Unwritten rules of social media (Part 2)

Basically, an encompassing rule can be made from all this -- customized your content on each specific social media platform. But because we want to get down to specifics on this second installment, we'll tackle the unwritten rules of Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ anyway.

Facebook

- Do not "like" yourself. Even when you say it's just a way to get your post to the top of the news feed again, it still gives off a desperate vibe. It should be obvious that you're posting it because you like it, right?

- Do not solicit shares/comments/likes. The only situation where this would be acceptable is when you're doing a survey (e.g. "Like if you're a night owl or share if you're an early bird"). Asking for likes is just plain off-putting and has an effect on your content visibility, too. The new newsfeed algorithm in Facebook reportedly factors in if you are asking for shares/comments on your post so better stay away from this.

- Be careful when tagging others. If you wouldn't like an unflattering photo of you posted or tagged with your name, neither would others. So don't just tag everyone on the photo without their permission or knowledge that it's being posted in the first place -- this is the fastest way to alienate your audience. Whether it's an image of your clients, employees or fans, the best practice would be to get a written permission from them first before even posting it. It's not just a case of embarrassment but more of a question of privacy; something you do not want to get involved in.

- Attach only relevant tags. Tagging as many people and pages as possible has been common practice to get more attention on a posted content. Although it seems to be working for most, it is still not recommended to annoy people with your constant tagging to stuff that they don't actually want to hear about.

LinkedIn

- Ditch the generic connection requests. When connecting with another user, make it a point to include a brief introduction and tell them why you are connecting. This will certainly differentiate you from a bunch of other requesters and will increase your chances of getting accepted, too. (And once you do get accepted, send a thank-you message.)

- Groups are not for marketing. Well... at least not exclusively for marketing. We all know the big reason for joining a group is to sell yourself but it just won't look good to do that right off the bat. A great benefit of joining a group is that you can message any fellow member even when you're not personally connected. So as a newbie, take advantage of this and test the waters first. Get acquainted with the other members and build a rep for yourself as a useful contributor in the group.

- Take note of the professional atmosphere. Getting used to the extremely casual and chatty tone of Facebook and Twitter is not going to help you much in LinkedIn. It's safe to say that most of the users here are professionals and business owners so always err on the side of caution and tailor your content accordingly.

Google+

- Take advantage of circles. A circle is not just a neat way to compartmentalize your connections, it's also a great tool in sending targeted content. It's very much like sending a group message on your mobile phone as only those in a particular circle will be able to view what you sent.

- Comment first, then share. It appears that the custom in Google+ is to share blog posts rather than bits of updates so often it gets really lengthy. When you're sharing a post, remember to put your own notes first before the content; this way, others will know why that content is relevant.

*On our last instalment: Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

As always, you may consult us here about a suitable social media campaign for you or your brand.