Knowing how to behave on social media platforms can help build a positive business presence. Tom Merritt offers five tips on social media etiquette.
Social media. Everybody tells you you must be on it, then you go on and post something and get either no reaction, outrage, or a weird picture of a man in a deerskin cap. Why? What is happening? How do you use social media? Here are five tips for social media etiquette.
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- Ask to connect in your own words, for a good reason--don't use a template. Tell a person you're asking to connect with why you're asking. Are you in the same industry? Do you have mutual business connections/are they a potential customer? Be honest and don't spam.
- Your profile photo. It's best to play it safe here unless you really know the platform well. A clean well-lit photo of you in normal everyday attire will likely give the right impression of who people are talking to. Remember to have the light source behind the camera. And smile (normally, but smile).
- Talk to folks. If you get a comment or message, reply promptly, professionally, and personally. Maybe someday you won't have enough time to respond to everyone, but don't start out that way. Just like in real life, the more active you are, the more conversations you'll strike up and the more valuable connections you'll create. Ignore trolls, but there are actually fewer of them for most people than you might think.
- Read the tone of the room. While it's not wrong to lean toward the less professional, doing so on Instagram can be more casual than LinkedIn. Overly formal messages will stick out in an odd way just as much as overly familiar ones. See how people communicate on the platform and adjust accordingly.
- Make things better. Post positive contributions to the community that will really help people. Introduce folks you know would benefit from knowing each other. How you react online reflects on your business and that goes for the good as well as the bad, so be proactive.
Most of these won't help you much on TikTok I know, but if you're looking to build a business presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., they just might help there.
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