(These rules are loosely adapted from the 2018 All for Content conference)
By Simona Colletta – International Media Relations Specialist, Paris
Social Media is changing the way businesses interact with customers. The way a brand conducts business through social media is a direct reflection of the company. In a world where there are etiquette guides for almost any situation, it should not be a surprise that a communication tool such as social media, which has such a cultural impact, also comes with its own codes of common courtesies and manners.
Brands in particular need to respect this etiquette, since social media is a public forum. One wrong move can have serious consequences for your brand reputation. As a wise man says, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently." (1)
Here are the 10 Commandments that we all should follow in 2018 to raise our reputation:
- Thou Shalt Respect the User: The average user in 2018 has subscribed to three social media channels, and this is probably because he/she has a different purpose for each one of them. This is why you shouldn’t post the same content on different networks. Think about a user who would see the same post on Twitter and Facebook for example. What would he think about your company? Probably that you are not good at Social Media, or maybe that you are just lazy.
- Thou Shalt Prefer Quality to Quantity: You should keep in mind to post content for the user, not for you! So, instead of sharing compulsively, take the time to pay more attention to your content and to consider who you are addressing.
- Thou Shalt Think Mobile First: 81% of Facebook users connect from their mobile phone (2), and we all use mobile differently than our laptop … we handle it vertically and we check it for a short time, but very often. So every time you post something, think twice and ask yourself, “Is this going to be readable on a mobile screen?”
- Thou Shalt Bring About Emotions: As it is difficult to catch the attention of users, emotions are a good way to prevent them from scrolling away. Choose something that switches on an emotion: laughter, admiration, surprise, nostalgia…or even anger! This will generally keep the user around for a few more seconds to know more about what you are trying to communicate.
- Thou Shalt Make the Most of Video: If you are posting a video on Facebook, for example, do not simply copy/paste a YouTube link: it is proven that a native video has a higher reach (and a better look!). You can also consider a vertical video, not too long, and that can be watched without audio (mobile first, mobile first, mobile first!)
- Thou Shalt Tell your Audience a Story: If everyone talks about story telling for years, it’s probably because it works. Most of the social networks today propose a “Story” function, so why don’t you give it a try? Additionally, your story will appear on top of the page, as the hour of the post is not taken into account.
- Thou Shalt not Become your Brand: Keep in mind that you are a person, so don’t just become a sales tool for your company … talk about your experience, knowledge, share what you write. This will be much more appreciated by people, and it will reflect a nice image of your company, because they have a smart person on the team!
- Thou Shalt Embrace the Ephemeral: We know that content on social networks has a short life, on some of them like Snapchat even shorter, but this adds a value to it, because the user knows he/she won’t be able to see it later. So don’t run away from ephemeral, embrace it!
- Thou Shalt Test the Live Video: Live video is also known as “The King of User Engagement,” and additionally it creates a stronger connection with the user. The simplest use of video is to document a live event. Other ideas can be to organize a live survey, question & answer sessions with an expert, or a live product presentation.
- Thou Shalt Offer Conversation: This one is maybe the most important rule of etiquette to follow, because social media are above all a place of exchange. Try to respond to all comments and messages as quickly as you can. Have a person in charge of it, and if you can’t, well, bots are there for that purpose.