18 Social Media Etiquette For Business

Social Media Etiquette for business
When posting on your social media business accounts, remember to target posts to your specific audience since each platform has different demographic bases. Try to make your social media presence distinctive, both visually and in terms of your posting ‘voice.’ Avoid controversy, and deal with customer complaints calmly and privately. 

1. Pick Your Platform

All social media platforms have very diverse audiences and demographics. Facebook appeals to the over the 40s; Instagram to Millenials; TikTok to Gen Z; LinkedIn to business professionals; and Twitter to those in the arts, entertainment, and tech industries.

Ensure you are on the correct social channels to maximize your online reputation and make the most of your social media presence. If your main consumer base is parents with grown-up children, it is common sense to lean towards Facebook rather than Tiktok.

2. Be Distinctive

Try to make sure that all your social media posts have a distinct look. Having very clear brand colors, fonts, and images means your social media content will immediately jump out to those familiar with your product.

Another way to ensure high-quality content is to develop a fun, engaging voice on your social media accounts. Wendy’s is sassy; Chipotle is fun and unique; Boohoo uses influencers to demonstrate glamor and fame. Find a voice that matches your brand and make it part of your social media strategy.

People using social media on smartphone
People using social media on smartphone

Pro Tip: Since 91% of people use social media from a smartphone, making your content mobile-friendly is important. Use shorter, snappy sentences and make your images stand out on smaller screens to keep your audience engaged and binge your profile.

3. Fill in That Information!

Ensure that your business accounts have up-to-date and comprehensive contact information. Creating engaging content brings new consumers to your business. If they can’t find out what you do or how to get in touch, all your social media marketing will be pointless!

The social media account act as a digital business card, so don’t sit on it. The following pieces of information are must-haves for business owners on any social media site: a pithy, informative bio explaining what you do; link to your website; contact address and phone number; clear, recognizable artwork (i.e., logo as profile picture).

4. Hit Your Target

The golden rule of social media is to appeal to your target audience. A good rule of thumb is to alter the types of content you post on different sites if you’re going for a four-quadrant appeal.

Study successful brands’ humor templates and how they engage their audiences.

5. Consistency, Consistency, Consistency

Social media networks use algorithms to boost popular content. These algorithms favor users who post a lot.

Ensure you post to a consistent upload schedule to maintain your audience and ensure the algorithms continue boosting your posts.

6. Don’t Spam

However, posting too frequently can lose you followers. Nobody likes their front page being taken up by post after post from a small business they followed.

Depending on your business size, one or two posts a day should be more than enough.

7. Stealth Marketing

Good social media etiquette requires you to be sneaky: you are posting to advertise your business, but too much shame-faced promotion will turn off followers.

Mix up your content – for every promotion you post, try to balance it with a fun, relevant post that demonstrates your product but doesn’t feel like a commercial.

8. Be Careful with Hashtags

Hashtags are used to help your content be found by those searching keywords. They are a useful tool for allowing your business to be stumbled upon by consumers who might not have encountered it before.

However, they are also slightly out of fashion and can come across as ‘cringe.’ Peppering your posts with hashtags will make it seem like you are trying too hard and are out of touch. Use hashtags sparingly and only when relevant.

9. Don’t Tag Spam

Only tag people in your posts who are directly mentioned or present in the content. Some companies tag random influencers or other businesses to try and approve their reach.

This breaks most social media etiquette rules – at best, it is annoying for those tagged, and at worst, it could be seen as false advertising.

10. Proofread!

Proofread every post before it is made live. Simple spelling or grammar errors will be forgiven but can seem unprofessional, but more serious errors like a wrongly copied website link for an important promotion, for example, can cause actual harm to your business.

11. Facts are Facts

Fact-check everything before you post. As society comes to terms with the impact of social media, more stringent regulations are being put in place regarding bending the truth.

Even an innocent mistake can get your account suspended for spreading false information or get you in trouble with advertising regulators – save yourself the trouble and double-check everything!

12. Competitors, not Enemies

Interacting with your competitor’s accounts is a genuinely good and effective social media policy. It might seem counterproductive – why would you want to boost your competition? But in fact, it can help you reach new audiences.

Engaging with a larger competitor’s content could expose their audience to your social media channels, potentially bringing in new followers. Audiences are very responsive to (cheeky and good-natured) banter between companies – making light-hearted jokes and creating some non-serious ‘Twitter beef’ can really boost engagement.

13. Check Your Analytics

Social media platforms give you comprehensive analytics regarding your reach and engagement with everything you post.

Study this information to improve your social media strategy: if you get more posts in the evening, target those times; if videos get more likes than pictures, invest in video marketing, etc.

14. Avoid Controversy

Controversy can be good for engagement, but it is not productive for trying to attract customers to your business.

Stay away from reposts or retweets of controversial posts, don’t overshare, and avoid going on rants that could harm your image. Save those things for your personal account (or maybe just your diary!).

15. The Correct Way to Engage with Customers

You are bound to receive negative comments on social media, and you need to be prepared with a strategy to deal with them. Some business accounts (such as Wendy’s) have made a name for themselves by responding combatively (and even rudely) to customers – however, I would advise avoiding this strategy.

If customers have complaints, dealing with them in DMs rather than in public forums is better. Be polite, calm, and friendly, and try to listen to their concerns. Remember: even private DMs can be turned into screenshots and spread far and wide, so don’t be rude!

16. No Bots

Buying followers from shady accounts is a big no in social media etiquette. Firstly, it comes across as dishonest and desperate, but it also won’t help grow your business.

A large follower count is no good to you if none of those followers actually care about your product!

17. Credit Creators

Responding to and reposting fan-made content is a great way to boost engagement but be sure to give credit! If you repost someone’s art, videos, or any other creation, tag them in the post.

Not only is it polite, but it can be illegal to steal someone else’s content without proper reimbursement – always reach out to the artist first and ask them whether they would be okay with you reposting their stuff.

18. No Personal Information

Your business account is a professional marketing tool, not a personal soapbox. Even if you are the only member of your small business, it is still a bad idea to treat your social media accounts as if they are personal.

Be careful not to accidentally reveal any confidential information, such as your home address, credit card details, or personal phone number.

Jack Fairey

Jack is a writer based in west London, England. He is a keen traveler, and has a particular interest in the fascinating differences in etiquette across the world. When not writing, he can be found dreaming up his next trip to far off places.

Recent Posts