8 social media rules to always follow

8 social media rules to always follow

As a remote worker you will most likely be posting on social media to not only promote your own business but that of your clients. Especially if you are offering social media management as one of your services.

So what are the rules you need to take into consideration when posting on social media? Following are eight rules that you should stick by before hitting the post button.

Always Show Respect

When deciding to post something online, sometimes the last thing on our minds is what others will think about it, or how it will affect us later.

But when sharing our information, we must be respectful of our audience and refrain from using foul language or offensive material. Don’t use the material to argue or pick a fight with another user or member.

While a little controversy or a friendly debate can attract a larger audience, if pushed too far it can have the opposite effect. You can end up alienating your viewers and driving them away.

So before you post something online, whether a photo or an article, show respect to other users by considering how it would make them feel.

Remember:

• Be polite
• Be aware of how your content makes others feel
• Don’t try to argue or fight on a social media site
• Anything you post can come back to you or the business you represent

Stop and Think Before You Post

One of the best tools to prevent negative consequences to yourself or your business is to stop and think about something before you decide to post it.

Before posting a photo or new article, think about how it will affect you and your client. Will it appear negative or offensive? Is it something you should be sharing online? If there is any doubt in your mind, don’t post it.

When replying to a post, or making a follow-up remark, think twice before making angry comments or criticising others. Take a moment to think about what you want to say, and repeat it to yourself over and over again. Does it still sound like a good idea? Again, if you have any doubt or second thought in your mind, refrain from posting it.

Things to ask yourself before posting:

• How will this make me look?
• How will this look to the business?
• Will the breach policy?
• Will this share any unnecessary information?

Always Be Honest

When you are posting as an employee, be honest about your identity and your purpose. Don’t try to post anonymously or pretend to be someone else just to try and to post something the company would not find acceptable.

Make it clear that you are posting as a member or the company, but not as a formal representative since you do not speak for them. If you are posting an article or creating a web page, it is usually advised to add a disclaimer stating that you are the author of the page and are not under the direction of the company.

When asked who you are or where you received your information, be honest and don’t hide behind a username. Don’t try to be a ‘mole’ that posts about their company anonymously, either in a positive or negative manner. These types of posts can usually be tracked to their original authors and can be very embarrassing for you and the company.

Never Discredit or Talk Ill of Competitors

The main purpose of social media is to communicate and share ideas among people, not to use it for ill will or negative gain. When we see an ad or photo posted by a competitor, we may think we are doing our business a favour by posting negative reviews about their business or discrediting any findings they may have published.

A small part of us may even be convinced that our words will help navigate customers to our business instead. But these thoughts couldn’t be more wrong. When we try to post something to discredit or speak badly about our competitors, it makes our own business look petty and cheap. The plan backfires and discredits ourselves and our employer, causing negative publicity.

Remember:

• Keep negative comment to yourself
• Negative responses only generate more negativity
• Customers will not want to do business with mean employees

Be Transparent

Being transparent on a social media site means that that you are open and honest about your identity and your purpose. If you try to post as someone else or under the assumption of another person, you are not transparent about who you are, and it can cloud people’s judgment about you.

By hiding behind a name or a label, it makes people questions why you are posting and what kind of image you are portraying for your company. Not being transparent will make your audience question what your company stands for or represents. So always post on a website clearly and with open intentions. Don’t try to be sneaky or sly – it can backfire and cause more damage.

Act Like You Would in Real Life

Social media is not meant to act as a cloak to hide behind and disguise ourselves when we communicate with other people. Social media should be treated no differently than if you were speaking with someone face to face.

The words you choose to use online hold the same meaning as if you had said them in person. The actions you do online give a bigger impression than the actions or words you perform in real life.

Don’t try to boost your ego or sound bigger than you are, because this will only lead customers on and give the wrong impressions to other users on the site. As we’ve said, be transparent and don’t try to disguise your identity or purpose.

Remember:

  • You are the same person online and off.
  •  Your words hold the same meaning in person and online.
  • Your actions online speak louder than words said in person.

Grammar and Spelling Still Counts

The primary use of social media is through written communication, whether it is on a blog site, a written article or even just a personal web page. Because millions of people can view your site at one time, it is important to ensure that you are using the correct form of grammar and spelling.

It may seem like a minor thing to remember, but bad grammar or incorrect spelling can cause a negative representation on not only you but the company that employs you. It can misrepresent your education level and can discredit the knowledge you claim to possess.

Don’t just rely on computer spell check systems, since they do not always pick up every mistake. Be aware that you should always check your spelling and grammar!

One excellent tool is Grammarly that you can use to check your writing before publishing.

Never Post When You are Angry

A social media site is not a place for anger or negative emotions and feelings. When we are angry, we do not stop to think about our words or the effect they can have on people.

This is because our anger makes us focus only on ourselves and our feelings, which can distort how we portray ourselves.

This is why it is important that we do not post anything while we are angry or upset – it leads us to post things in haste and in a temper that we would not normally say, which can result in negative impressions and improper communications.

When we are angry, it is best to stay off of social media, so we are not tempted to post anything without thoroughly thinking about it.

Tips to remember when angry:

• Before posting anything, take a deep breath and think about what it for several minutes.
• Say what you want to post out loud to yourself. How does it sound?
• Determine if the words have the same meanings when you are angry and when you are not.
• If you feel you will be angry for a while, do not log onto a site to

So, before hitting post, makes sure you follow the above 8 rules and you will present yourself and your business in the best possible way.

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