It is the classic movie scene where the not so socially savvy character enters the room and does something absolutely ridiculous. The reason it makes you laugh every time is because we have all had to overcome our own social inadequacies at one point or another; some before an audience and some in close company of family or friends. If you are a person who is always finding your foot in your mouth and making corrective attempts to explain your words or actions, then you may want to familiarize yourself with the rules of social networking etiquette to avoid being the social incompetent and embarrassing your business or brand.
Social networking is a giant monster operated by people communicating and connecting to build relationships and communities in the virtual world. Just as you have to give your neighbors and customers in the real world a certain level of respect and cordiality, a strong online community can only be built on the strongest of moral foundations. With social networking, you don’t have the benefit of face to face contact and you have to be ready to relinquish some control over your image and let your online identity learn to stand on its own.
When it comes to social networking etiquette there is one big rule you need to remember from the start. Nobody likes to feel like they are being advertised to. Therefore the biggest trick to great social media marketing is to create an environment where your online community can give feedback, express their creativity, give an opinion and get some value out of having a connection with you. With proper social networking etiquette, you can achieve the most loyal customer base and best word of mouth advertising around.
Start by avoiding being a Fake. Don’t establish an alter ego online; go into your social media marketing campaign as yourself. Don’t try to deceive your followers, friends and fans. Just act as human as human can be in the online sense of the word. The more real and sincere you keep your postings the more receptive, interactive and loyal your fan base will become.
Strike up conversations that aren’t about you, your business or your brand. That’s right, share other people’s information. Whether relaying a fund raiser for one of your followers or advertising the sale of another local business, it is good social networking etiquette to keep the flow of information moving. Reach out to a new follower by questioning them about their own post and sparking more involvement from even more people. Showing a genuine interest in what your followers have to say shows respect and you will achieve respect for your own expertise in return.
This brings us to the next rule of social networking etiquette; sharing your expertise at no extra charge and without strings attached. Don’t send people to your website to blindly search for information or to your sales pitch page to turn them off completely. Do your best to answer questions directly and with a real answer. Show that you aren’t out to capture a conversion, but to show that you know what you are talking about when it comes to your industry.
Pretty much the rules of the offline world apply to the online social networking realm as well. Use your social media marketing plan to have fun with your brand, learn more about your customer base and just bring an innovative edge to your business. The best way to let people know which social networks to find you on is to include a free FollowMe button from SocialFollow on your website, blog and pretty much anywhere online visitors may encounter your brand. From there, keep it real and watch what social networking can do for you.