The Real Tea on Social Media Etiquette
We’ve all read articles on social media etiquette for business. Typically these posts consist of a list of around 10 “do’s” and “don’t’s” of how to use social media—written from a business perspective. Over time, these insights have become overstated and unoriginal. It’s time for the real tips and tricks to come out, from the consumer point of view…
1. Take advantage of user-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) is a vast topic to discuss on its own, but the bottom line is: Use it. Not only does it show that people genuinely support your brand, but it’s free (or cheap) to use. A simple mention for credit will suffice in most instances. You are no longer paying for a photographer, a model, an editor, cameras, lighting, studio time, etc. Plus, people trust UGC more than professionally made content. According to Photoslurp, UGC converts into sales five times more often than brand content.
User-generated content is a way for companies to show that they are interested in the two-way communication that social media provides and they value consumers’ support. The AMA reports that 85% of consumers feel more influenced by UGC than other content. This does not mean you should abandon brand-created content altogether. The right balance is needed. When a mix of user-generated and brand-generated content is used, social media engagement increases by 28% according to CrowdRiff.
2. Personify your brand
It is an accepted belief that people feel the need to relate. Therefore companies need to build a brand personality that consumers can connect with. Companies should work to personify their brand as much as possible. There are, of course, the more traditional ways of doing this: Using a signature spokesperson, creating a brand mascot, etc. However, little changes in the way social media posts are composed can have the same effect. Using a casual vernacular, “memes”, and first-person pronouns in posts can make the brand more relatable in the consumers’ eyes.
Many companies in the entertainment industry—such as Netflix and HBO—successfully accomplish this. Wendy’s is another company that is famous for its relatable nature. Implementing the dialect of your audience can lead people to interact with and relate to your brand more organically. However, it is important to mention that this method is more feasible for some companies than others—depending on the brand personality.
3. Choose quality over quantity
Everyone has heard the rule: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. A similar rule goes for social media. If you don’t have anything good to post, don’t post anything at all. Around 95 million photos and videos are posted to Instagram every day. The strategy should no longer be focused on the quantity of content posted.
In order to use social media effectively, brands need to release content that is eye-catching, memorable, original, and so much more. Posting one high-quality picture to your Instagram feed each day will have a much bigger impact than posting a handful of mediocre, uninspiring pictures.
Social media serves as a two-way communication channel for the company and the consumer. If the consumer goes out of his or her way to contact the company via social media, the company should reply. Depending on the size of the company and the number of interactions it receives per day, this may not be plausible. However, attempts to interact should be made. Social media can function as an additional customer service outlet. Companies should try their best to aid consumers and handle any issues. This may be done by responding to complaint tweets or leaving the direct message inbox open to consumers on Twitter.
The same goes for positive remarks as well. Thank consumers for their compliments and support. Let them know they are heard and appreciated. There is a good chance that they will share the company’s reply, showing others the authenticity of the brand. Not only does the company look good in the public eye, but there are many insights to gain from social media listening. If a company responds to consumers, they are encouraging more interactions in the future.
5. Use analytics
This one seems like a no-brainer. There is so much data at our fingertips. In the past two years, over 90% of the data in the world was created. It can be difficult to make the most out of this information. Luckily, there are many tools out there for social media analytics specifically—and many of them are free through the individual social platforms. They are very organized and easy to interpret. Companies should use all of this data to capitalize on their social media investments. Learn the best times to post. See if certain content receives more engagement than others. Discover which social media platforms lead to more website visits and sales.
A good strategy for brands to use is split ads. Run split ads with little promotion, and use analytics to determine which one was the most effective. Then pour more money into that ad, instead of potentially wasting money on an ineffective ad. Some of the most amazing benefits of social media marketing are the abilities to constantly collect data and instantly make alterations to your plan.