I would usually avoid telling people about Rules, but given that I observe so much gives me some right to point out the mistakes that most Brands / Social Media Managers are making on various Social Networks. However most of these mistakes happen when a single brand / social media manager is juggling between various platforms like blog, facebook, twitter, linkedin etc.
These small mistakes can cause huge damage in the Realtime world of Social Networking, where a single mis-managed broadcast can start an avalanche of negative comments aka not the kind of publicity you need.
Here are some new “Rules of Engagement” which I think everyone should follow:
- KISS – Keep it Short & Simple. Given that the multiple choices we have these days & the speed at which newer content is being shared, you would want to capitalize as much as possible in that short attention span of the user / fan / follower. (Wikipedia Link)
- Don’t Cross Post – Understand & Identify where your Brands Target Audience dwells, then post Content which is interesting to that audience. Several times Brands push out the same Content at the Same time to multiple platforms. This can be irritating to users who say follow both your Brand Page on Facebook & Twitter Account. If you have to Cross Post, give it some time in between. Use this time to gauge reactions from your various platforms.
- Stay Relevant – Posting too much content which has no relevance to your Brand Identity or Campaign on Social Networks can result in users Unfollowing your Brand altogether. Some will even go to the Extent of marking the content as Spam if its perceived that way.
- Give Credits where Needed – We are in a space where fans & followers can interact with brands in Realtime, meaning you not only have your own Content but you have the valuable feedback, comments, tweets etc. which can go on to show how you are doing your job being present on the networks. However remember to Give Credits to the content which is User Generated or Inspired. This will result in more engagement over time & builds trust.
- Avoid Scheduled Tweets – The whole Nature of Twitter is fluid & conversational. The system of Scheduled Tweets / Automated Posts don’t work well in the ecosystem. If people respond or ask questions for the automated tweets, you’ve got a problem on hand if you respond after a few hours or ignore those completely.
- Don’t be Rude – Or Negative to your fans, even if they are irked or mighty pissed at you. This is supposed to be a rule in PR as well, but responding in a Rude Manner on any of the Social Networks can damage your brand image faster than any other media. Deleting Comments / Tweets is also considered Rude, and there’s always someone who is fast at taking Screen Shots.
- Make Content Sharable – Although not a critical Rule of Engagement, making your content sharable across a variety of Social Networks can drive a lot of engagement for your Brand. Try adding buttons / links from services such as AddThis, Like from Facebook etc. Ask yourself, is your Email Newsletter Sharable?
Will add more as I will think of more to this list, meanwhile here’s something from Forrester Research:
93% of the Internet users active in social media say they expect a company to have a social media presence and to be able to actively engage with that company.
So “Engagement is Expected, Follow the Rules to Succeed.”