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Using social media for your business is one thing.  Using it well and achieving the best results is another. It’s not easy to know what you should or shouldn’t be doing on social media, especially when advice from others, even from a Google search, can be conflicting.  So, here’s my low down on 10 of the best social media dos and don’ts.

Social media dos and don’ts – Do these

1. Be Authentic.

I really do say this a lot, as any of my clients will attest, but my top-of-the-list tip is simple:  Just be yourself. After all, as Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken”.  If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, you’ll see that the language I use, the way I write is identical to the way I would speak were we to meet.  Being authentic helps your audience to build a relationship with you.  They know exactly what they are getting.  In addition, let your personality shine through and your audience will see the person behind the business.  After all, that’s who they are potentially buying from! Your authenticity is what makes your business unique.

2. Keep Your Audience in Mind.

What do your audience want to read?  What do they want to know?  Focus your content on whatever will interest your audience and write in a way that they can identify with and understand. Avoid over-complicated or technical text and focus on the issues your audience have and how you can help solve them.

3. Put your links everywhere!

The longer you can keep your audience “in your presence”, the longer you have to persuade them to buy.  It’s that simple.  Make sure to include links to your website from your blog posts and from your social media pages and reciprocate by including links to your social media pages from your website.  Also, regularly check your links to make sure they are working.  There really is nothing more frustrating than finding a broken link. LinkedIn frowns upon anyone including an external link in the main body of text, which will take the reader away from the platform. LinkedIn will give you a virtual slap on the wrist by limiting the number of people who see your post.  Instead, post any link in the comments box.

4. Keep contact details up to date.

It never fails to surprise me the number of social media profiles I see where contact details are either incorrect, out of date or just plain missing!  Make it easy for your potential customer to find you, contact you and, ultimately, do business with you. Although this sounds a no-brainer, it’s easy to forget to update contact details when a change happens.

5. Build relationships.

Social media is supposed to be social (The clue is in the title, here!)  Nurture relationships with your audience by replying to comments, but also by sharing the love with your followers; Make sure that if someone likes your post, that you reciprocate with one of their posts.  When replying to comments, try and create an “Engagement Loop”, so when someone comments on your post, reply with a comment that requires an answer.  Thus, encouraging the commenter to engage again.  Don’t be overly creepy with engagement though. It’s okay to respond to a comment a couple of times, but any more might look like harassment!

Image of a mobile phone.

Social Media Dos and Don’ts – Don’t Do These

1.Spread yourself too thin.

I am often asked the question, “which platform is best for my business?” and the answer is simple. If you know your audience, then you should know which social media platforms they use.  Concentrate on that platform and on connecting with your target audience by posting a variety of content of interest to them.  Don’t be tempted to spread yourself too thin by having a profile on every platform.  Therein lies complete madness, as you try to keep them all up to date.  Instead focus on one, and when (and if) you feel able, set up another in addition to the first.  But remember, everything on your social media needs to be customer-centric.  Where you are, what you share and how you say it should all be focused on your customer needs.

2. Get stuck in a rut.

Don’t be tempted to stick with the same content, the same format, the same message-style.  Instead, experiment.  Marketing is all about fluidity; shaping your message to the moods of your clients, and, believe me, they can be a moody lot!  Customers are typically fickle and just because a format worked last week, doesn’t mean that it will now.  Instead, don’t be afraid to try different things in your marketing.  According to Medium.com Videos on Facebook receive a staggering 8 billion views per day, with the average viewer remembering 95%  of a watched message, as opposed to 10% when read.  That’s got to be worth a try, hasn’t it?

3. Don’t be a “Needy Norman”

Whilst it’s a good idea to tell your audience the action you would like them to take by including a Call to Action in your post, don’t constantly ask your audience to “like” your page, or “Retweet” your content.  Post quality content, consistently and the followers will come.

4. Don’t share and share alike.

There are different social media platforms for a reason.  Don’t be tempted to cut corners by sharing exactly the same post content on every platform.  Your audience are going to get very bored with seeing the same message across multiple platforms, so tailor your content according to the individual network.

5. Don’t be afraid to sell.

Although only one-fifth of your content should be promotional, don’t be afraid to shout your services from the rooftops.  It’s amazing that some people get so engrossed in providing valuable content that they actually forget that the point of their business social media is to promote their goods or services.  If you have a new product, a new service, a promotion or an offer, then include details in your Bio, in your summary – anywhere that your target client will see it easily.

Social Media Dos and Don’ts – Summary

It’s so easy to get trapped into doing what you think you “should” be doing on any network.  But, by taking these tips on board and incorporating these best practices into your social media marketing, you can enhance your online presence organically and grow an invested and loyal audience.

What are your top Social Media Dos and Don’ts?  Share your thought in the comments below, I’d love to hear them.

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