Top 10 Do’s & Don’ts of social media.

Today’s social media comes with a certain etiquette, whether you are a business owner, or simply someone who enjoys posting on different platforms.  Each social media platform has various distinctions that act as unwritten rules. When you break one of those rules, you can leave a negative impression on your audience.

Just as there are things to avoid doing, there are thing that you should be doing to keep your social media fresh, engaging and helping to increase traffic to your accounts. To help you, here are our Top 10 Social Media Do’s & Don’ts.

1. DO: Separate business and personal.

When building your brand, it helps to keep your personal and business pages separate on social media. By being consistent with the types of content you share via your business profile, your clients know which account to follow. You also avoid spamming friends and family that follow you for personal updates.

2. DO: Keep the “social” in social media.

We all know that a one-sided conversation can get boring, leave you feeling left out and even make you want to just walk away from it and find something else that interests you. That’s exactly what your followers will do when you don’t take them into account when posting. Make sure to ask questions, respond to comments and engage with other posts.  This will not only grow your following but also making your audience feel as if they are heard and appreciated.

3. DO: Be visual.

Photos and videos can more than double your engagement on social media, so consider adding a relevant image to your text-only posts. If your posting relies heavily on visuals (like real estate or interior design), you may want to spend more time on networks with a greater focus on images, like Instagram. Try adding live videos or use the platform’s story feature to engage your followers.

4. DO: Think before tagging.

Tagging others in photos is a great way to introduce your business to your friends and their followers, but before you do, think through it. Are you tagging everyone you can think of because you’re hoping some of them will follow you or promote your business? Or are you tagging people and businesses to create a dialogue or to highlight something you like about them? Unexpected tagging can be a fun way to surprise and compliment someone, or it could cost you friends, fans or followers.

5. DO: Post Regularly.

How often should you engage with your followers? You want to post regularly, but not over post.  Too little, and your audience will forget you, too much and you will crowd your followers feed. Here are a few recommendations for some popular platforms.

 *Facebook: 3 times a week minimum, once a day max to start.

*Instagram: Once a day minimum, 3 times a day max.

*Twitter: 1-2 times a day minimum, 5 times a day max.

*Pinterest: 3 times a day minimum, 10 times a day max

6. Don’t: #Go #Hashtag #Crazy

There was a time when we were told to add as many hashtags as possible so our posts are seen by more people, but this isn’t the case any longer. When used correctly, hashtags can increase your online visibility and followers.  When used in excess, the post looks #spammy and becomes #ineffective. (One more hint: hashtags don’t work in blog posts or emails. Using them that way makes you look unsavvy.)

7. DON’T: Post with grammar and spelling mistakes.

Sure, we are all human and make mistakes, but there are few things that will make your followers groan more than an awesome post filled with grammatical or spelling errors. They may seem unimportant, but they can actually ruin your credibility with your target audience.  Always check your copy before hitting send.  Then check it again, and maybe even send it to a friend before posting it live.  If someone points out an error, fix it ASAP.

8. Don’t: Share without researching first.

Social media platforms make it easy to quickly share content from another account. With the continuous content and information coming at you at all times, it’s easy to forget that some of this content comes from questionable sources or even bots. Sharing content is often seen as an endorsement of that content and of the user who posted it, so be careful what you share — it could become part of your brand.

9. Don’t: Automate without thought.

If you’re using the same content across your social channels (and you can), take the time to change the tone of the message to match the network. Although most social media platforms offer a time-saving option to post on multiple channels at once, steer clear of it. Take the extra time to write an original message for each social media network based on its intended purpose and audience. 

, 10. DON’T: Obsess about the numbers.

Remember that brand awareness and growing your audience is a long-term effort. It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers game, but try not to. While having lots of followers can be good, quality over quantity is better. If you have 1,000 followers and half of them are spam accounts, your posts are being delivered to an audience that doesn’t exist. Focus on providing engaging content for your account and less on your follower count.

With the social media landscape constantly evolving, the do’s and don’ts of social media will continue to change. Staying aware of current best practices and incorporating them into your social media strategy will keep your social accounts growing in a productive and effective way.