I've been to a lot of social media training courses in my time. And I mean a LOT. There are some fabulous ones out there, and of course, a few varying opinions. It's nice to see that there are some golden rules out there - don't spam, and don't steal, for example - which apply uniformly, and pretty much without exception.
Here at BQ towers - because that's never an annoying phrase - I've been having some in-depth conversations with businesses about the rights and wrongs of social media etiquette. And it definitely seems that, in a number of cases, there's no uniform right and wrong... but do businesses know that?
Here's the top seven things that your users might love or loathe about social media:
1. Putting @ mentions at the end of tweets. It’s great to get lots of tweet visibility, we recognise that. But forcing your followers to look at your half of all conversations you have can be annoying, and isn’t particularly constructive.
2. 'Thanks for the follow' and other tweets/facebook posts the general public have no interest in. Two way communication with your customers is what social media is for, but by involving all of your fans/followers like this you might disengage with some.
3. Retweeting ALL of your @ mentions. It’s great to show your followers that you have customers that really enjoy your products and services. Beware, though, as too many too often can feel a little ‘desperate’
4. 'Clickbait' social media messages - you won't believe what happened next! – they create clicks, but they don’t create brand loyalty, and there’s little evidence they create any kind of sale.
5. Emojis - the little face icons. It's worth remembering that different platforms, and different people, can interpret these icons differently!
6. Hashtags. Have some well established uses on different platforms, specifically Twitter. But be careful before you use them. They’re often hijacked by spammers, phishing scams and clickbait adverts – or worse. Plus, overuse can make tweets very difficult to read. The #trend for hashtagging #verbs seems to have #passed.
7. “Comment, like and share to win.” There’s growing scepticism about many of these so-called competitions which rarely seem to conclude with an obvious winner, and in the long term can be very de-valuing to brands, specifically if they regularly post the same content. But, no doubt, they can really stir up an immediate response.
So, what do you think? Did you know some of these things can be negative not positive, and do you care? Is it ultimately just about 'brand personality'? Comments welcome below, or you can find me just here.