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October 31, 2023

Posted by: Sean Tomlinson


Unwritten Rules of Social Media: Are You Using Proper Etiquette?

In today's digital landscape, social media plays a pivotal role in a company's marketing strategy. 

It's not just about the content you post, but also how you engage with your audience. Social media etiquette, especially for businesses, encompasses unwritten rules that can significantly impact the effectiveness of your campaigns.

While many companies are familiar with the basics, there are subtle yet crucial etiquette points that are often overlooked. Learning these unwritten rules ensures your company's social media campaigns are as impactful as they can be.

1. Authenticity is Key

Your company's social media presence should reflect your brand's identity. If you are not coming across as authentic, your company’s web reputation will suffer. A few simple ways to increase authenticity are:

  • Stay away from excessive stock photos

  • Avoid automated responses

  • Engage in conversations (See Rule #2) 

  • Showcase your company’s values

Strive for genuine interactions and content that aligns with your brand's personality. Taking a few extra minutes to tell your own stories or snap a quick picture can really make a difference in boosting authenticity.

2. Engage with Social Listening Tools

Effective campaigns are built on understanding your audience's preferences and interests. Utilize social listening tools to monitor conversations, track brand mentions, and gather insights. This data can guide your content strategy.

Social listening tools ultimately help your company engage in conversations surrounding your brand, which should be paramount in your approach to social media. Don't treat social media as a one-way street. Engage with your audience by responding to comments, addressing concerns, and actively participating in discussions related to your industry. Your audience appreciates a human touch. 

3. Mind Your Timing

While it’s tempting to smash that “post” button after you’ve spent a lot of time on a quality post, consider scheduling it for another time.

By taking some time and consideration and utilizing data-driven insights to determine optimal times, you can ensure that your content reaches its intended audience when they are most likely to be online. This not only increases the visibility of your posts but also enhances the potential for higher engagement rates. Additionally, scheduling posts during these peak times demonstrates a considerate approach to your audience, reinforcing a positive brand image and deepening the connection between your brand and your followers.

In sum, the timing of your social media posts is a powerful tool for improving your brand's reach and engagement within the ever-evolving landscape of social media.

4. Acknowledge and Resolve Negative Feedback

Nobody enjoys receiving a negative review.

However, negative feedback is an opportunity for improvement. You should address criticism professionally and promptly and show your following that you are committed to bettering your company. If your audience sees that you value their opinions and are committed to resolving issues, they will respect you for it.

5. Quality Over Quantity

Focus on the quality of your content rather than the quantity. A few well-crafted, engaging posts can have a more significant impact than a high volume of mediocre content. It is tempting to fire up one of the many content-generating platforms out there and lay out your social month in an hour. But any amount of effort is not worth the time if your voice is not coming through in the finished product.

Furthermore, over-promotion can alienate your audience. Strive for a balance between promotional content and valuable, informative posts that cater to your audience's needs and interests. Finding the perfect balance between quality and quantity should be top of mind when planning your social media strategy. 

6. Respect Privacy and Permissions

When considering the inclusion of user-generated content, customer testimonials, or user-submitted images in your social media campaigns, it is essential to follow best practices to maintain trust and adhere to ethical standards.

The first step is to always seek explicit permissions from the content creators or customers. This not only safeguards your company against potential legal issues but also demonstrates respect for their rights and contributions. When acquiring permission, be clear about how you intend to use their content, whether it's for promotional purposes, sharing on your website, or featuring it in a social media post.

Furthermore, respecting user privacy and copyright laws is non-negotiable. Ensure that the content you intend to use does not infringe on anyone's privacy or violate copyright regulations. When sharing user-generated content, it's a good practice to credit the creator by mentioning their username or giving appropriate attribution. This not only acknowledges their contribution but also helps to build positive relationships with your community.

In cases where you are working with influencers or partners, establish a clear agreement regarding the usage of content. This includes stipulations about permissions, usage rights, and any compensation or considerations offered. By adhering to these best practices, your company can harness the power of user-generated content while upholding ethical and legal standards, fostering a positive brand image, and building strong relationships with your community.

7. Stay Informed About Platform Changes

Social media platforms are dynamic ecosystems that undergo continuous evolution. Staying current with these changes is very important. This involves keeping a vigilant eye on alterations to algorithms, revisiting and adapting policies, and embracing new features as they emerge. 

By remaining attuned to the shifting landscape of social media, you can ensure that your company's campaigns are in sync with the latest advancements. These proactive measures allow you to leverage these transformations for more effective and successful campaign outcomes. Remember, in the ever-changing realm of social media, the ability to adapt to new trends and innovate can be a powerful asset for your company's online presence.


By adhering to these unwritten rules, your company can enhance its social media campaigns and foster strong relationships with its audience. It's not just about what you post but how you engage with your community that sets your brand apart in the dynamic world of social media.


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