How to Mind Your (Social Media) Manners as a Small Business Owner

Here are four simple ways to mind your social media manners on Facebook and other social media networks.

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It’s perfectly alright to have one Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest page. Just don’t have multiple Facebook pages for a single business. On that same note, another huge Facebook faux pas is to have a friend account for a business — which means that potential fans and followers have to send a friend request to access your page. This is not only unprofessional; it is downright annoying.

2. Create a content strategy and think before you post.

Consistency of messaging is key for active social media pages. However, tweeting incessantly with updates every minute on the minute will immediately turn off your followers. Be selective about what you tweet or post about and make it count. Posting more important information less often is much better than posting a bunch of “off-brand” junk all the time.

3. Use direct messaging on social networks sparingly.

If you have a substantial amount of followers across social media networks–and you want to get them to go away–the best means to accomplish that is to clog their inboxes.

Just because someone is following your business does not mean that they want to wake up every morning to fifty-plus direct messages from your business. It may come as a surprise to some companies, but people do not join Facebook so that they can experience a barrage of advertising. Respect your customer’s privacy and keep direct messaging to a minimum.

4. Never use your social media networks as a political mouthpiece.

Stay on topic. Unless your company is directly related to politics, your fervent personal political opinions don’t belong anywhere on your company’s social media pages.

For example, for my former acquaintance Peter … this was the final aspect of his social media campaign that forced me to stop following him altogether.

He hosts a radio show on an oldies station, but he posted an incredibly graphic photo to the station’s Facebook page about a local political issue. For me, as a social media professional, it didn’t matter whether or not I agreed or disagreed with the political statement. It was unprofessional and turned me, as well as many other people, away from the station.

Polarizing your audience is the best way to disconnect with them because you not only lose people who disagree with the statement but there are others who feel that it is inappropriate. Since Peter’s radio show is strictly musical in nature, politics had no place on his business social media page.

The lesson: Keep political commentary away from your business pages on social media networks. If you feel the need to post them, do it on your own time and own personal page where people who actually know you are likely more tolerant.

Connect with Bryan on Twitter.

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Photo: Facebook

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