Social Media Do’s and Don’ts
- 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.
He can assist marketers achieve balance in their approach to key areas affected by the growth in digital marketing.