Dos and don’ts of social media marketing

lumen-24572_640There are endless lists of days and don’ts for using social media to market your business. Although they are all expressed in slightly different ways, they all chunk down to these things:

Be yourself, in other words be authentic and transparent. This means having a real image of yourself (as opposed to using the default avatar) and using your real name.

Givers gain. The more you give (that is sharing other peoples content and providing  your community with content that is of incredible value to them rather than it being all about you) the more you will gain

There are no magic beans in social media. Magic beans being the things you throw out the window at night and in the morning there is a giant beanstalk. Social media is about building relationships and building relationships takes time, so be patient.

Be where your audience is. To be where your audience is your have to know who your ideal customers are and the social media platforms that they are on. With the widespread use of social media it is highly likely that your audience will be represented on most of them, however, there will be exceptions and therefore it makes sense to be sure.

Don’t over automate. You have to be there in person to connect and respond to people who are connecting with you. Nobody expects  you to be on social media 24/7 but if you’re never there  it won’t be possible to build any relationships.

Horses for courses. In other words tailor your content so that it suits the platform where you post it. For example images for Pinterest and Instagram; vines for tumblr and blog posts for LinkedIn.

Understand your audience i.e., their demographic and psychographic profiles. What do they want and what do they need? How are you or how can you be the solution to their problem(s)?

Be respectful. Given the global nature of the Internet and differences in social conventions it can be very easy to unintentionally offend people.  Being respectful means being aware of this. The test I use is to ask myself three questions: Does it do any harm? Is it good for all? How does it serve my audience? If the last thing you want to do is offend anyone go for the lowest common denominator in terms of taste and sensitivities.

Below are five articles  and two videos about the dos and don’t of using social media which I feel add something to this discussion without being too repetitive. There actually aren’t any hard and fast rules for using social media. There will always be circumstances where things that are supposed to work don’t and things that aren’t supposed to work do.

The best strategy is to use these as guidelines and test and measure your activities so you can see what works for you. Which reminds me that testing and measuring is an important do for using social media. If figures intimidate you, use a simple system like logging the time was you spend on social media each day versus the number of new leads you’ve acquired at the end of the week/month. Or how many people have shared your posts when you spend time on social media engaging with people about the topic, compared to if you just set it and forget it. The point being, have a way to measure what you are doing so you can review and repeat or delete as appropriate.

Curated content:

Introduction to The Dos & Don’ts of Social Media Etiquette

I included this video because of it’s simplicity and because it refers to etiquette – not something we hear much about these days!

Dos and Don’ts when using social networks

This video is amusing as well as educational – it focuses on personal security on social media, which is often over looked.

15 Do’s And Donts of Social Media – Social Media Today Tue, 07 Jan 2014 09:00:00 GMT

While there are no wrong ways to eat a Reese’s, there are definitely some wrong ways to do social media. That said, whenever there are wrongs, there are always many rights to counteract them. As a small business, here are

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Social Media Do’s and Donts Infographic | MagiclogixBlog Fri, 16 Dec 2011 15:19:53 GMT

Hassan Bawab is the Founder and CEO of Magic Logix, an interactive digital marketing agency that combines dynamic website development, custom website design, SEO and cohesive online marketing to drive new leads

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The Top 10 Do’s and Dont Do’s of Social Media for Business Sun, 19 Jan 2014 13:05:00 GMT

Discover some of the most common mistakes, issues, and wins that businesses find when using social media for business.

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Small Business Online Marketing Do’s & Donts for 2014 – PaySimple Tue, 21 Jan 2014 14:22:41 GMT

DONT Become a Social Media Casualty by making any of the Six Social Media Mistakes You Should Avoid in 2014. Also, dont be too emotional, defensive, critical, or offensive when responding to online posts about your

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20 Do’s & Donts for Better Social Media Marketing Tue, 06 Dec 2011 12:13:26 GMT

I hope that the 20 Social Media Marketing Do’s and Donts that I’ve provided within this article not only entertain you but make you think about your current social media strategy. Which tactics are you happy to say you’ve implemented and

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Do you have any dos or don’ts for using social media? Please share your thoughts on the comments. I love reading them.

Big Hugs.

By Ola Agbaimoni

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