“Yes Ma’am.” “No Ma’am.” Napkin goes in your lap. No elbows on the table. These are the timeless table manners that were ingrained into most of our heads as young children. They’ve stayed in the corners of our minds, guiding our actions as we sit down to a nice meal and speaking volumes about our general togetherness. Social media etiquette, on the other hand, is rarely ever discussed and unfortunately leaves users with a confused sense of digital right and wrong. Knowing what behavior is appropriate and where is crucial in order to maintain an effective web presence for your brand. Feeling shaky on do’s and don’ts? The following are some of social media’s worst etiquette offenders and what you can do to avoid being one of them.
#TheHashtagAbuser: It may be hard to digest but hashtags on Facebook are not meant to be taken seriously. Yes, they may have started that way because of the success of trending topics on Twitter, but somewhere along the way hashtags on Facebook lost their legitimacy. Think of them almost as a running train of thought that you can use as a way to personify your posts. Milliennials (the dominant users of Facebook) are the key catalysts in this transition due to their simultaneous love for all things ironic and disdain for being overtly marketed to. If the end of your posts look something like this, #BigSale #Discount #Sale, you’re doing it wrong.
The Over-sharer: Chances are you know a brand guilty of this etiquette offense – your brand’s Facebook page is NOT a diary. Candid shots from around the office and even the occasional “Overheard at Insert Company Here” may have their place in your editorial calendar but passive-aggressively complaining about client issues, using foul language in abundance (unless that is part of your brand culture) and snarky comments in general have zero place on your company profile. There’s an art to being relatable but cross that line and you can singlehandedly undermine your brand’s integrity.
The Peacocking Retweeter: What is a peacocking retweeter? Any brand page that makes a habit out of retweeting something positive said about them for the sheer purpose of making themselves look better. Of course you want people to know about the compliment; that just reinforces that you’re doing a great job. However, it’s rude to simply retweeet and not offer some sort of acknowledgment in return. Expressing your gratitude actually works double time to strengthen your brand image because not only are you showcasing the original compliment, you’re also reinforcing that you have the decency to follow up.
The Political Pot Stirrer: In today’s age of political apathy, it’s important to know where you stand on key issues. That said, unless you’re a part of a politically motivated organization, keep your opinions far from the social media landscape. Political polarization is rampant and although you might feel like sharing your opinion on a particular issue in the heat of the moment, that one post could cost you the business of any follower who doesn’t share your particular stance. Be warned, the Internet’s predisposition to launch verbal assaults on anyone and everyone is a bear you REALLY don’t want to poke.
The Caption Infringer – If you repin something from another Pinterest user and keep their original caption, you’re not only a Grade A Caption Infringer but you’re also saying 1 of 2 things. Either 1. Your organization doesn’t care enough to take the time to say something original about the pin (implying that it must not have been that important anyway) or 2. You are basically committing social media plagiarism by leading your followers to believe that you authored that caption. You can avoid both of these problems by using some good old-fashioned original thought.
The Way-Too-Personal Poster: Unless Buddy from Cake Boss made you a 12-tier cake in the shape of your company logo, just say no to food pictures. Same goes for erroneous vacation shots or any other picture that would be far better served on your personal Instagram account. The beauty of Instagram is that it’s just one more way that you can humanize your business, but be weary of being too personal. An easy way to decide if a post is too familiar is to ask yourself this: Will this post work to reinforce my brand’s mission, goals or values? If the answer is even a little bit hazy, it’s probably best to skip it.
If you’re guilty of any of these social media etiquette offensives, fear not! All is certainly not lost. While everything we do on the Internet is out there for the world to see, digital consumers are being inundated with so much content every minute of every day that they’re liable to forget a large percentage of what they’ve seen almost as soon as they’re done seeing it. This means that social media wrongdoings of yore have a far better likelihood of being forgotten than ever actually needing to be forgiven. Just remember, there are millions of brands just like yours out there fighting for user attention. Don’t let a few preventable faux pas keep you from catching their ever-elusive eye.
Maria Orozova is the President and Creative Director of The MOD Studio, a boutique marketing & design agency based in Austin and the powerhouse behind many local and national brands. Together, Maria and the MOD Marketing team run strategic and engaging social media campaigns for a dynamic mix of consumer and B2B clients. For more information on effective social media techniques,
#TexasCEO's 10 Most Read Articles Of 2017 #2 The Changing Of The Guard: San Antonio’s #Economic #Development Future texasceomagazine.com/features… @SanAntonioEDF #1 Deep Roots In The Heart Of #Texas: The Kaspar Family’s #Holistic Approach To #Ranching texasceomagazine.com/features…
#TexasCEO's 10 Most Read Articles Of 2017 #4 @Jim_nyquist: At The Inflection Point Of #IIoT texasceomagazine.com/features… #3 Building #Innovation: @turner_talk Builds On Empowering Individuals texasceomagazine.com/features… @Turner_DAL @TurnerSouthTX #MiddleMarket #entrepreneurs
#TexasCEO's 10 Most Read Articles Of 2017 #6 The Cilantro Diaries: #Business Lessons From The Most Unlikely Places texasceomagazine.com/book-rev… @lgomez123 #5 From #Franchisee To #Franchisor: How Gordon Logan Built @SportClips texasceomagazine.com/features… #MiddleMarket #entrepreneurs
#TexasCEO's 10 Most Read Articles Of 2017 #8 #Mexico Is The New #China by @DrPippaM texasceomagazine.com/departme… #7 Growing The Next Generation Of Texas #CEOs: #CEO-to-CEO #Mentoring texasceomagazine.com/features… #Texas #MiddleMarket #business #entrepreneurs
#TexasCEO's 10 Most Read Articles Of 2017 #10 7 Top Trends That Will Shape #Texas In The Coming Decade by @KenGronbach texasceomagazine.com/departme… #9 Peter Huff Of @BlueSageCapital: A Generalist In The Specialized World Of #PrivateEquity texasceomagazine.com/features… #Texas #MiddleMarket