Social Media Do’s and Don’ts
Social Media Do’s and Don’t Profile Creation
- Do use your company name or domain in your profile.
- Do have a company logo or professional photo for your profile picture and use a consistent picture across all social profiles.
- Do provide a company biography on your profile and list your industry or service enterprise.
- Do use a branded profile design where possible.
- Don’t use multiple names across your social profiles.
- Don’t use your personal contact details(ie: Gmail) as this looks very unprofessional. Use your company branded contact details instead.
- Don’t detail your personal hobbies, religious or political beliefs on your company profile.
- Don’t use the same profile for personal and business.
- Do build your community with your business contacts (ie: business associations, past and current colleagues, partners and customers).
- Do ensure you are engaging yourself in other people’s social networks.
- Do follow or add business contacts to your community that choose to connect with you.
- Do email your customer database and encourage them to follow or add you on the social platforms.
- Don’t mix your personal contacts (friends, family) with your business contacts. Keep a separate profile for personal use.
- Don’t assume people will find you. Actively search for social network users relevant to your company.
- Don’t neglect to manage your followers. Block those that are not business appropriate.
- Don’t forget to include the social icons and “follow me” links in all of your marketing materials.
Video and Image Sharing
- Do share any appropriate business-related videos and/or images on your company site and blog.
- Do try to optimise any videos you upload with relevant keywords (title tags, video description, etc.).
- Don’t upload any inappropriate pictures to your gallery or photo album.
- Don’t create any company videos without a standard company-branded title and end slide.
Status Updates and Messages
- Do write your posts in first person and be as transparent and honest as possible.
- Do ensure your messages are relevant to your audience and followers.
- Do ensure your posts are engaging and entice a conversation
- Do ask questions and solicit feedback from your audience.
- Don’t hard sell on the social portals. Use social media to share your expertise.
- Don’t post messages at a frequency that would be considered SPAM.
- Don’t post any messages that are unprofessional or do not provide value to your audience.
- Don’t post anything about customers, colleagues, etc. that you wouldn’t want them to see.
Blog Posts and Comments
- Do be respectful of your audience and ensure any humour-based messages do not come across as critical or annoying.
- Do provoke meaningful conversation in a professional, non-criticising manner.
- Do respond to all comments in an appropriate and professional manner.
- Do have a monitoring process in place for comments on your blog posts.
- Do write what you know and post about your areas of expertise. Share content that’s open-ended and invites response and encourages comments
- Do ensure that all content associated with you is consistent with your work and with your company’s values and professional standards.
- Do be polite and respectful when posting comments on other people’s blog posts.
- Do use a tracking system for all links (ie: bit.ly)
- Do create a content plan for your blog and ensure consistent frequency in your blog posts.
- Don’t allow content written by others (ie: staff members, copywriters, etc.) to be published to your social profile without your thorough review.
- Don’t start a conversation without being ready to respond and contribute to comments.
- Don’t publish criticising posts unless done so in a constructive manner.
- Don’t over moderate your comments. Allow for both positive and constructive comments to be posted.
- Don’t take your company brand for granted. Acknowledge that it’s your privilege to be promoting your company brand across the social networks.
- Don’t use overly pedantic or “composed” language that sounds unnatural. Talk to your readers like you would talk to real people in a professional situation.
- Don’t create a blog post without considering search engine optimisation techniques (ie: use keyword-rich content, titles and descriptions).
- Don’t lose focus on the topic you’re writing about.
- Don’t deceive your audience. All link descriptions should be relevant to the destination of the link.
Privacy and Confidentiality
- Do follow your company’s standard privacy and confidential guidelines.
- Do be smart about protecting yourself, your privacy and your company’s proprietary and confidential information. Ultimately what you publish is widely accessible and will be online for a long time.
- Do respect brand, trademark, copyright, fair use, trade secrets, confidentiality and disclosure laws.
- Do ensure staff members use this disclaimer when posting on other blog sites: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent ABC Company’s positions, strategies or opinions”.
- Don’t publish or report on conversations that are meant to be private or internal to your company.
- Don’t publish or share any customer-specific information (testimonials, quotes, case studies, etc.) without their permission.
- Don’t write any disparaging remarks about others. Make sure you know what you’re talking about.
- Don’t post anything that makes you even the slightest bit uncomfortable. Pause, take a moment to review and discuss with a PR advisor if necessary.
Remember to adhere to your company’s social media policy and ensure your employees do the same. Participation in social media as a member of your company should be treated seriously and with respect for your brand.