Social media is a form of advertising that should not be ignored by any means. Social media advertising can work very well for small businesses who want to get exposure for their brand. I use social media extensively to promote my business and services. Being a business owner and trying to remain professional on all social media networks felt impossible to me when I first started using social media to promote my business.
For example, I had used Facebook for years strictly for personal purposes and never for business. It was because of this that I didn’t know if I wanted to promote my business on the social media site. I primarily use the social media site LinkedIn to promote my business because it’s easy to interact with the people since they are mostly business professionals like me. However with Facebook, everyone on my friends list was on the site for entertainment purposes rather than business.
This forced me to figure out a proper way to “socialize” on social media so that I always come off as being politically correct. Here’s a list of the social media etiquette rules I follow when posting on social media sites that are more personal than business like Facebook:
- Post Status Updates That Focus on Recent/Trending News – The quickest and easiest way to engage your Facebook friends is to post links to recent/trending news that is being talked about all over the world. For example, posting links to news stories like the Trayvon Martin case or Michael Brown shooting and commenting on what happened with each of those incidents got a lot of likes from my FB friends. They paid attention to my Facebook profile that day because I posted about something that was on everyone’s mind.
- Post Status Updates That are Positive, Helpful, & Uplifting – I always post positive statuses that encourage people to be the best they can be in life and their career. I discuss my career a lot on Facebook because I want my Facebook friends to know what I do, how successful I am with it, and how they can be successful doing what they love to do as well. People notice the positivity and often take interest in what I do for a living since I talk about it so much. From time to time, I also post links to helpful blogs and website articles I write for my business website.
- Show That You’re Normal But Don’t Share Your Personal Business – In my opinion one of the worst things about Facebook is the level of personal information people share on the site. I am a strong advocate for keeping your personal business off of Facebook. I typically only discuss certain topics on Facebook (as I outlined above). I will post pictures of myself and my family from time to time but only to show my Facebook friends that I am a normal person outside of my business life. It’s the best way I can relate to them the most without being too personal.
However you use social media (whether for business or personal reasons) be mindful of the information you post and share. Think about what you will post and how will be received before you click the post button. I re-read all of my Facebook status updates several times before I post (to be sure I like the post). I suggest you do the same otherwise you could face backlash or hurt your career as a result of posting something one of your friends or connections did not like.