Etiquette refers to a code of rules governing behaviour in society. As human beings we understand that good manners and etiquette are important for making good impressions on the people around us. For example, when we cough, we say ‘excuse me.’ When another person sneezes, we say ‘bless you,’ and when we knock into someone, we apologise. It’s just polite!
It’s the same with social media for business. Social media can be an incredibly powerful tool when marketing your company, but not if it doesn’t generate ROI. The key to social media marketing is selecting the platforms your prospects are engaging with, and following best practice and etiquette guidelines when interacting with them.
Social etiquette on Facebook
“There are over 1 billion total Facebook users worldwide.” - Statista
As one of the biggest and most powerful social media platforms, Facebook should not be ignored. Although the majority of users are not actively pursuing business information, it can be a valuable tool to show the social and human aspect of your company.
Humanise your brand. Use the less formal nature of Facebook to build relationships with people and gain their trust.
Be a friend. Did someone ask a question, or for a recommendation? Message them directly and offer them your expertise.
It’s okay to include a self-promoting marketing post in amongst the social updates, but keep them to a minimum and spend more time joining in existing conversations.
Social etiquette on Twitter
“There are 500 million total Twitter users worldwide.” - Statista
With a focus on short, punchy posts and conversations built on common interests, Twitter is a great tool for engaging with a community who communicate openly and regularly.
Don’t just talk business. If you met someone at a networking event your conversation would be a mix of both business and personal life, and it’s the same on social media.
If someone ‘follows’ you and you work in the same industry or have something professional in common, it’s polite to follow them back. You can also send them a quick welcome tweet, as you would if you were meeting someone for the first time in real life.
Use automation sparingly. Twitter is about relationships, and although sending out automated tweets can save time, adding fresh content and personal thoughts will increase the likelihood of engagement.
Social etiquette on LinkedIn
“In 2014, LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.60%, four times higher than Twitter (0.67%) and seven times better than Facebook (0.39%)” - Statista
Generally speaking, for a B2B company, LinkedIn will generate the best ROI. With 300 million users worldwide, it can be a powerful way of connecting with an established community of professionals.
Join LinkedIn Groups. These are collections of like-minded professionals who share information and take part in specific discussions. By joining in, you can see what your prospects are talking about and understand their concerns and pain points.
If someone comments on your discussion, engage with them. Ask questions, make suggestions and keep the conversation going.
Don’t sell, talk. Rather than pushing your company’s offerings and heavily self-promoting, position yourself as a helpful member of discussions.
When used correctly, LinkedIn can be a priceless tool in social selling - enabling thought leadership, relationship building and trust generation. For a more in-depth guide to social selling on LinkedIn, download our free eBook ‘B2B Social Selling on LinkedIn.’