If you are using social media for business, you most likely have seen a wide variety of common practices from other businesses. However, although they are common, are they actually the proper way to network online?
The answer: What is right for one business may not be right for another one. Depending on what your goals are for social media marketing, typically determines how you network. However, there are obviously common Don'ts that span across every type of business on every type of platform.
9 Etiquette Don'ts for Social Media Networking
1. Don't write a sales pitch for every post. It doesn't matter if you are on LinkedIn, Google +, Facebook, or Twitter, it is never okay to push your products on your followers during every interaction. If you are doing this, you may want to quickly put it to a stop.
2. Don't beg people to follow or share your stuff. Sure you can ask once in awhile, but always asking others to share your page or your tweet can become a little desperate. If you have an important message to get out or you want to reach a milestone of hitting a certain number of followers, by all means ask for help, just be sure it isn't the only thing you are doing.
3. Don't send out a bunch of posts at once. It doesn't matter what platform you are using, you can schedule your posts so they are not bombarding your followers all at once. Even Facebook has a scheduler right on the page, so use it and space them out by at least an hour or so.
4. Don't post your links all over other people's real estate. Think of someone's wall or profile as their property. You need to treat it with respect. Don't spam them with your links, unless of course they are asking for a bit of information.
5. Don't make a group or hangout all about you. Whether you are part of a Facebook group, LinkedIn group, or Google+ Hangout, don't use these platforms to talk about you. The key here is to engage and build relationships. Answer questions and become the expert in your field.
6. Don't ask someone to follow or like you back. Ick, if there is one thing that can feel very icky, it is this. First off, you don't want connection only for the like or the follow. You want to build conversations and engagement. If you like a page or retweet a Tweet, people will automatically check you out. If they like what they read, they will become a fan organically.
7. Don't play a numbers game. You don't need to have thousands and thousands of followers to be successful with social media. When you stop focusing on the numbers and needing more, you can begin focusing on the people you are already connected to. Build real relationships.
8. Don't forget to interact. Be sure you are interacting with your fans and followers. Acknowledge them when they post a question or comment. Retweet the information that will help your followers. Social media is a game of: You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.
9. Don't forget to move beyond the computer. To really help solidify a relationship, don't be afraid to have a phone call or coffee with a new connection. Plan to talk live to learn how you can support each others businesses. You may even end up with a new client or a referral partner.
Every business has their own goals for social media marketing outcomes. Whether you are interested in creating buzz about your business, brand awareness, growing your list, or diving traffic to your website, showing proper etiquette when networking online is essential to your success.
Do you have a networking don't for social media? I'd love to hear it. Share below, so we can all learn from each other.