Like, Tag, Share, Repost, Repeat: The Rules of the Social Media Road

Whether you’re getting started with social media for a personal account or a business account, or you’ve had quite a bit of experience, social media can be a confusing platform. It can either help, harm, or do nothing for you. It’s my goal to help relieve any stress and open up doors for new ways of using social media to your benefit.

There are numerous social media platforms out there for various aspects of social media, whether it be purely based on statuses/updates, pictures, videos, or all of the above. The first step to understanding social media is knowing your audience. For the purpose of this article, I’ll be focusing on the main mediums for social media specifically for business: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

It is very important to know that whatever gets posted is forever on the internet, whether you delete it or not. Essentially, you are what you share. Like I mentioned above, know your audience and make sure that you don’t post anything religious, political, or controversial, unless that is what you’re going for. It’s okay to start a conversation over social media, but it’s not okay to start an argument. You want positive press and reviews associated with your accounts, not negative comments.

Interacting on social media is like interacting with a person in real life. It’s not cold-calling or cold-emailing, you’re talking with someone over the internet, except in this case, everyone can see your conversation. Relationships via social are important and can lead to huge sales or a huge loss. Social media is another free big marketing tool that has people working full-time to manage business’ brands presence. Make sure what you’re posting, commenting, or liking is what you’d do if you were in a conversation with so-and-so who’s behind the message board on the other end.

There is nothing wrong with liking and commenting as much as possible, but there is something wrong with over-sharing. We all know how much you want to share something you’re proud of with the world, however whether it’s proud Mom moment or a Kickstarter campaign, don’t share more than 3 times a week, otherwise you’ll lose your followers interest and eventually the actual followers.

Make sure to have a balance between organic content and informational content. You want your readers and followers to learn something new and value your opinion, hence the reason they’re following you, so give them something to hang on to! Be visual and be original. Be creative and be authentic.

For more do’s and don’ts of social media, read this article by Outbound Engine.

Follow Cassie Shankman on Twitter at @cashankman.