Social Media Best Practices

Written by Daniel Ferrigon

October 9, 2014

Effective Social Media Best Practices for Business

All forms of business communication should be professional. Even though social media is a less formal medium of communication. Best practices and netiquette should be adhered to.

Establish goals

When deciding on joining a social media network, first define the goals that you hope to achieve. Examples of some goals are: To build an awareness of a brand or product; and gain consumer insight through listening to discussion and feedback. Consider who your target audience for the conversation is when establishing goals and tone of writing.

Manage the Site

Managing social media sites can be time-consuming, so an efficient planning is essential. Consider who will be responsible for the updates to the site. Social media sites are active and posts and replies must be frequent. Make sure you have the time to maintain the site properly since a site with slow response can be more detrimental than no presence at all.

Protect yourself and contributors

Do not publish personal information about yourself, such as phone number or address and make sure those rules are followed for all contributors.

If you discuss a situation involving individuals on a social media site, be sure that they cannot be identified.

Be accurate

Make sure that you have all the facts before you post. It’s better to verify information with a source first than to have to post a correction or retraction later. Cite your sources and provide links whenever possible. If you make an error, correct it quickly and visibly.

Monitor comments

Most people who maintain social media sites welcome comments—it builds credibility and community. Blog sites can be set to allow review and approval of comments before they appear. This allows you to respond in a timely way to comments. It also allows you to delete spam comments and to block any individuals who repeatedly post offensive or frivolous comments. Facebook posts cannot be prescreened but can be hidden after they have been entered

If you invite feedback, be prepared to accept what you get. If wrong or misleading information is published, clarify it. If someone posts negative feedback, understand it as a chance to improve your service or stimulate discussion from other contributors.

Spam, flaming, personal attacks, and off-topic comments are not permitted and these types of comments should be removed or screened out if comments are reviewed first.

Sharing is caring

Be a valued member on social media. Avoid the pitfalls of many marketers on social media, of simply peddling their goods. Make sure you are contributing valuable insightful content that will be of interest to readers. If you provide content that your readers deem valuable they will re-share it and help grow your network. When sharing resources on social media it is appropriate to include links to other sites, blogs, tweets, etc.

Think before you post

Assume that everything that you post is public. There is no such thing as a private social media site. Posts can turn up in search engines years after the date that it was published. Posts, pictures, and comments can be shared or copied. There are systems that archive information, even if you delete a post.

Be mindful of how your content will be perceived. Posts should be well thought out and.

Promote Your Social Media

It will take time for your number of followers to grow, be patient. Don’t become enticed to take any shortcuts. To increase the visibility of your social media site add appropriate social media icon links to your website and email signature. Encourage others to follow or comment on your blogs.

When allowed by the social media platform, connect with related accounts, link to other pages and resources. Rebroadcast relevant information from other relevant sources, maintaining awareness of copyright law. Always cite the original source.

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