Social Networks are constantly evolving and it can be difficult to stay on top of social media etiquette best practices. Business owners may only log into these social networks occasionally and may find it hard to fully understand what to do, or not do on social media. It takes practice to know how these tips apply to your day-to-day behavior.

Here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to social media etiquette for businesses:

  • DO: Complete and Update your Social Media Profiles – First impressions are key! Your social media account is your digital first impression. Accounts only partially completed appear less professional and are automatically a turn-off. Take some time to thoughtfully fill out your profile information and don’t forget your contact information too!
  • DO: Separate Business and Personal Accounts – It definitely helps to keep your personal and professional pages separate on social media especially when building a business brand. By being consistent with the types of content you share via your business profile, your clients know which account to follow. You don’t want to be sending your family your latest blog post from your business page and your clients a video of your dog from your personal page!
  • DO: Share Thoughtfully – Your posts are a representation of you and your business. When posting be aware of the image you are crafting as a result of the content you share. Check out this great infographic from HootSuite as a guide if you’re unsure your content is a fit.
  • DO: Post Regularly – Many people ask how often should you engage with your online community? This varies depending on your business and industry but it should be at a minimum once or twice a week. This helps keep content fresh and exciting.
  • DO: Interact With Your Audience, Be Transparent to Gain Trust – It is important to build connections online just as you would in person. If you see a question or comment send that person a friendly reply. You want to try your best to answer any questions your customers may have. If you run into an issue that causes a conflict or criticism on social media, the worst thing you can do is to try and hide from it. Respond the best you can, and let others know when it is resolved.
  • DON’T: Be Needy – Nothing is more annoying when you constantly see Instagramers begging you to “like” their page every week or “please retweet”. So just don’t do it. You can still let your followers on personal accounts know that you have business pages and what they can expect if they follow you. Try getting creative and strategic. You are better off earning them with helpful, shareworthy content.
  • DON’T: Be a Spammer – Nobody wants their social media feeds to be filled by a single account. Don’t join 20 groups and post the same self-promotional message in all of them, and then not interact with members again. You don’t want to leave that impression.
  • DON’T: Abuse Hashtags – You don’t need to turn every word in a post into a hashtag. When hashtags are used properly, they will increase your online visibility and followers. Otherwise, when too many are used in excess, it looks spammy and becomes ineffective.

By following these do’s and don’ts of social media for business owners you can keep your marketing efforts fresh and effective. Of course with the constantly evolving landscape the etiquette will also continue to change but for now we hope you can benefit from the list above. Remember, try new ideas and just have fun with it!