As business owners we are regularly being told we must be visible on the Internet – Website & Social Media. We regularly hear “If you are not on the Internet then your business will die”. So frantically we create a website, tap into Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
So what is it saying about you?
You may already be a regular user of social media for personal use but now you need to separate personal and professional. The first rule to remember is once you are out there on social media it is public forever. The second rule is if you don’t want personal or professional information to be out there then don’t post it. Realistically if you have both personal and professionally different social media setups there is away for the public to see both and link them together- so be aware.
So how do you look your best on social media?
- Visual Presence. Readers appreciate visually appealing sites. So update your Facebook and LinkedIn photo. Customise your Twitter background and get creative with Pinterest. Professionally they should all have a common theme. So that you are easily recognised and always sending the same message.
- Set your security. Initially most security setting is minimal so it is important to reset them to meet your specific requirements. Don’t allow others to tag you in photos without your permission. Also do not allow comments to be placed on your blogs or website without your approval.
- Think before your respond. Sometimes your emotions overpower your fingertips. Think about what you want to say or tweet and then consider the consequences. If you are angry or frustrated wait an hour and you may save yourself ranting and raving – mostly embarrassment.
- Say what you mean and mean what you say. Everyone is busy, so if you say you will get back to someone within a period do your best to keep your word. This goes for contests, giveaways, advertising, guest posts etc. If you fail, apologise – it is common courtesy.
- Deliver useful information. It is much better to sell yourself by delivering useful informative information. Don’t do the hard direct selling pitch it will turn the reader off. Don’t post constant updates of where you are eating or shopping it is a waste of time for you and your followers.
- Use Proper Grammar . Today your posts are becoming a form of business communication and demonstrate the level of professionalism your business maintains. Remember to always double check grammar and spelling and avoid acronyms not everyone knows what they stand for.
- Consider your relationships offline. Do not allow any communications via social media to outrank phone calls or email. Returning phone calls should always be your priority. Answer emails within 24 hours and then get to social media.
- Don’t hog the network. The purpose of social media is interaction and communication. Let others in your network have their say. Allow others to comment and should views clash, politely explain your perspective.
Social Media is simply another marketing tool to reach your clients, colleagues and future clients. It should not replace direct personal communication and interaction.
Remember just because you are not physically present your social media etiquette is a direct reflection of your professional image and business.