Best practices for posting and engaging on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more
It’s true what your mother told you — minding your manners is important! It’s just as important over an internet format as it is in real life. It may be even more important due to the absence of face-to-face interaction.
Because you only have a computer screen and some formatting between you and your audience, it’s necessary to make the most out of your interactions online. This means being polite, personable and sensitive to the format of whatever platform it is you’re using.
What is netiquette? Internet etiquette is different from real-life etiquette, which may conjure up images of salad forks and folded napkins, but it’s no less important. The similarities between face-to-face interactions and those on social media may even surprise you!
Chances are, as a general rule, if your mother told you to do it, definitely bring the behavior over to your messages and posts on the internet. Be advised to use common courtesy and politeness. There’s no such thing as overdoing these and you’ll get points with future clients and customers if you do appear to be a congenial and pleasant personality.
That being said, it’s important to bear in mind that a lot of indicators one would use in real life simply do not carry over on social media! Vocal tone and facial expressions don’t count here. In order to make up for this disparity, conscientiously use careful diction and an upbeat writing style to carry over to your contacts that you’re a polite presence.
Getting Down to It
Once you get the overall tone and style of social media interaction down, it’s important to adapt to the format of whatever social media platform you’re working with. In an email or text message, it’s commonly accepted knowledge that CAPS lock is essentially yelling at the recipient electronically. In order to avoid this kind of gaffe on your social media activity, get the hang of each app or website before you begin posting.
Here is a quick overview of the three most popular social media with tips to communicate accordingly:
Facebook is a popular source of business pages for many interested users. Post articles, links and photographs on your Facebook page that inform and educate your viewers without being too technical or aloof.
It’s a good idea to post a few times a day, with an hour or two of space between postings. Keep a conversational tone that is professional without being too snobby.
Note that many of your followers WILL use your Facebook page as an extension of troubleshooting or customer support. Treat each and every message with prompt acknowledgement and respect — if you can’t answer the question, direct the individual to someone who can.
Keep your Twitter feed fresh with quick posts. You may post a bit more frequently on this forum due to Twitter’s short form. Share pictures and updates with your followers here.
A note on hashtags: hashtags can be a great way to communicate with a pool of people interested in a topic, so do use them. However, choose your hashtags carefully! You have a finite amount of space on Twitter and too many hashtags decreases readability.
Instagram is an instant and attractive method of sharing curated photo content with your viewers. Don’t inundate your followers with multiple ‘grams at a time, though! Post once, wait at least an hour before posting again.
Instagram is another great place for hashtags. According to the infographic below, the average amount of optimal hashtags on Instagram is 11.
Keeping this guide in mind, get posting and be on your way towards forging meaningful contacts for your brand.
Check out the infographic below for more tidbits and tricks for refining your social media etiquette.
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