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This article was published on February 23, 2011

The DO’s and DON’Ts of Social Media Updates

The DO’s and DON’Ts of Social Media Updates

You’ve set up your social accounts and you seem to be gathering your fans online fast, but thinking about what to post online can sometimes seem as tricky as coming up with a wedding toast. We all want to be “Liked”, so what’s the secret to an irresistible to retweet update? Here are 8 Do and Don’ts for making the most out of your social media presence:

DO Be informative. According to research conducted by emarketer, consumers expect more than entertainment when connecting with a brand online; they expect incentives, like offers and coupons. A great number of consumers though (46%), replied that they look for something more substantial than offers just targeted to online fans, such as tips and information about product and services. Posting simple to follow how-tos and useful tips can prove much more effective than posting a link to a specific product or service. Ask your customers to share their tips and personal experience with your products or services in the comments or through tweets marked with a specific hashtag.

DON’T Be a parrot. Information overload and repetitive content are two of the top reasons a consumer chooses to stop following a brand online. Frequent “one note” updates can be a major turn off for your fans. Facebook users are more intolerant to frequent updates than repetitive content, with 44% of them unliking brands because they post too often, while Twitter users seem to be more forgiving of highly frequent tweets but more strict with boring tweets with 52% naming repetition as a deal breaker. Try to mix it up and even if you need to repeat an update to promote a current offer or call to action for a project, make sure you put a new twist each time.

DO Make a tradition. Families bond over holiday traditions and big family dinners, so bond with your customers by establishing little online traditions you’ll share on specific days. For DKNY the tradition is its weekly appointment with its followers to watch Gossip Girl. Build your tradition around a theme relevant to your product or service and invite your customers to participate via tweets, comments or photo sharing.

DON’T neglect replies. Social media is not about broadcasting, but about conversation. Connect with your fans and engage in conversations, if you feel it is not an issue you can resolve though tweets or Facebook comments, don’t hesitate to transfer the conversation to a private space by providing the customer with the right telephone number or by requesting his/her contact details.

DO call for action. Ask your fans to Like your pics, prompt them to share your content and thank them when they do. Popular YouTube star Michael Buckley never hesitates to remind his viewers for a “thumbs up” and thank them afterwards. The key lies in asking in a clear way yet in a conversational tone, highlighting that the important thing is the feedback you get not the number of “Likes”.

DON’T rely on text alone. Keep some variety and spark up conversation with the help of images and videos. Glamour Greece produces weekly videos titled “Star Therapy” on Animoto, while hosting a weekly Astrology Q&A with Glamour’s Star Therapist via text.

DO have a crisis plan. Online backlashes seem to be difficult to avoid, so it’s best to read other brands’ lessons and be prepared. Try to be pro-active addressing quickly whatever isolated complaints come to your attention and think about the way you will handle negative comments and replies.

DON’T be impolite. Introduce the person that represents the brand online and always showcase your contact information along with a telephone number. Make it personal to get personal, there is no other way.


What are your biggest Do and Don’ts? What kind of updates can make you follow or unfollow a brand?

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