The Social Media Etiquette Tips You Must Adhere To In 2019 In Order To Maximize Your Business Efforts
As I have shifted my career towards helping more and more people and clinics with their online presence, I've had the fortune to see how human behavior changes when done in an online format. Sadly, there's a misconception that behind a computer screen or phone, we are allowed to behave differently than we would in person. I wanted to take a few minutes to break down some of the biggest social media etiquette mistakes I see and explain how they can be detrimental to community building and ultimately, business. Whether you are looking to market a new product or service you have created or you are looking to attract local clientele, the way you manage your etiquette online in 2019 is critical to making sure you are maximizing your efforts.
#1 - Blanket Sharing Is An Absolute No-No
When someone makes a post on Facebook (or any other platform that allows for the ability to share content in groups) and shares their post in multiple groups immediately one after another is what we call "blanket sharing". It's sort of like putting a digital blanket all over social media with your one piece of content. Blanket sharing MIGHT (and even very rarely in this case) be okay IF (a big IF here) you leave a custom message when sharing that explains why the piece of content is relevant to that particular group. The worst thing you can do is just share your post in groups without leaving a custom message. While you might be thinking that you're providing valuable content to a group of people, what people see is laziness, desire for attention, and a lack of respect for the group's admin who are trying to create a positive and engaged community.
Rather than sharing your post like a digital blanket, choose one group that it would be most appropriate for, message the admin of the group and ask for permission to post, and then write a specific message of WHY this content you are posting is valuable to them. You'll be amazed by the engagement you will receive on your posts when you make this subtle etiquette change.
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#2 - Using Social Media Only To Promote And Receive Won't Get You Far
Okay, so we now know that blanket sharing isn't a smart way to go about getting your message out to the world. That doesn't mean that you can't have a massive impact for your personal brand or business using Facebook groups. We just have to think about these communities differently. Rather than viewing them as giant bulletin boards where we can share our content, we need to approach them as communities filled with people who have needs and wants. I would argue that THE biggest benefit of Facebook groups is the fact that people use them to ask questions when they run into problems. This is where the magic happens. Being an active, engaged, and HELPFUL community member with no expectations of receiving something (views, likes, business, etc.) will do wonders for your ability to connect with people online and ultimately build your online word of mouth reputation.
Be the biggest community supporter in these groups that you want to have an influence in. What that specifically looks like includes commenting and providing feedback on questions people ask in the group. Even if you don't have the answer, see if you can find someone who might know the answer to their question. When someone posts a victory that they have had, celebrate it! When they post about a frustration, lend an ear and comment something positive to encourage them. The way we act online should be the same as the way we act in person. As soon as you shift from wanting (attention, likes, business, etc.) and giving, you in turn will start receiving more. It's just how the game works and it's how humans work.
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#3 - Selling On The First Message Is Why You're Killing Sales
If you can't stand calls from phone numbers you don't recognize...or even worse, you pick up the phone from one of those numbers and it turns out to be someone trying to sell you something, then you're like me. I'm not sure who told people that doing the same thing on the internet was acceptable, but whoever it was, they were very, very wrong. If you ever spend any time on LinkedIn you'll certainly come across these digital versions of telemarketers. They start out with, "Hey Will, so glad we could connect. I do X thing for Y company and..." then they go on to write 3 paragraphs about their product. Mind you, only 30% of the time what they're selling is even relevant to you or your business. Here's how most people react: "UGHHHHH not another person trying to sell me things!!!". Sales and the art of selling is based on building a relationship. Whether that relationship is person-to-person or brand-to-person, the fact is that engaging people will ALWAYS trump asking for a monetary or time exchange as part of your first interaction with a potential customer or client.
Rather than sending a blanket, copy and paste style message, reduce your number of people you want to message, select a few that you really are interested in, and leave them a custom message. Since everyone else sends blanket messages, when you send a personal message you instantly stand out and will massively increase your number of responses. I recommend by looking at that person's profile, read some of their content, and then send a private message to them that talks about something you learned from reading through their content or profile. DO NOT ASK for a sale or to promote anything. The best thing you can do is to ask a question that is relevant to them and will show interest in them. If you haven't read Dale Carnegie's, How To Win Friends And Influence People, he speaks about the importance of being interested in other people when it comes to growing your influence in a marketplace.
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If there's one thing to take away from this blog post it's that the way behave in an online environment should be similar to how we behave in person. People are increasingly able to see through people who aren't sincere and are looking simply to receive rather than give. Relationships, even those online, are based on providing value and demonstrating interest in others before ever asking for a sale. So, in 2019 the best way to maximize your online efforts is to become the biggest contributor in your communities and to give, give, and give again before ever asking for something.
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