Social media began as a tool for friends to communicate, and quickly grew into a vehicle for all types of communication. It leaves a lot of room to express thoughts and ideas creatively. However, when it comes to using social media for professional marketing purposes, it’s essential to understand the appropriate way to craft your online content.
Keep It Professional
Before you hit the send button on any social post, ask yourself this question: “Would I say this in front of my boss or a potential client?” Sometimes using colorful language can be tempting in order to emphasize a statement or idea, but if it is not something that would fly in a traditional business environment then it shouldn’t be posted on your social either. This includes overtly sexual content or innuendos, strong political statements, and any religious viewpoints – that is, if none of these are connected with your company or brand.
While your audience is going to want to get to know you better, there is a fine line between establishing familiarity and giving too much away. Keep the private details about your life or work where they belong – offline. Steer clear of gossip and negative commentary about people you know or work with. In fact, don’t post negative complaints or whine about your company or the work you do. The same can be said about boasting too much or too loudly. Showcase the type of personality that you yourself would like to get to know better, and potentially do business with.
Don’t Be Hasty
Proofread your writing… every time. Do your best to be grammatically sound. Look for typos. Read it out loud to look for missteps in voice or tone. If you can, have someone look over it for you. It is astounding how one simple error can be seen as a lack of intelligence. Double-check your links before sharing them, as you never know where they might actually lead to.
It’s important for any business to create and maintain a brand image for their company. Social media is an important touchpoint for branding, and all posts should be molded with that in mind. Don’t mix your personal and business social posts. If you are going to post personal information in order to attain rapport with your followers, be sure to keep it on brand and relevant.
Have a plan in place to monitor engagement (likes, comments, shares, and tags) on all your platforms. Don’t allow your hard work to be damaged by someone else’s lack of professionalism. There are individuals and companies that will target a social page and ‘spam it’, sometimes with extremely inappropriate material. This can damage your reputation and viewership. You must keep on top of this and nip it in the bud should it occur.
Just like crafting a work email, it takes effort and intention in order to use social media for business in an appropriate way. As with your real-life reputation, your online persona is molded by your words and actions. This will determine who will follow and do business with you.
How About You?
What have you found to be the most effective way to craft and share your content while maintaining professionalism?
Beth is a Certified Professional Social Media Manager, and Founder/CEO of Social Bridges.
She and her team are dedicated to providing results-driven social media marketing strategy and services to busy business owners and entrepreneurs, so they can connect their brand to their audience through the proper social network(s).
Additionally, Beth provides classroom and individual instruction, coaching, and strategy consulting services.
This blog originally appeared on the Social Bridges Website in March, 2016.