5 Don’ts When Using Social Media For Your Business

We are aware that you may have seen thousands of articles like this on the web but it’s always good to remind yourself of some of the unwritten rules to deal with your social media activity, especially if you are a smaller business trying to find your way into the social media sphere for the first time.

1. Don’t focus solely on self-promotion: 
An obvious one but one that I feel still needs to be said. Don’t just talk about how wonderful your services are. People engage with content that they find interesting so give it an angle, much like PR. Use the 20/80 rule. 20% business, 80% on adding value. Show your platform or profiles to be a source of relevant and worthwhile informational content, and be subtle when talking about what your company does or offers. For example; throughout this blog, there are in-links that are subtle and will add value to some readers, and therefore more likely to drive action based on the advice.

2. Don’t turn your back on social interaction:
Social media is about maintaining an active community and two-way conversation with like-minded advocates, fellow followers. Consumers often find social media to be the most efficient tool to express their ideas, ask questions and make complaints directly with businesses. Get involved and build in processes to pass this information on to the right people who can deal with it fast. The only exception to the rule is where the channel (within the platform) has been set-up for one-way informative soundbite updates for a single specific task. For example, a legal court sending out updates on results from cases as they happen that day. This is because they can’t be seen to have an opinion otherwise they would be biased.

3. Don’t share your content at random times, but do be consistent.
Timing is important in social media. Find out when your audience is most active online, or when they are more likely to appreciate your posts. And especially do not ignore weekends or non-business hours. You audience may interact more in their down-time than business hours. It depends on the platform and the post. These hours could be the most interactive periods for your brand, where your posts will gain greater impressions and responses. 

4. Don't ignore the many different ways of communicating. 
The web runs on symbols–grouped characters (such as letters and numbers) forming words and data. But people are not algorithmic machines. You need to communicate with people in various communication mediums (cognitive communication), to engage with them on all communication levels. You can use images, videos, apps, games, contests, polls, infograph’s, photographs.... the possibilities are endless, it just needs imagination; good idea of the technology available; tried and tested common sense; and research (results from your metrics). Some mediums work better in particular platforms than others, for example, Facebook audiences love the simplicity of imagery and addictive Reels. Find the right way to communicate with your followers.

5. Don't try to be everywhere all at once.
This might sound contradictory after reading the above 4 points. But you just can’t be everywhere all of the time. You will be overstretching your people, resources and over-promising to deliver interesting content consistently. Find out which platforms your target audiences are interacting on, and what they are interested in on that platform (‘the Why’- making your content relevant). You will also need to learn about the capabilities of the platforms, and the best social media management software for your needs. If you need to move fast do seek the help of someone who really knows their stuff, such as a tech savvy friend or, better still, a good social media consultant or freelancer. Social media takes time to gain traction, but by speaking to someone who knows their stuff and adapting a strategy, you will save you an enormous amount of time and get you your ROI faster in the long-run.

These are 5 simple social media points to consider. Everyone's company, goals and tone are different. If you need help with planning your social media, or developing content strategy ideas, see our packages for details. 
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