You’ve got your Facebook page up and running, maybe even a Twitter account. That’s a fantastic start but you may be wondering, now what? Use this list of do’s and don’ts from and get your social media presence off to a terrific start.

  • DO respond promptly to comments and questions. Social media users are accustomed to timely, if not real-time responses. If you will be using your social media sites as a customer service channel, a prompt response is essential.
  • DO learn the etiquette and terminology of the social media sites you are using. If you don’t know what specific hashtags or acronyms mean, do a quick web search and find out.
  • DO learn as much as you can about your target audience and actively seek out the right type of followers. For example, if your ideal customer is a 40-year-old business woman, find Facebook groups that appeal to her and join the conversation. Alternately, you could run a Facebook ad that specifically targets other users in your desired demographic.
  • DO run exclusive social media promotions. People follow your business page for many reasons, and access to exclusive discounts is one of them.
  • DO be social, but not too personal. Sharing behind the scenes photos of your business is a fun way to socialize with your followers without being overly personal. Keep your socializing on a professional level just as you would at a business mixer. This isn’t the place for idle gossip, swapping recipes (unless it’s related to your business of course), or posting cute pictures of your kids.
  • DO keep promotions to a minimum. The general rule of thumb is the 80/20 rule. That means out of ten posts, eight of them should be non-promotional in nature. This doesn’t mean posting eight cute pictures of your kids (see the rule above) and two coupons. Examples of non-promotional posts include links to interesting industry research, asking questions, sharing tips on how to use your products, and tips for solving a problem your target audience might have.
  • DO think of diverse ways to re-purpose content across multiple sites. For example, if you write a blog post about an industry report, you might post the most eye-opening stat on Twitter, ask your Facebook followers for opinions about a controversial one, and post an infographic on Pinterest.
  • DON’T post long videos. Short, 30-second videos are fine, but anything longer is likely to be perceived as an intrusion.
  • DON’T keep talking about yourself or your brand. Stop and listen.
  • DON’T make participating in a social campaign overly difficult. The easier you can make it for users, the better.
  • DON’T forget “what’s in it for me?” If you want your followers to take a specific action, think about what’s in it for them? Why would someone want to join your mailing list – what’s in it for them?
  • DON’T try to be on every social media site possible. There’s way too many of them. Pick a handful of sites that make sense for your business and its audience and focus only on those. Otherwise, you’ll wear yourself too thin.

Finally, DO keep plugging away at social media. Time and experience will make you better at it.

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