Rules of Engagement in Social Media

2013-07-17 by Aaron Sarno

Public Relations Social Media

If you’ve ever wondered how to engage better on social media, you’re not alone. The world of Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest can be confusing—and most marketers are still trying to figure things out. When should you post? What should you post? What are the rules? To help answer these questions and give you more confidence in the online realm, take a look at the following tried-and-true principles.

When in doubt, these are the guidelines to follow:

Don’t Brag…

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make on social media is being too self-focused. If the only thing you post is your content, your products, and/or your press releases, you send the message that all you’re interested in is you. Promoting your own brand is fine, as long as it’s not all you post—Sandwich your promotional content amongst plenty of other, relevant, worthwhile updates.

Connection Is About Listening…

What you post on social media is only half the story—As in conversation, good communication involves both talking and listening. On social media, this looks like following other brands and users, sharing other people’s content, engaging in back-and-forth dialogue, and showing your audience you’re paying attention.

Respond to Comments…

Every time someone comments on a blog post, he or she is opening the door for connection. Make the most of these opportunities by always responding to the comments you receive. When your followers see you faithfully respond, they’ll be more likely to engage. What’s more, regular back-and-forth comments create a sense of community on your site.

Be Consistent…

Your social media activity is most powerful when it’s consistent. You must communicate the same voice across all your content to amplify its power. Likewise, aim to communicate regularly, whether that means blogging twice a week or every day. Set a goal and stick to it—This builds trust with your followers.

Think Visually…

Content paired with attractive photos generally performs better on social media than straight text on its own. Whether it’s Facebook, where updates with photos get more clicks, or Pinterest, where all content revolves around images to be shared, photos are powerful. To make the most of your status updates or blog posts, round them out with beautiful images.

Be Generous…

If there’s one top secret in social media, it’s this: Be generous. When you establish your brand as one that is generous and helpful, your fans notice. Plus, being openhanded is its own reward, too: Most social media users find the Internet to be a more engaging, enjoyable place when they practice regular kindness.

Your Thoughts

Looking at the above checklist, how well are you adhering to the rules? Do these activities define the way you’re relating to your audience online? If not, maybe it’s time to change. By adhering to these rules of engagement, you set yourself up for online success.

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