I handle a few social media (SoMe) accounts for Schroder PR, and I’m learning a few things as I go. My friends think posting to clients’ Twitter and other social media sites is the easiest part of my job, but that’s far from the truth. A PR Daily article recently summed it up nicely:
“Your friends probably think you spend all day on Facebook sharing cool things, pinning pretty stuff on Pinterest and retweeting about Happy Hour. What they don’t see is that your client just called you and demanded a Facebook promotion with a minimum of 100 entries …”
It’s much harder to speak for a client than on your personal pages, and we’ve all seen stories of interns and social media managers alike posting on client pages when they thought they were posting on their personal page – remember the Barneys New York fiasco?
So here are 5 tips that I’ve assembled. These are general social media etiquette rules, but they can also be applied to managing clients’ account.
1) As a personal rule, I only “friend” actual friends on Facebook. I’m all for fueling social interaction, but some members of the media may think it’s creepy if you friend them and start commenting on family vacation photos. Follow them on Twitter, fan their Facebook brand page and even follow them on LinkedIn – don’t send them one press release and think y’all are friends.
2) Chris Brogan wrote a nice article about social media etiquette in which he covered seven topics. I’ll paraphrase:
- It’s OK to let the competition follow you, and it’s OK to follow the competition. (I actually recommend it! Keep your friends close, right?)
- Listening is important and commenting is important. Be the #1 commenter on your blog, but it’s OK to not comment back for every single comment you receive.
- If you’re writing about a client on your personal page, add (client) to the tweet/post/update/blog comment.
- Promote others, and it’s much more likely people will help promote you when it’s your turn.
3) Treat each network separately. This is a pet peeve of mine. It’s OK to tell all the networks the same thing, just don’t make it a one-stop entry. Facebook allows as many characters as your heart desires, Twitter does not. I will not click on the link in my Twitter feed that directs me to the rest of your Facebook post. It may take more time, but it is far less irritating to see messages that are tailored to a specific network.
- Also, I understand linking your Facebook and Twitter, I do – you’re busy and you want all of your friends and followers to know it. But on brand pages, I think your clients prefer putting your best foot forward, and in my opinion – tailor-made drafts for each network is the way to go.
4) Holly Grande wrote a great article on Cookerly PR’s PeRceptions blog, “Is Social Media Etiquette Necessary?” She began with the very question that I’ve wondered at least a dozen times, ‘when someone retweets you, should you thank them, or should you ignore it?’ Her commentary boiled down to two (very wise) words: do good.
“Be considerate in your posts, thank someone if you feel like you ought to thank them, engage followers in a conversation, but – most importantly – tweet the way you want to be tweeted.”
5) Write professionally. Remember: Your social media presence is an extension of your business persona – or in some cases your client’s brand. Proper grammar and spelling helps you maintain credibility and a professional image. If I tweeted “LOL! OMG! Schroder PR wants 2 work 4 u! #winning” from Schroder PR’s Twitter account, I’d probably lose my tweeting privileges. I know you only have 140 characters, and you want to save characters for retweeting, but try – please try – to at least use the proper grammar, like the correct forms of their, they’re and there.
Please just use SoMe sense when you’re posting, whether it’s personally or for a client. Here are a few links to other interesting articles on the topic:
- Fox Small Business Center: “What Bosses are Saying about Social Media Etiquette”
- Boston Globe: “Learning social media etiquette”
- PR Daily: “10 tips to master Twitter etiquette”
<em>- Sarah Funderburk </em>