Social Media Top 10 lists. Everyone has one of these. Okay, maybe not everyone, but those who engage in proactive social media do. The phrase that gets tossed around a lot is “best practices.” I love that! I think all businesses should have a “Best Practices Handbook” of some sort. Policies are important, but what you do, your “practices” on a daily basis, those go beyond policy and should always be tackled at the very best level. So, here is the public posting of Polka Dot Impression’s best practices, or rather, the 10 Commandments of Social Media as we see them.
1. Thou shalt always be honest in social media platforms. This seems obvious, but even the obvious is worth stating when it’s this vital to your online impression. If you don’t believe it, don’t say it. If you can’t do it, don’t promise it. It’s that simple.
2. Thou shalt strive to give value or insight. Be relevant to those who engage with you. Not everything you say or do will change the world, but it should be of value or purpose. Aim to help your customers be more successful in their own lives, however it is that they overlap with yours.
3. Thou shalt become a resource. Provide a sense of community where others can come for information, support, and interaction in the market niche you serve.
4. Thou shalt promote conversation. Don’t “bark” through the social media channels all day long about your services. Look for ways to develop relationships with others.
5. Thou shalt engage in conversation. The key word here is engage. Join in the conversation, be responsive and open to what’s going on. Pay attention to what your customers are saying, and then offer real value – real help – real solutions.
6. Thou shalt remember that all, yes, all posts are public! There is room for sharing personal information in social media so that others get to know you and what you stand for, but there is not room for sharing private information. Remember the difference. Everything you do or say online can, and probably will, be seen by others.
7. Thou shalt never slander. Yes, the First Amendment allows you to say anything you want to say, but must you? No. Just don’t do it. Ever.
8. Thou shalt “Friend” responsibly. Social media is about being social. However, it does not benefit anyone if you try to engage with 5000 people with whom you have nothing in common. Shared interests and shareable information make the basis of the best online friendships and raving fans.
9. Thou shalt be positive. Consistent, positive posting is what will create and maintain the best possible online impression of you and your company. It’s even okay to applaud others who are doing a good job in their businesses. Be positive. People are drawn to those who are positive.
10. When possible, thou shalt exceed expectations. Your uniqueness is what will serve your customers best. You don’t have to be everything to everybody, but there are some things that you do better than others. Allow that uniqueness to come through and then aggressively strive to deliver more than you promise through the talents that only you possess.