How to be Professional on Social Media

“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

What does this have to do with social media?

I am sure if you are reading this, you probably are already professional on social media. 

However, it is more than that. You need to be cognizant of how you are reacting online because a careless tweet or Facebook post can alienate your loved ones and jeopardize your organization. 

We tell our clients all the time that you can be different from your business on social media. You don’t have to mix business and personal.

Dos for Social Media Posting

  • Promote your business or yourself. If you’re looking for clients or a job, you should absolutely be putting yourself out there on social media sites and talking about your accomplishments and obstacles you have overcome or even thoughts you have in your industry or area of expertise.
  • Be inclusive. You never know who will be a future client, or people you could lose out on by being disrespectful.
  • Post frequently. You want people to know that you are staying up to date and are successfully managing your social media pages or sites. I spoke to a candidate who decided not to apply for a job because the company didn’t have an up to date social media profile. They questioned their sustainability.
  • Post content that is relevant to your audience. If you’re in construction, you don’t need to retweet a post about a car dealership. Your customers are not on your page looking for a car, they’re looking for someone to redo their kitchen. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t go off topic just a little bit. If you are a real estate agent you can post design tips and if you are a consultant you can share about holidays and meaningful quotes. The most important thing you can do is relate to your audience and showcase your personality.
  • Interact with your social media followers. Encourage customers to tell you their favorite product or vote on a new feature. Social media is meant to be social, not dictatorial.

 

Don’ts for business and personal profiles:

  • Be fake. People will be able to tell if your social media self varies dramatically from how you act in person. Keep in mind there’s a difference between being fake and being on your best behavior.
  • Push your personal beliefs. Some of your clients will have different religious views, political affiliations, and some could be driven away if they disagree with your stance on these topics. Now, I have counseled people that they can discuss and showcase their personality. Potentially, you could get more customers because they share your beliefs, but it is a dangerous path and has to be done well and authentically.
  • Degrade other people or businesses. There is a way to express your opinion while disagreeing with others, but you shouldn’t be downright mean. People will look down at you if you treat other people poorly online (plus it’s on the internet, so people will be able to see it and search for it forever). Just because you have an opinion, it doesn’t always need to be shared with the world and being a bully is not acceptable. I have been noticing more and more often on social media that people are just being mean and acting without all the information. That is not acceptable. Please think about how you would feel in the other person’s shoes before you post about someone.
  • Forget to edit and proofread before you post. One little spelling mistake could cause a whole lot of trouble. Plus, it makes you look unprofessional and sometimes unintelligent. If you are typing too fast that dang autocorrect could cause you a lot of issues. (Search for Damn Autocorrect and you will see some doozies online- they are not suitable for all readers- so read responsibly)
  • Share the same content over and over. If all you do is sell, sell, sell, people will remove you from their feeds or ignore you. Also, be sure to add value to your client base and not just talk about what you offer either. Adding value is why people will want to follow you.