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The social media rules your brand should be following

Jess Messenger

Although the landscape of social media is constantly changing, with new platforms and features being added at a quick pace, there are numerous basic rules that every brand should follow to ensure success. Despite the simplicity of these rules, there are still businesses today that struggle with their social media strategies and fall victim to crises that can easily spiral out of control. Whether you’re new to social media, or a professional who could use a refresher, remember to follow these best practices:

1  Dial back on selling 24/7

Whether you’re a B2C or B2B brand, no customer is interested in a social media account that only promotes your business. Balance company announcements about new products, award wins and upcoming events with updates about the industry that your business serves. For example, highlight new industry research and best practices by reposting content from industry influencers, as well as your own thought leadership-focused blogs and articles.

2  Use caution with passwords and permissions

Social media hackers and disgruntled employees (current or former) can result in social media disasters. It’s important to not only have strong passwords and security measures in place to prevent instances of hacking but to also carefully manage permissions for your business’s social media channels. Passwords should be changed on a regular basis and after an employee handling social media leaves the organization. Employees looking to post about their personal views should ensure they are logged into their personal accounts and not a corporate one.

3  Think before posting

Incorrect spelling and grammar, blurry photos and poorly-timed posts can live on through screenshots even if the original posts are deleted. Remember to thoroughly vet content before it is sent out, and to use caution around sensitive subjects like natural disasters, politics and other hot-button issues.

4  Engage with others

Social media should never be a one-way communication. Instead, it should be viewed as an opportunity to interact with followers and influencers. Respond to mentions, inquiries and complaints sent through social media, show appreciation by liking and sharing content and contribute to conversations like LinkedIn group dialogues and Twitter chats. Doing so helps to bring personality to your brand’s accounts and can help grow your follower base.

5  Respond to criticism appropriately

At some point, your organization may face backlash from upset customers or even social media trolls. It’s important to handle inquiries and complaints quickly and professionally. Remaining silent amid criticism can cause even more damage, like it did for Dell following a negative review. Similarly, deleting negative posts, rather than responding to them, can also cause outrage. Avoid canned responses that feel too impersonal and robotic when addressing complaints.

Too often brands make social media mistakes and become the subject of a “what not to do” article, which results in bad publicity and potentially lost revenue. Avoid this by focusing on balanced content, security, attention to detail, engagement and responsiveness. Following these rules will help bring order and more followers to your social media accounts.