When conducting any type of business, the use of proper etiquette and professionalism are paramount to keeping your customers happy and wanting to do business with you again. It’s important to remember that 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. Social media has its own etiquette and as a business owner it’s important for you to know this so that you can maintain a favorable online presence.
Your goal with social networking is to attract as well as keep your customers. There is a certain level of work involved in creating your online presence. You want to be seen with a positive eye, and not regarded as a nuisance to those around you whom you are networking with.
When using a social networking medium, you don’t want to post just to be heard. You also don’t want your name showing up on potential client’s pages several times a day. This is considered spammy and will not leave people with a good impression of who you are and what you represent. Instead of just plugging your site, ask a question to receive feedback. Try posting a news story which may be of interest to your readers.
When people see your social media name appear, they shouldn’t feel like they have to run (or worse, try to hide you!) 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 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. Consider where you might fit into the mix, and don’t think about how it will help business. Think of it as a virtual water cooler, have fun and relax for a few minutes.
Don’t be afraid to be authentic. 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 potential clients 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.
Learning how to manage your virtual reputation can be a very important tool when it comes to the business world and social media world. Learning to use it properly, as well as honestly, will result in a more positive experience for you, your current and your potential clients.