Listen to the 11th Episode (season 2) of The RN Podcast:
So… I’m in a number of groups on Facebook and have seen a few faux pas lately… some that I’ve even committed myself when I first started out in business!
And because of that, I’ve come up with 11 tips to help you participate in social media platforms the proper way. If you can’t listen to the podcast at this time, feel free to read the tips below.
#1 – Don’t add someone to your email list without their permission.
And, don’t take email addresses from your personal email account and add them to your business contact list. If you’re just starting up in your business, it may be tempting to put family and friends on your list to give you an audience from the start. Trouble is, you’ll run into SPAM laws, and you don’t want anyone reporting you for SPAM when you’re just starting out. That could put a stop to marketing your business before you even get started.
Remedy: Sign up for an email marketing service provider so you can add potential clients or customers to your list ethically.
And then, if those on your list no longer want to be on your list later on down the road, they can unsubscribe from your list without reporting it as spam.
Just recently, I sent an email out to someone who added me to her email list about an opportunity that I never expressed interest in. I simply replied back “please unsubscribe.”
Your email campaigns should always have an unsubscribe link in them. If not, that means you’re either not using an email marketing service provider or your email marketing service is set up incorrectly, making those emails violate spam laws.
There are some great low-cost or free email marketing providers out there like MailChimp or Aweber. And, you also have providers like Infusionsoft or Ontraport that cost a bit more but include a lot more functionality with their services.
#2 – Don’t add people to groups or forums in social media platforms without their permission…
…Especially if you’re planning on pitching your services or products within the group.
However, with Facebook, it can be a little tricky. If you’re about to create a group for business purposes in Facebook, you actually have to add at least 1 Facebook friend to your group to actually make it a group. So in that case, simply ask a Facebook friend for their permission to add them so you can set up the group. Then let them know that they can remove themselves or your will remove them from the group as soon as you gain more members.
If you already have service that you’re offering for your clients or customers and the group is a part of that service and they know this when they purchase your product or service, then add them to the group.
You can also invite people to join your group with an email invite. Or create a Facebook business page instead. This way, people can choose to “like” your page and get updates. And also, these same rules can apply to groups on LinkedIn or Google+ or any other platforms out there. Make sure you’re getting permission.
#3 – Don’t tag people on your business opportunities, especially if it may be unrelated to what their interests may be.
I once had a coworker that told me about a business opportunity he was a part of and he asked me if I would be interested joining in on it. I told him that I wasn’t interested as I had my own business at the time.
He later tagged me on a photo on Facebook that was a flyer about the opportunity, with the intention to get as many people to see that flyer or post as possible. So in essence, by tagging me, he wanted to tell all of my Facebook Friends about the post. But, since I had my privacy settings set for my approval at the time, it didn’t go out to my friends anyway.
By doing this, you’re not only spamming your friends, but you’re spamming the friends of your friends by intruding upon their Facebook wall.
To avoid doing this, create your own group or business page in the social media platforms you frequent.
#4 – Always follow the rules of the group.
If you want to add something to the group that’s not in alignment with their rules or policies, ask the group administrators first. Or, they can remove you if they see you posting in the group as SPAM.
#5 – No group drive-bys.
Meaning… you only go in the forum when you have a product or service to sell. Also, when I see drive-bys, the posters are usually unclear in their positing. They don’t introduce themselves or what they’re offering and then they drive on by to the next group.
Avoid this by: a) offering assistance, answering questions and commenting on posts that may be relevant to you. Then, you won’t seem like an outsider when it comes time for you to post. b) introducing yourself if you’re not familiar to the group and introducing what you’re offering as well. c) decreasing the number of your groups that you’re a part of in all of the social media platforms. Then, it doesn’t feel so overwhelming to keep up with what’s happening inside them, giving you more time and energy to post where relevant.
#6 – Don’t ask others to post information about your business on their page.
If the administrator has no idea who you are, what you do or hasn’t worked with you in any way, they simply can’t help you because that’s their reputation on the line. Would you do that for a stranger?
#7 – When commenting, don’t post your business info unless it’s absolutely helpful and related to the original post.
#8 – Don’t share negative personal experiences on your business pages or groups or be a Debbie downer.
This may cause some harm to your business. However, I do believe you can share personal information, pics, and stories on your social media pages because your clients and customer would probably like to know the person behind the business. It can make you more relatable.
#9 – Limit sharing business information on your personal pages.
Facebook has some strict policies about this, so try your best not to do it. If you’re just letting your Facebook friends know about something you’re starting, I don’t see the harm in that. But, if you continuously post business stuff on your personal pages, Facebook can remove your personal page, so just be careful.
Other forums seem to have a more lenient view on this. For instance, on Twitter, many people post business and personal information from one account, and it seems pretty normal. In any event, make sure you take a look at the rules and policies for the platforms you’re engaged in and post accordingly.
#10 – No religious or political posts in groups.
Remember, not everyone shares your religious or political views. So unless the group norm is to do it, or the group is specifically about these topics. Just don’t do it.
#11 – Be nice!
Be respectful and considerate. Say please and thank you if you’re seeking answers to an issue. It goes a long way.
And that’s it for my tips. I would love to hear from you in the comments and feel free to share any social media etiquette tips you may have that I neglected to mention.
Also, feel free to share this episode with any interested parties, keeping in mind these 11 tips, of course.
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Show Notes & Resources