Social Media Marketing Etiquette: How To Be Successful, Not AnnoyingWednesday May 30th, 2012
When planning your social media marketing efforts, think about what your fans and followers want to see, and what they'll respond to. If you want to get the most out of your content and conversations, follow this list of social media tips and avoid the faux pas.
What kind of social media personality are you? Are you a listener? Are you a continual retweeter? A super sharer? A thought leader? A social media expert? Or, are you just an asshole?
But seriously, it’s good to know what your fans and followers enjoy when it comes to their time on social networks, as well as what they want to see, hear, share and respond to. It’s also important to be aware of the faux pas that lose you fans, or result in negative or no engagement. I’ve noticed a handful of things that really seem to work, and others that don’t.
What People Like
- Posts with photos. It may be an obvious one, but its worth reiterating that photos are shared a lot more often than links and status updates, especially on Facebook. Links with eye-catching thumbnails attached to them also perform better than those without.
- Longer posts, within reason. Short and sweet isn’t always the best. This article shows that longer posts or status messages on Facebook are often seen as more valuable.
- When you interact in a genuine and human way. People naturally can sense when you’re being even slightly impersonal or self-serving.
- When your purpose is to inform, entertain or help your fans, without asking for anything.
- When you talk about them. Shane Snow says the best influencers focus on other people.
What People Don’t Like
- Talking about yourself, all the time, and nothing else.
- Auto-posting the same content to every social profile you have, without formatting the content to fit the network you’re re-posting to. The key here is making sure the message makes sense in the context of the social network.
- Saving up content and then posting five times in a row like a machine gun. People don’t like it when you hijack their feed.
- Complaining about your personal life from a professional account.
- Asking questions that are too open-ended or are too obviously attempting to cast out a big net looking for conversation. Who really answers a question like, “What food do you like to eat when it rains on a Thursday?” No one. Your question must elicit responses that show passion or opinion and make your fans feel like they can respond with substance.
- Retweeting every mention or compliment you receive.
- When you title yourself the “king,” “ninja,” or “guru” of anything. Whether it’s true or not, calling yourself an “expert” is even pushing it.
What type of voice gets the best results?
Well, it depends on the content you are sharing and who you are. If you’re promoting your own work or brand, it makes sense to start a conversation around the content to help generate conversation. Broadcasting open-ended questions to your fans will often get you the silent treatment, but if it’s about something tangible, or related to content you are posting (especially if it’s visual), you may see some engagement. Posts that start with directives (“Check this out and respond…”) or compliments (“What a great video…”) usually don’t perform as well. People don’t like to be told what to do, and once you compliment something, there’s not much for the fan or follower to do except look and move on.
Should I promote myself?
Promoting things you’re passionate about is fine, but are you balancing how much self-promotion is mixed in with other content? I agree with Alex Mathers, that you should keep any ‘selling’ to about 10% and the rest to 90%.
What Time Of Day Gets the Best Results?
Well, for the most part people don’t turn off social media after work hours, but they stop being as active. Don’t post or tweet important content during evening or weekend hours, unless your product or service is in a more casual lifestyle category and is more relevant for evening browsing or shopping. For Twitter and Facebook, stick to 1-4 pm on weekdays to get the best results. Here’s some more specific information about timing your social activity.
Maybe you have your own pet peeves or tricks for getting the most out of your social media efforts. Because we think it’s relevant, please share your ideas if you have them.