Social media is becoming a popular platform for marketers because of its reach and easy way of spreading message or product news. According to Wikipedia, “Social media marketing is the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media websites”. Nowadays, in the age of internet, electronic word of mouth (eWOM) has become the most important factor when it comes to branding and marketing, as it is earned by a brand by the internet users.
Perhaps the most important thing in social media marketing is the ability for brands to get close to its consumers and potential customers. But there is a limit to that closeness. Here this article will provide ideas about the etiquettes that a business has to maintain while dealing or interacting with customers in social media.
Whether it is a big brand run by professional digital marketing professionals or a small brand run by a single person, everybody needs to maintain certain social media etiquette standards. This behaviour is going to change the way customers perceive you and lead to better implementation of your brand’s marketing strategies. As social media is open and everything is transparent, one needs to carefully tread on this path.
Let us look at some of the important etiquette that a business needs to have while marketing their services or products and interacting with customers:
Post according to your target audience
This might not look like a case of general etiquette, but sometimes it is necessary not to hurt the sentiments of the audience you are catering to. Before posting anything a detailed analysis of the posts should be done to look at it from every possible angle. What may seem funny to a certain group may turn out to be utterly racist and sexist to another group. Know your audience well enough not to mess it up.
Don’t post offending posts just for the sake of getting attention
Sometimes a controversial thing leads to notoriety and it becomes viral. But it should be well understood that notoriety is not another solution to fame and should not be used for gaining attention. It is a terrible and a bad method, which may damage a brand beyond reparation. Let us look at a blunder that is done by msn to garner engagement:
Don’t spam other pages
We often come across irritating comments which are totally unrelated to the subject and often kill the flow. Comments like “Follow this page for the latest news… Get free coupons at this page… blah blah blah…” are highly unethical and badly taken. Earn your reputation by providing good content instead of spamming others’ feed.
Follow the 80:20 rule
Putting up only posts, tweets or videos about your own organisation is going to bore your followers to death and ultimately the “unlike” graph will start to rise. Not only that, it is not a good social behaviour to brag about yourselves all the time you post something. You need to provide other aspects of life too that the followers can relate to. Use the 80;20 rule; which defines that 80% of your postings should be unrelated to a company’s products or services.
Don’t attack your competitors unless it is in a sporting manner
Badmouthing competitors will not gain you more customers, but will give a bad image in front of both your existing and potential customers. A little friendly banter is not harmful but do not go on a full-scale warfare with any competitor. Always try to play safe and take any direct challenges as a thing of humor.
Her and reply customer complaints with care
Never forget to reply to any customer complaints. It is a bad etiquette and you will lose some of your valuable customers. Also remember to be always polite and understanding in your replies, so that they will not get offended. Hear out their queries patiently and if possible, take their complaints to your customer care service. And above all, be fast in your replies. Nobody likes to be kept waiting.
Be apologetic you are wrong and have blundered
Do not let your ego shadow good customer relationship. If you have been wrong or updated something offensive, you should apologies without thinking twice. This will help you to increase your public relation rating with your customers.
As far as possible don’t discuss anything related to politics, religion and other sensitive topics
Just stay far away from any sensitive topics that might bring misunderstanding among your customers. It is a good policy to stay away from topics like politics and religion, unless you are somehow associated with it. Prevention is always better than cure.
There are a lot of other things that need to be maintained and most of them are industry-specific. To not create any etiquette issues, the best thing is to give it a thought before making any social posts, tweets, etc. go public. It is always good to be on the safe side and take everything in a friendly manner.