The Ten Commandments of Social Media

I recently came across this blog post and it got me thinking. You hear everyone saying, “you need to do social media”, and the truth is, you do! But this article is such a great example of how social media can hurt your business. Not doing social media correctly can truly backfire.

  1. People do not subscribe to social media primarily for deals. This is not the place to self promote. If your followers are looking for deals, there are plenty of websites for them to find deals, such as Groupon and Living Social. This doesn’t mean that you can’t run special deals for your followers, but you need to balance these promotions in a way that your readers don’t start to think that your sole purpose is “self promotion”.
  2. Share information. People are social, and they gravitate to social media for “interaction”. People want to interact. They want to tell you why they love your company, and they want you to tell them why you love them.
  3. DO NOT engage in social media if you do not have the time or resources to manage it. Putting your company on Facebook and Twitter, and then ignoring it sends a message that you just don’t give a crap. Truly, nobody wants friends like this.
  4. If you are a CEO, or you own a company, and you decide you need to be on social media, hire someone capable to do this job. This is not the job you use to promote your janitor to, or the job that you hire a high school dropout and pay $8 an hour. Think of this person as the “best customer service” representative you have in your company, but instead of talking to one follower, they are potentially talking to tens of thousands of them at a time. If you really don’t have a clue, sign up for a Facebook and Twitter account yourself, and use it for a month. Subscribe to your competitors and to brands you like. How does their social media presence make you feel about their company? Make yours better!
  5. Write and share posts that people want to share. Social media gives your followers the opportunity to see your company as “human”. What they read coming from your company is how they will feel about your company. If all you post are “deals” they will think you’re a self serving jerk that is only trying to use them for sales. Instead, write about current events, or showcase employees that go above and beyond.
  6. Social media is very important for your organic SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Google, Yahoo! and Bing are in the business of providing the best information they can to their users. The search engines spend a lot of time trying to validate “authority”. The reason being, they want to give their users the best results, and who gives a better result than a valid authority figure. Now of course, individual posts are not what they search engines look for, they look for “sharing”. Someone who takes the time to share an article, most likely would not do so if the article was not worth sharing.
  7. Social media is a relationship. Engage your followers. Solicit feedback. Be a good partner. Think about it. You have a customer that takes the time to read something you post on their feed daily. Social media is a two way street.
  8. When searching for ideas to post, try to be humorous. Funny posts tend to get more shares, but always consider that something that is funny to you may not be funny to others, so proceed with caution.
  9. It’s about quality, not quantity. One really useful post trumps ten garbage posts. Once people learn to expect garbage from you, they won’t listen anymore, AND they will expect that your company is garbage too.
  10. Treat your followers with respect. In terms of your customers, these are your best customers. They are your “promoters”. Just always keep this in the back of your mind at all times.

Now as promised, the article that inspired this post: Dear American Airlines, I’m Leaving You For Delta