In this article we’re going to focus mainly on the dos and don’ts of social media as a means of communicating with a user base, though some of our picks will also be useful for social media usage that is more personal, not necessary as a tool of SEO, marketing or general business related communications. Given the nature of social networks and social media, the boundaries between communication for a specific purpose, and image creation and management are rather blurry, and thus, some of items in our list can work in many different scenarios.
Don’t focus on yourself
Yes, it’s social media, and it is about yourself, but avoiding painting yourself as selfish (or your company/product/entity you’re supporting) is very important. Basically don’t talk about yourself exclusively, try and combine promotion with material that only reflects your standpoint, rather than have you or your products at the center.
Do value adding contributions
Think of social media as a forum of people that need both to be entertained, informed but also think about the value of your posts. Value can be hard to ascertain, but if you ask yourself if a post is valuable you should always try and consider it from a vanguard of whether or not what you’re linking to, adding, has any value, it teaches something, it communicates something positive or not.
Try and build up a social media following organically. Especially given that you are talking directly to people that can formulate opinions and turn against you or mis-represent you, it is better to have patience and put in the time rather than use shortcuts to build a following.
Do avoid having an opinion on things that don’t matter
Sometimes, having no stated opinion on a subject is a better stand to take than to always get your 2 cents across any time a certain subject seems to be gaining ground and traction. Think about your audience, the reason why they follow you and try and cater to them what is important.
Don’t use pictures that don’t belong to you!
You might not realize it, but using content that is not yours, other than links, is a definitive no-no on a social platform. Especially if you’re a company or spoke person for a certain product or service, you want to be the producer of the content you share, video, pictures, etc. In other words, don’t plagiarize!
Do try being authentic
We realize that authenticity is a very complex problem and that it can be looked at in so many different ways. Authenticity, if anything, is a way of conducting yourself that doesn’t seem contrived, and, as much as you can get to that, you should always have this as a value for your online communications.
Don’t use excessive automation
Sometimes, automation can work for you, but there are times when automating content entries can be very easy to spot. The problem is that you’ll look more or less as a ghost, as someone that doesn’t really care for the communications you’re a part of online, and your user base will simply begin to ignore your content, thus reducing the effectiveness of your posts.