Strengthening Your Social Media Presence: Understanding Proper Etiquette

Social Media Presence

In our last installment of the “Strengthening Your Social Media Presence” series, we will be covering the importance of knowing and using correct social media etiquette to interact with your following. By now, you have already improved the quality of content you promote through your social media outlets and have begun to build a sturdy foundation of followers. At this point, the trick is to keep those followers happy with how you interact with them and present your brand online. By proving to your followers (and potential followers) through social media networks that you’re “in the know,” they’ll be more likely to be happy subscribers via your email list. The last thing you would want is for a follower that is considering opting in to think less of your content or brand because of a silly mistake that you are unaware you’ve made.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when posting on all social media accounts to prevent an offensive or ignorant faux pas:

Don’t rely on scheduled messages for 100% of your communication.
While it’s recommended to use social media management tools such as Argyle Social or Hootsuite to schedule messages ahead of time across multiple channels, do not rely on pre-planned messages for all of your communication. As we mentioned in prior installments, the whole point of social media is to be, well, social. If you are setting messages to broadcast ahead of time but never checking to see if anyone has responded, you’re losing valuable opportunities to interact with your following. This will make all of your communication come across as robotic or fake, damaging your reputation as a social leader. The last thing you want as an email marketer is for possible subscribers to assume that all of your messages are robotic and spam-like.

Keep your branding consistent across all channels.
If your social media account was created to promote your corporate brand, make sure that is evident within .018 seconds of looking at your page – Is the user name similar to your organization’s name? Can we see your logo (or at least any picture that is not a default picture or egg)? Have you customized your page? Have you added diverse graphics (NOT stock photos)? Part of being social is having a unique identity and being easy to find.

Be mindful of what you post.
While posting snarky comments or “trolling” profiles may be socially-acceptable for a 15 year-old, it most certainly is not for a brand. You’re bound to get a negative post here and there on your page, but don’t respond within public sight. If it’s an irate customer, you may comment back along the lines of “We’re sorry that you feel that way. Contact us at and we will get this taken care of as soon as possible.” If it’s just an obnoxious person who won’t leave you alone, address matters via a private message. Also, try to stay away from the obvious: polarizing, offensive, or mudslinging issues typically don’t bode well when it comes to public relations.

Perhaps this is just personal preference, but you won’t convince someone to sign up to receive emails from you if your posts are riddled with misspelled words and grammatical errors. Make sure to double check spelling, punctuation, and grammar before broadcasting your message to the online world. Also, make sure articles you post do not direct the reader to a competitor’s site, a dead link, or offensive content. Obviously making mistakes are a part of being human, but no one wants to see you make the same mistake repeatedly.

Now that you’ve been briefed on the wonderful world of social media, it’s time to get to work: Kick start with interesting content, build a foundation of loyal followers, and be mindful of proper social media etiquette. You now have the tools to help you build a successful, engaged social media campaign that will aid in future email list-building endeavors. If there’s anything we failed to cover in this series that you would like to know more about, feel free to comment and we’ll address it.

Sarah Zibanejadrad
Inbound Marketing Coordinator, WhatCounts

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  1. Sarah, what do you think about commenting on other people/page’s statuses? Your article focuses more on stuff you post yourself, but I think that participating in other conversations is important too

    • I agree with you, Andrew. Social media is definitely about being social – which means actively seeking conversation opportunities with other people. Answer a question for them, give them advice, compliment them on something… Follow your instincts on what conversation-starter is best.
      I really enjoyed this article, Sarah!

      • Dawn, I’m glad that you enjoyed it. Thanks for your input, as well – Great advice!

  2. Responding to social followers is essential. Whether they make a positive or negative comment, you should thank them and if there is an issue, tell them what you will do to fix it. Ignoring comments is the worst mistake that brands make. Followers want to know that you appreciate them. If you ignore them they may stop following you and eventually stop buying from you.


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