social media marketing

social media engagement

7 Rules of Social Media Engagement

Do you ever wonder how to use social media tools the right way? Look no further. In this article you’ll learn 7 rules of social media engagement to grow your network of Twitter followers, Facebook subscribers, LinkedIn connections and people in your Google+ circles.

#1 Never send automated direct messages to new Twitter followers

Twitter is like a news channel. You follow the stream to discover what’s going on. Although it’s less personal than Facebook, it’s still based on relationships with your followers. IMO, you can not build a relationship with someone if you start by sending them an automated direct message (DM) that pitches your stuff.

Rule of engagement number 1: “never send automated direct messages to new Twitter followers.”

#2 Limit your number of updates, especially on LinkedIn

Social platforms dictate their own frequency strategy of status updates. Twitter and Facebook allow you to get away with a few tweets or status updates a day. With LinkedIn it’s different. Why? LinkedIn attracts an audience of business professionals who are looking for people to hire, jobs or new business opportunities.

Rule of engagement number 2: “use LinkedIn status updates once per day to stay top-of-mind and maximize it to 3 updates per day.”

Remember that people can always hide your LinkedIn status update every moment! If that happens, your updates are invisible, no matter how often you update. So, use your status updates on LinkedIn wisely.

Here’s a simple guideline I borrowed from Neal Schaffer – the author of “Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing“: “If the information you provide is relevant to your target audience, then it makes sense to post it.”

#3 Do Mari Smith’s Longevity test before you publish online

Mari Smith -passionate social media leader and author of “the new relationship marketing”- shares some valuable advice in her new book. Mari talks about 3 questions you need to ask yourself, before you publish or post anything online:

  1. how do you feel about the message, you’re about to publish online, this time next year?
  2. does it add value to others or is it all about you?
  3. does it lift others up or is it about lifting yourself up?

Rule of engagement number 3: “do Mari Smith’s Longevity test before you publish online”

#4 Don’t start relationships with self-promotion

Social Media have not changed the rules of personal and business relationships.

When you connect with someone, send them a personal message. Thank them for connecting with you, ask if you can be of any help to them and maybe share something about yourself that can help them. Think about a link to a blog post that could be interesting for them (something you wrote or someone else did).

To quote Neal Schaffer: “it’s the exact thing as in a business meeting. It’s really about first asking and getting to know them, before you do your own sort of pitch”

Rule of engagement number 4: “don’t start new relationships online with self-promotion”

#5 Vary the type of content you share online

Social media used the right way can be quite entertaining. Avoid to bore the people you connect with online. Vary your content. Use photos, videos, links to articles and audio. Here are 3 great sources to find interesting stuff (thanks to Guy Kawasaki for sharing):

  1. smartbrief
  2. alltop
  3. stumbleupon

Rule of engagement number 5: “vary the type of content you share online”

#6 Let your social profiles shine and keep them up to date

Social profiles give you one chance to make a lasting impression. Make sure your profiles are up to date, exciting and to the point. Use recent profile photos. Make sure you smile!

Your key for personal branding is your Twitter bio, LinkedIn headline, Facebook profile (timeline) or Google+ introduction. Use the right keywords in your social profiles that represent the core (values) of who you are. Check your profiles each month to keep them up to date.

Rule of engagement number 6: “let your social profiles shine and keep them up to date”

#7 Start listening first

Social media monitoring tools like HootSuite or SproutSocial show you what others are sharing about you. Listen carefully and keep listening each day. If you connect with others, start listening first. The best way to listen is by asking questions.

If you want to learn more about social media management tools, here’s one article that might help you “Which social media management tool is better for your business: hootsuite or sproutsocial?”.

Rule of engagement number 7: “start listening first by asking questions”

What are your thoughts on these 7 rules of engagement and what would you add as your number 8?