Social Media Do's & Don'ts
Even if you don’t have an active personal social media presence, it’s vital that you cultivate compelling, helpful, well-connected social media profiles for your business. Successful online marketing has become a winning strategy for businesses of every kind, and if you are doing your own marketing, it’s time to dive right in.
It’s understandable if you’re a bit overwhelmed at the thought of interacting with thousands of people online; it’s tough to stay on top of social media etiquette, especially when it can seem like the rules change frequently. If you’re one of the many business owners who only occasionally logs in to your social media accounts, it might be difficult to navigate the many nuances that govern online interactions.
Fortunately, there are some clear Dos and Don’ts that hold true across all platforms and won’t change anytime soon. Here are the rules you can trust when it comes to business social media etiquette, whether you’re mastering Twitter, Facebook Instagram or LinkedIn.
DO: Create, Complete, or Update Your Social Media Accounts
When someone visits your social media pages, it’s essential that their first impression helps support the idea of you as a poised and prepared professional. A half-completed or “under construction” profile feel won’t help you achieve that goal.
Set a clear timeline to get your social media pages up and running! Be thoughtful and descriptive but keep things short and punchy as much as possible.
DON’T: Mix Your Business and Personal Accounts
Ideally, your business brand is fully separated from your personal online presence. Don’t share personal content on your business page or use your personal accounts to message clients. By keeping your business contacts separate from your personal social interactions, you’ll avoid advertising to your loved ones and likewise protect your personal information from being seen by business contacts or clients whom you don’t know well.
DO: Post Regularly
It’s fine to plan to interact with your online community daily, but if you’re trying to determine how often you need to post to stay on your audience’s radar, research shows that twice a week is optimal. This will allow you to create fresh, engaging content without coming across like a spammer.
DON’T: Post Repetitively
None of us want to check in on pages we follow only to see the same content posted and re-posted all the time. We only stay connected to pages that offer new content, or at least fresh perspectives on a previously discussed topic.
For example: it’s helpful to post an article discussing the housing market from three years ago if there’s a new analysis that might give today’s buyers and sellers some insight. However, recycling an old article just to post something isn’t a winning tactic for keeping today’s online audience engaged.
DO: Be Transparent and Authentic
Consumers today are savvier than ever when it comes to detecting insincerity in advertising. The best way to stand out and make a good impression is to be as warm, kind and genuine online as you are with your clients when they’re in your office.
Ideally, your business presence online will represent you at your professional best. Like many of us, however, you may one day make an error or social gaffe. If that happens, face up to it bravely and humbly, and seek to make it right—publicly—as soon as possible. Online, just like in the real world, this approach is invariably the correct choice.
DON’T: Use Your Business Pages to Broadcast Your Personal Thoughts
While it’s important to be honest, it’s equally critical to be tactful and diplomatic. Your business page is not the place to share personal thoughts or opinions, so avoid any topic that might potentially be divisive or controversial. Remain focused on growing your business, serving your clients, and building connections between people throughout your community, and you won’t go wrong.
DO: Use Your Platform to Help
Follow the 80/20 rule: eighty percent of your content should be helpful content designed to inform and empower your community. The other twenty percent can be focused on your business, but be sure you’re not posting repetitive spam, even on your “self-focused” posts.
DON’T: Log in Just to Advertise
When you log in to your accounts, remember that you’re there to see how you can connect with your community online and build on to those connections over time. Try not to jump on, post about your business activity, and log right out. It’s vital that you continue to interact positively with anyone who posts, asks a question, or leaves you a review.
DO: Be Responsive
It may not be feasible for to you to respond to clients within minutes at all hours of the day, but make it a priority to respond to all communications across all social media platforms and email addresses as soon as possible. This might mean that eventually you spend an hour or two per day getting back to people who reach out to you online, but the benefit to your reputation and business will be well worth your time!
People love reaching out when they know you’re going to do your very best to respond quickly. Attention spans are shrinking; always remember that new connections may have reached out to several agents. You want to be the one who responds first.
DON’T: Be Desperate
You’ve got to balance your availability, though, and never use your social media accounts to try to blatantly drum up business or beg for likes and shares. Your audience should decide to share your content or your information organically, as a result of your outstanding service or info-packed articles.
Over time, what you post online forms a clear representation of you and your business style, whether you decide to be intentional about your choices or not. That’s why it’s always best to be thoughtful with your content.
Most importantly, if you are truly passionate about being a helpful, successful and client-focused real estate agent, that will shine through in your social media interactions.