When conducting any type of business, the use of proper etiquette and professionalism are paramount to keeping your customers happy and wanting to come back. Well, the same basic rules apply when it comes to your actions and reactions online.
Proper etiquette has been taught to us since childhood. Use your fork, not your fingers. Knock before entering a room. Say please and thank you. So why would it be any different when it comes to life online?
Your goal with social networking is to attract as well as keep your customers. In order to accomplish this, take a certain level of work in creating your online presence. You want to be seen with a positive eye, and not regarded as a bother or inconvenience to those around you.
When using a social networking medium, you don’t want to post just to be heard, or for the sake of your name showing up on everyone’s page three times a day. This will not leave people with a good impression of who you are and what you represent. Instead of plugging your site yet again, ask a question to receive feedback, or post a news story which may be interesting to your readers.
When people see your “handle” appear, they shouldn’t feel like they have to run to escape a barrage of debate. Be prepared to lose a battle, admit when you are wrong and allow others to have their personal views. You are more likely to gain respect by lowering your guard on a topic people know you are passionate about, instead of always fighting to have the last word.
The majority of your clientele probably doesn’t stem from your social network. When you are taking the time to network, have some fun while turning off the “business button” for awhile. Learn about what others have on their minds, what’s new and what’s not and where you possibly fit into the mix, without considering how it will help business. Consider it your virtual water cooler and relax for a few minutes.
Show your real self. Social networking channels aren’t the place for the creation of different personas. By writing in your own personal way, you won’t have the hassle of trying to remember which of your personas said what to whom. Not only will it become exhausting, but it could result in you making a persona mix-up. Should this happen, you could easily lose some of your clients, as well as lose any potentials who were lurking in wait for the perfect timing? If you have multiple projects, aiming at networking with different types of people for each one, just say so. Authenticity will help you gain the contacts you need, as well as those who are interested in what you could possibly have to offer them.
Social networking of any sort can be a very important tool when it comes to the business world connected to the internet. Learning to use it properly, as well as honestly, will result in a more positive experience for you, your current and your potential clients.
Marsha is a social media consultant that is passionate about helping her clients connect with mass audiences through innovative and engaging marketing strategies. Deeply experienced in growing online businesses after spending years as a Social Media Manager for a successful business.