Social networks are critical to the expansion of a business, and netiquette rules are fundamental in order to make careful use of them.
In fact, social media is certainly a slippery slope where many people and businesses fall—the fact that you hide behind a computer, smartphone, or tablet doesn't allow you to do or write whatever you want.
You need to be careful instead, as proper use of social media can contribute to the success of your company by strengthening the bond between the brand and its followers. According to a study conducted by researchers at Aalto University in Finland, "participating customers on a firm's social media site contribute 5.6% more revenue and visit the business about 5% more than non-participating customers." Even Michael Brunt, chief marketing officer and managing director of circulation at The Economist confirmed this, stating that social media "reduces the cost of acquiring subscribers and drives growth in its digital subscriber base, which has increased 30% year on year to 300,000."
So, when posting on social media, follow some netiquette rules that will help you get through this ocean of posts, likes, and comments. But, in the end, it's mostly a matter of common sense.
So here are some netiquette rules:
Lord Chesterfield once wrote to his son Philip: "Politeness is as much concerned in answering letters within a reasonable time as it is in returning a bow immediately." This dates back to the 18th century, but it's pretty much the same as today. If someone asks you something on your social networks, try to reply as soon as possible—it creates engagement among your followers and also delivers a good image of your company. In fact, not only are you demonstrating to constantly monitor social networks, but you are also paying attention to your followers' opinions and requests. Who knows—some of them might even become your customers in the future.
Like in every field, managing social networks requires some balance. Do not spam—your followers might feel annoyed and overwhelmed if they see their homepage full of your articles and photos. In fact, this is quite annoying. If you are a brand, posting once a day is enough; media like newspapers or magazines can post 10-20 times a day. Here's the posting frequency of some major brands on Facebook according to Social Bakers:
What's more, post when you actually have something to say; don't copy from others, and try to always create original contents.
Also, when posting on social networks, remember to use relevant hashtags to highlight your topics, but #don't #fill #your #text #up #with #hashtags—it doesn't make sense, it's difficult to read, and it’s annoying.
Study the difference between your social network channels and how they actually work so you'll be able to differentiate the topics. If you post the same content on all your social networks, there's no point in people following you on all of them. You'll just spam your followers with the same post over and over again—and that's exactly what you want to avoid. If you make good use of an editorial calendar, you'll have an overview of your social media and can organize when and where to post new content.
Using social media can also be a way to show a certain degree of customer care, and if you use it properly, this might also increase customer satisfaction. If someone criticizes you on your social networks, reply politely and avoid arguments if you don't want to damage the image of the company you're representing in that moment. People like interacting with other people, and being rude won't lead you anywhere.
Written by Marcella Sartore, Marketing & Communication Assistant @ Athena Parthenos
Photo credits: header: www.forbes.com