Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

I recently read a 10 part series on Corporate Social Media Don’ts on Forbes.com. I chose the 7 most important “Don’ts” and expanded upon each tip with a “Do”. As more and more companies implement social media as part of their marketing strategy many don’t understand the positive and negative implications of their social media program.  All too often businesses overlook the key steps and unspoken “rules” that can make or break their program.

  • Don’t Over-Market or Over-Sell; Do Be Social – People want to connect with people behind the brand. Treat your audience as if you are connecting with them face to face. Building quality fans/followers will serve your brand better than simply focusing on the quantity of fans/followers.
  • Don’t Act Like a Robot; Do Show a Human Face –  Think of social media as you would a networking or social event your attending 24/7.  The last thing you would do is introduce yourself and then take up the entire conversation with a sales pitch about how great your product/service is.  Humanize your brand by providing ideas and honest interaction.  Don’t forget to have a little fun too!
  • Don’t Forget to Engage: Do Hold Conversations Loyal and engaged fans and followers are worth a lot more then “lurkers”. Be sure to reach out and hold conversations with your audience. Don’t be afraid to ask them what they like and think. Talk about topics that are of interest to your audience even if the topic has nothing to do with your brand.
  • Don’t Establish and Abandon; Do Know When to Leave – Do not join a social network and leave it stagnant. Be sure to engage and build conversation every day if you want to build loyalty. If you are not going to fully participate, exit completely. Not using social media platforms the way they are designed to use can have a negative effect on your business. Your brand will look uncommitted and unprofessional. Also, don’t be too quick to join the next “up and coming” social media platform unless it fits your overall social media strategy and brand focus.
  • Don’t Let the “Interns” Handle Your Social Media Presence; Do Hand it to the Experts This is key – You wouldn’t give the responsibility of running your advertising and marketing campaign to your intern, so do not put your online presence in the hands of your support staff. Entrust your online identity to professional marketers and PR professionals and you will see the difference.
  • Be a Thought Leader! – Be innovative. Take some risks. Be a leader; both in the content you issue and the strategies you use in social media.

Social media can add great value to your marketing and public relations program.  If you are unsure how to incorporate social media as part of your overall strategy, reach out to industry experts for help on developing a social media plan for your business. You will be glad you did

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