For today’s businesses, social media is no longer a suggestion. It’s a valuable way to connect with customers, learn more about them, and build your brand. In 2017, however, social media etiquette is becoming increasingly important. Is your brand adhering to appropriate standards of social media behavior, or are you lagging behind? There are several key pieces of social media etiquette that can shape how potential customers view your business–and therefore how much they’re willing to trust you.
Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
The problem: You have plenty of skills. Maybe you have a great deal of business sense that makes it easy for you to sense changes in the market, or perhaps you’re able to accomplish great things in the realm of pest control. Maybe you make amazing products that are sure to appeal to a wide range of potential customers. Unfortunately, there’s just one problem: your grammar often falls short.
Grammar errors and typos are a normal part of communicating online–but they shouldn’t be for your business. Customers want to perceive your business as a professional organization. When your grammar falls short of their expectations or your social media posts are riddled with errors, it communicates a lack of professionalism–and they may fear that it will translate to how you interact with them.
The solution: Take the time to proofread before hitting that “post” button. Make sure you read over what you’ve written and consider phrasing, spelling, and punctuation. If you don’t have great proofreading skills, consider outsourcing your social media posts to a company that specializes in writing.
Providing Great Information
The problem: Your content on social media is 98% promotional. You want to tell customers all about the new product you’re releasing, the event that you’re hosting, or the cause that your company has gotten behind. Unfortunately, it’s not leading to any customer engagement. As far as you can tell, they’re scrolling straight past your posts–and you’re not building many followers, either.
The solution: Customers don’t just turn to social media for marketing information. In fact, they’re less interested in your latest sales and promotions than they are in how to use your products, how to solve common problems in your industry, and other critical information. Customers need content that is genuinely valuable to them. They need to see the answers to questions, hear market research, and learn more about the latest events in your industry. Create a policy of posting considerably more helpful information than you do promotional material. Not only will it raise customer engagement, it will increase customer trust in your business and encourage them to trust you when they’re ready to make a purchase.
Building Your Brand
The problem: Your posts are inconsistent. Perhaps there are several different people posting, each with their own unique “voice.” Maybe you just post whatever you’re thinking of at that precise moment in time. Unfortunately, it’s led to inconsistent posts so that your customers never have any idea what to expect from your business!
The solution: You wouldn’t post an ad in a sidebar or put up a billboard without carefully thinking through what you’re going to say–and the reality is, your social media posts may well be seen by more people than any of those ads. Make sure you have a clear social media strategy that helps determine what you post, when you post it, and the image you want to communicate of your brand. Customers are looking for consistency–and they cheerfully support businesses that offer it.
The problem: You’re never sure whether or not you should answer the people who are commenting on your posts or posting to your page. Are they actually looking for answers, or are they just sharing your opinion? How many of them should you actually answer? If you’ve published a post with a great deal of engagement, you may feel as though just keeping up with your responses is a full-time job!
The solution: Ideally, when customers interact with your page, you should take the time to respond. This accomplishes several things. First and foremost, it helps build trust in your brand. When you respond to your customers, they see that you care about them! Second, it lets customers know that you take problems and complaints seriously, and that you’re dealing with them effectively. Responding to complaints is particularly important. You should neither ignore nor delete them; rather, you should take the time to seriously address the problem in that public environment so that everyone can see your efforts.
The problem: Your social media posting strategy is erratic. Sometimes, you’ll go through long dry spells where you barely post anything. Other times, you’ll post daily–or even several times in the same day. You don’t know how often you’re supposed to be posting, and customers don’t seem to notice either way!
The solution: You need to develop a posting schedule so that your customers know exactly what to expect from you. Do some experimentation. What time of day are posts most likely to engage your customers? This may be very different if your target is stay-at-home moms versus business professionals. Run some tests and determine how frequently customers respond to posts from your business. Then, make an effort to post with reasonable frequency. It’s often better to post consistently than it is to post heavily for a little while, then virtually disappear.
Learning how to mind your manners appropriately is a little harder in today’s online era. Customers have different expectations for the brands and businesses they love, and those expectations can change in the blink of an eye. By deepening your understanding of social media etiquette, however, you can increase customer engagement and raise the return on your social media investment. Need to learn more about social media etiquette? Contact us today to learn how we can help you meet your social media goals.