Social media is relatively built on freedom of speech and indeed it works well when there is a host of news and topics floating about on all the varied platforms for people to distribute, comment on and share.
When it comes to business, we have to think alittle different when it comes to using social media as we are not communicating our ourselves, we are infact being the voice of our brand and the type of social media content we release and engage with will have to be slightly different to when we act on social media under personal accounts.
Let’s look at some basic tips on what not to do if you are using social media as a business.
- Spam. It is poor practise on any form of marketing and social media is no different. Spamming can lead to account warnings and suspension as well as turning other users away from engaging with you.
- Talking politics, religion and some sports. All three subjects are fine of course, but we must take great care when involving ourselves in any of the three as they are usually healthly discussed in life, usually involving heated topics and debates and usually, no matter which angle you are coming from and opinion you have, you are most likely to offend someone. Re sport, football is usually the known topic to avoid as rivalry is very much alive on social media when it comes to discussing different teams and players!
- Tagging in people’s names without good reason. Certainly mention others when referring to them or sharing their content, but tagging in people can be seen as spamming especially if on business posts.
- Purchase fake followers, likes and views. It may be great to say you’ve 100,000 followers on Twitter cause you paid out 50$ to buy them online, but other social media users are now savy to what those who’ve purchased followers look like and spam/fake followers will no doubt spam you or the number you purchased will decline as the social media platform suspends – Please note, you can also be suspended from social media platforms for having purchased / falsefied your ‘numbers’.
- Not branding your profiles correctly. Look at social media as shop windows for your business, you wouldn’t have a window display in the high street with nothing in it or only half dressed would you? This should be the consideration you take also when branding your social media profiles – Make sure you correctly name them, have a full profile and brand them professionally in line with your current branding.
- Copyright infringement. Make sure that whatever content you share, be it blogs, images or videos, that you have full rights to use them or even better, they are orginal and belong to you as you created them! Do not forget that there are huge fines out there for using other people’s content, we constently hear about businesses being prosecuted for using other people’s legally owned content. Even the music soundtrack to your video uploaded to YouTube has to be yours or you have to have the rights to use it!
- Bad language or abbreviations. Certainly bad language or abuse should not be shared on social media and if you receive this kind of content directed at yourself, you must not react and instead report the incident via the correct channels within the social media platform it is received – All the major social media platforms make it easy to report abuse and copyright infringements etc. Abbreviations is less of a no, no on social media, but the usage of teen text style wording could confuse your followers and potential new clients, words such as the following are examples:
- IYKWIM If you know what I mean
- AFAIK As far as I know
- IMHO In my honest opinion