Social Media Etiquette: Seven Rules for Brands in 2020

There is a general mode of conduct for everything in life. The same is true for social media.

Any content that goes online be it as a post or comment, it tends to go viral. And if it’s negative, it spreads faster.

When managing a social media account for your brand, you need to be careful so that you don’t say anything that could put a dent on it.

There are social media etiquette rules you’ll need to adhere to if you hope to grow your brand in a positive light and continuously attract customers.

Even if you get irritated at the slightest things in real life, you have to tone it down when dealing with social media. Here are some main social media rules for brands hoping to stay clear of negative reputation:

Be social

You need to do a bit of research about your audience, especially your ardent followers who are often commenting on your post to evoke empathy when discussing with them naturally.

You should also know the right time to post. You can’t possibly be making a post when almost everyone has gone to bed or are yet to wake up in the morning!

Target your post at peak hours, which could be when people arrive at work, when they go on break, and when they get home at night. Try different times and observe the rate of engagement.

Watch the words you put out on social media. Your words need always to appear polished and well thought rather than hasty and harsh words. Let your audience sense the feeling that you enjoy their company, and they are not bugging.

Be fast in your response

Only a few people will understand you are human too and have other things to do outside of social media.

Every other person will want you to reply to their comments, questions, and complaints soon as they send them. Even you! Remember the last time you didn’t get an immediate response to a message you sent a brand on social media. How did you feel? Disgusted at their incompetence, right?.

If you are not able to manage the plethora of messages and comments, then, by all means, do some delegation. Get someone from your team to handle the direct messages while you take care of the comment section.

Respond to negative reviews

What if it’s a negative review? Someone comes out of the blues and calls your brand out for selling fake products to them? How do you react?

Use some empathy and put yourself in their shoes.

How would you feel if you were promised something and ended up receiving an entirely different thing? Forget the fact it’s your product? Take a moment and see things from the customer’s point of view.

If someone posts a negative review, you had better not ignore it, or you’ll escalate things. Take a deep breath and do your best to rectify the issue with clarity and politeness.

What if you get called out for something you know isn’t your fault? That’s not an excuse to become aggressive.

A lady managing an interior decoration business got called out by her client for her bad service. Instead of trying to settle with the client offline, she went to her business page and addressed the client as “Client from hell.”

Who does that?

Always remember to have the tone of a friendly and respectful professional that loves everybody! If there is a story your audience needs to hear about the misunderstanding, it is your responsibility to relate it to them. They shouldn’t get the gist from elsewhere.

Avoid automated response

In a bid to avoid leaving questions or complaint unanswered, some brands will turn social media automation to do the work for them.

Is there a better way to drive away your customers?

You need to understand that your customers are humans with emotions who crave for another human to communicate with them and fill the void in their life. Machines can only try but can’t sound human.

Avoid over posting

Imagine opening your Facebook page and seeing ten posts from a particular friend! Outrightly annoying right? You would sure think they have no purpose in life than to troll on social media. That’s how people see your posts when you decide to go overboard with the posting.

When posting on Instagram, don’t do more than two posts per day. If it’s on LinkedIn and Facebook, one post will take your followers through the day. Don’t worry; they won’t miss you!

You might go overboard with Twitter and Pinterest posting 15 tweets and 11 pins, respectively.

If your business hosted or attended an event and you want your followers to know about it, you can make a post beforehand informing them of why and how you are going to flood their timelines.

Give credit

You might see a thought-provoking post on someone’s social media platform that suits your brand and decide to post it on yours. There is nothing wrong with it except you refuse to give credit to the original poster. You should also try to ask for permission before even sharing.

When you don’t ask for permission or give credit, you are portraying a negative image to your followers. Your brand will begin to look fake and untrustworthy, which will affect sales.

Be reasonable with hashtagging

Using hashtags at the end of your social media post is a great way to attract more followers who will find your account when searching for related products. However, when using hashtags, don’t go overboard.

Use it moderately so that it doesn’t make your post look untidy and distract your followers from your actual writeup.

There are lots of social media etiquette rules, but if you can follow these main rules, then the rest is easy. Always remember to go through what you’ve typed before sending it out.

Originally published at on July 11, 2019.

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