No.7: Hootsuite Uni – Social Media Etiquette, how to kickstart Content Marketing and grow a network efficiently.

I browsed around on the Hootsuite University page for a little bit today and learned incredible things I’d like to share with you. Beware, this time it’s gonna be a little intense- but like my old man says “embrace the pain, it’s good for you”. We have talked a lot about Content Marketing and Social Media in the last sessions- now the time has come where everything merges and comes out in a what-and-how-to-do-plan. Important in this regard is the section of Hootsuite Uni where they talk about adequate Etiquette in Social Media.

Whether you work for a large company or run small business, Social Media has definitely become an essential  and valuable communication skill you will use to address your potential customer. By knowing how to conduct yourself properly online you have advantages like turning connections in clients. However, in order to grow an effective voice on social media you need to know how to address people with the right adequate. Without proper knowledge how to do this, social media can easily turn out to be an double-edged sword which causes greater damage to you than it serves your purposes. It can kill you before you swing for the first strike. The goal is to create an online presence that is not only responsible and respectful, but also influential.

Hootsuite teaches you as a Social Media User to always 1) be Yourself, true and don’t feel like you have to change the way you communicate. Always imagine you would speak in public at any time and adapt your voice accordingly, because your content stays online and can be seen or searched by anyone and anytime. 2) Be Transparent, meaning identify yourself when you speak online. It is considered most appropriate to disclose the information that you represent someone or a company with your response. 3) Be respectful and mind manners at any time. 4) Play by the rules of the platform you use, since it is a social environment you enter- Respect the standards in public spaces and private fields. Also make sure, that your actions on a Social Media Platform equals the style of the self-representation on other platforms. Communicate with your department and Co-Workers about it. 5) Listen to the voices of your visitors. Always remind yourself that you are in a two-way communication environment. Half-hearted listeners often miss to catch important details or appear ignorant. By listening actively you can gain important knowledge about what your visitors demand or criticize and use these information to adapt. 6) Engage: It is important to participate in meaningful conversations which are related to your business. You show that you are up-to-date and make sure that your followers and observers keep track with you and don’t turn away from you/loose interest.

Now, ok, fine, enough theory. Some hard facts for you how to do on twitter, fb and LinkedIn!

Twitter Etiquette: When building followers, engaging with community and not following just for the sake of following. Less is more. Communicate rather with few and good sources than with the masses. Quality prevails Quantity. Share a good balance of interesting retweetet content and original content, don’t spam and don’t overuse #hashtags. It is easy to become impersonal, so keep in mind to treat other users humanly. It can be considered poor etiquette to respond late on tweets you receive. Use Direct Messages for sensitive information.

Facebook Etiquette: Customize sharing settings and set who can receive your different tpes of content (friends, friends+, everyone). Keep in touch with people you know or you had contact with. When tagging photos, make sure that you have the consent of the people you’re about to tag in the photos. Be respectful of other’s Facebook experiences. Mindfully send invites and application requests.

LinkedIn Etiquette: Better Etiquette means better Opportunities. Be accurate and professional, this is a serious page. Never send generic invites, these are considered annoying. Utilize Endorsement and Recommendation features. Provide value through content. Be personal and don’t spam through private message, trying to advertise.

As one big lesson at last: ONCE ON THE WEB, FOREVER ON THE WEB. Think before you post something- because posts, pictures and anything else will last for a long time online and can be recalled. Try to not uploading anything that might interfere with your good reputation in future.

Now, once you know how to behave the best way on the different platforms you might ask yourself what to do in order to grow your community and doing this as efficiently as possible.

So here is the kickstart manual also by Hootsuite: A) Start with the Finish-Line, meaning take a look at your Marketing goals. Also take a look at your audience.. what do you expect to happen, what are your goals? Getting an overall view helps to set up a realistic plan and decision about which channels you would want to use and how you want to use those. B) Plan ahead and budget for production. Create themes base on specifically timed objectives. Gear your topics based on audience questions or concerns. Break up big pieces into smaller one to get more out of your content. Don’t forget to think about investments in production and distribution.  C) Build a social story. Plan to promote across different social networks. Vary your message according to network. Schedule accordingly to maximize reach for different audiences and viewing times. D) Measure your content performance. Analytics! Monitor content performance based on earlier defined goals. Ensure you have the technology to support your efforts. E) Adapt. Embrace reality and be prepared to change.

As soon as you have your manual together, also always keep in mind following facts and hints, which will help you to build up a healthy community around your business and Marketing actions.

1) People are naturally drawn to communities that serve their interests and include like-minded people. Strong relationships are at the core of business success and an online community can foster such relationships between your brand and your customers, prospect and partners. It is important to build up a guiding philosophy which are similar to core values of a company, an overall plan/idea. 2) Without conversation, your community will wither. You in order to grasp the benefits of Social Media you need to join your community and build stronger bonds between your members. You will also need to learn about the value of building relationships with influencers and advocates, and the ways you can leverage your community to align with your business objectives. Start researching for potential advocates, since they can also help to reach people offline. Host meet-ups and real-life events. 3) The social networks on which you choose to build your community should be guided by where your audience already resides. That said, each major social media channel offers unique opportunities and different landscapes that cater best to different types of businesses and communities.

Guys, you did well. I hope it was not to dense and you could learn as much as I did. Just keep in mind, like I do: ‘It’s good for you!’

No.7: Hootsuite Uni – Social Media Etiquette, how to kickstart Content Marketing and grow a network efficiently.

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