Unwritten rules of social media (Part 3)

For the last part of our series on social media rules, we're focusing on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Social media rules for Twitter

- No to keyword-stuffing. Before posting a tweet, try saying it out loud first then think of how human or how robotic it sounds. A tweet stuffed with targeted keywords will always sound weird to human ears -- and will probably hurt the eyes, too. Strike a balance by concentrating on just 1 or 2 keywords in every tweet.

- Never automate. One of the most annoying things for users is seeing a brand answer their praises with a generic "Thank you!" and respond to their concerns with "I'll get back to you soon". This becomes even more infuriating for them if a huge issue comes up and all they can see in the brand's timeline is the same generic reply to every single user complaint. Give your social account a friendly character by giving more personalized responses to users' tweets. Remember that making them feel special is the key in developing a strong fan base.

- Leave room for a reply. Some users like to RT manually and then insert their reply at the end. And if you want them to love you, always be mindful of going over the 100-character mark.

Social media rules for Pinterest

- Give props where it's due. People tend to share a lot online and when it comes to images, the last thing most of them do is put proper attribution. Set an example of always giving credit to the original source by linking back to whose account or from what website it came from. This also makes it easier for interested users to track it back to the real creator.

- Avoid irrelevant content. It's tempting to pin popular images even if it's not in any way related to your content just to get more attention. Sure, this trick could seemingly work but don't expect any increase you'll see on your numbers to last.

- Give it a nice description. This is a golden opportunity for you to put in some keywords so you can be easily found by your target market. But that's not to say you should only focus on keywords -- make the description really catchy and worth reading, too.

Social media rules for Instagram

- Time your posts. One of the worst things you could do is clog users' feeds with your 'new' posts. Although there is yet to be a standard posting frequency for Instagram, common sense dictates that it is bad form to post shots every hour of every single day.

- Instead of begging, be interesting. Time and again we've warned against asking users to follow you. It doesn't matter if you ask nicely; the fact that you have to beg for followers reflects how unprofessional your online persona is. Be creative in your posts and the users themselves will do a marketing campaign for you.

- You're permitted to go hashtag-crazy. Compared to other social networks where you have to limit your hashtags so as not to look like a robot, in Instagram you're allowed to #gonuts. In fact, you can use an average of 10 hashtags per image and still gain a dedicated following! #Sweet

As always, feel free to contact us if you're planning of kicking off a social media campaign for you or your brand. Or just drop by to say hi -- that works, too! But seriously, we would love to hear from you.

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