doing damage control for your brand. 'Nuff said.