Just as there are do’s and don’ts in real life social settings, there are do’s and don’ts in online social media settings that companies should adhere to.

We all know that having a social media presence is incredibly important for a company. It helps the company engage a target audience and promote their brand or mission, whether that’s through Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Instagram, etc. But if a company is going to work at constantly updating their feed, they need to do so smartly. Too many times a company is strewn across the news for offensive posts, leading to self humiliation and a negative impact on their brand reputation.

So here is a list of Do’s and Don’ts.

DO NOT…

  • Quality over quantity. Don’t post just for the sake of posting regularly if you don’t have quality content prepared.
  • Don’t capitalize on trending hashtags in offensive ways.
    • The hashtag #WhyIStayed was used to tell stories about why women stayed in abusive relationships (coupled with the hashtag #WhyILeft). DiGiorno Pizza used that hashtag without knowing the story behind it and got some serious backlash.

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  • It’s important to engage your audience and ask for participation, but beware of it backlashed comments.
    • McDonalds started the hashtag #McDStories, trying to get people to share fun experiences. People who dislike the company quickly used this hashtag against them.

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  • Don’t use automated responses to try and create dialogue. A lot can go wrong.

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DO…

  • Remember who your target audience is and make sure your voice reflects that.
  • Try to post or update on a regular basis and schedule your posts wisely.
  • Use images or videos to catch your audience’s attention.
  • Humor is always a great tool to use; people love to laugh.
  • Reply to individuals who reach out to the company on your social media platforms. Doing so helps engage the audience and create dialogue. It also makes the company seem more personable.
  • Using pop-culture references helps the company grow their audience by reaching out to younger generations.

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