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Sense and Sociability – The Corporate Guide to Social Media Etiquette

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Sense and Sociability - The Corporate Guide to Social Media Etiquette

“Women belong in the kitchen.”

Unfortunately for Burger King, this tweet definitely didn’t go down well on Twitter (no surprise).

Although it was only in subsequent tweets that the meaning of the post was explained, the damage had already been done. Burger King faced plenty of backlash and had to remove the post.

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Burger King’s mishap highlights the importance of having social media etiquette standards for your company and employees. And in this article, you’ll learn how to avoid poor social media etiquette and mind your manners online.

Social media is now part of everyday life with over 4.4 expected users by 2025. As such, it’s a no-brainer that brands use it to communicate with their customers.

However, just as it’s crucial to practice proper etiquette when conversing in-person, you also need to do the same online.

Poor social media etiquette can lead to terrible consequences for an erring company. For example, in 2018, Snapchat lost an estimated $800 millionafter making a post that seemed to trivialize domestic violence.

If you don’t want similar terrible consequences to your business, then you need to take social media etiquette seriously.

The Benefits of Social Media Etiquette

Here are some benefits of practicing proper social media etiquette.

It makes your brand empathetic

Your audience is your greatest asset, and using proper social media etiquette forces you to put yourself in their shoes. And when you’re in their shoes, you gain a better perspective of their wants and needs.

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It helps you recover from fails

There’s no perfect brand, and we all stumble at times. However, with good social media etiquette, you can recover from your mistakes. For example, despite its fail as quoted in the introduction, Burger King managed to turn things around, at least to an extent, with an apology that felt genuine.

It makes your social media campaigns more productive

Social media is a landmine that’s difficult to navigate. However, good social media etiquette can guide you and help you produce good results.

It helps you focus on what’s important

Good social media etiquette reduces the chances of starting a fire you’ll need to put out on social media. Thus, you’ll have time to focus on what’s really important: your bottom line.

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It keeps you on the good side of the law

If your platform has privacy and compliance laws, good etiquette will help you stay on their good side and protect you from lawsuits and such.

It keeps you top-of-mind

When you respond quickly to feedback, even positive ones, you show that your customer’s opinions matter.

Therefore, it’ll be easier for your business to stay top-of-mind for these customers.

Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Etiquette

Each social media platform is different, but social media etiquette transcends these differences and will result in good results regardless of the platform. Here are 5 Do’s and 5 Don’ts of social media etiquette.

Do’s of Social Media Etiquette

1. Stick to your core values

Your core values should resonate in your content. So if one core value is respect, you’d want to keep sassy comments out of your social media.

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On the other hand, if your brand is big on humor, then snarky comments would be on-brand. An excellent example of this is Wendy’s.

Wendy's Social Media Etiquette with humor

2. Respond Quickly

Here’s an interesting stat: 79% of customers expect a responsein the first 24 hours of reaching out to your brand on social media.

So, DO respond as soon as possible. Responding quickly to positive feedback reinforces a customers’ liking of your brand.

Slow response, especially to complaints, makes customers feel like they’re left on read—and we all know how that feels.

Nike Support (@NikeSupport) replies to customers every few minutes, which is probably one reason why people love them on social media.

3. Complete your social page profile

If people come to your page and see an incomplete profile, it gives the wrong impression and they’ll feel you’re not serious enough about engaging with them.

So, complete your profile and include useful information, for example, contact information when appropriate.

Glossier’s Instagram profile, for example, contains information you need to know about it and includes its website where you can get more information.

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Glossier Instagram Bio Social Media Etiquette

4. Use Hashtags Correctly

Hashtags can boost engagement, but too many hashtags on a post can make you look unprofessional and annoying.

Displaying good social media etiquette will require you to use only hashtags that are relevant to the post.

Coca-Cola’s branded #ShareACoke hashtag is an excellent example of a brand that used hashtags well.

5. Post Regularly

While your audience and industry should be factored in, a good rule of thumb is to post at least once a week.

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If you don’t, there’s the risk of losing out on opportunities for driving brand awareness.

Don’ts of Social Media Etiquette

1. Don’t overdo humor

Humor is subjective, and what’s funny to you might be insensitive or downright offensive to others.

If you’re not sure about how a joke would be taken, then it’s better to keep it locked away.

Aside from Wendy’s, another brand that’s hacked funny social media replies and posts is Innocent Drinks (@innocent)

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Bad Social Media Etiquette: Innocent Drinks

2. Don’t be desperate

Don’t be desperate to get followers. It can be off-putting to see a business ask for followers every chance it gets.

By posting valuable and authentic content, you’ll be able to grow your follower count and get high-quality interactions that will attract even more people.

Fenty’s social media posts include testimonials from women of different nationalities and ethnicities, which is one reason for its rapid growth.

Social Media Etiquette: Fenty beauty

3. Don’t over-promote the business

Followers will quickly get tired if they see too much on social media from your brand.

Balance is key. If ever you’ll post more often than before, tell your audience beforehand and explain why. Then they’ll be less likely to unfollow you during your spree.

4. Don’t use a bot for replies

Tempted to use a bot to respond to your customers? Then you’re on your way to losing them.

Users are smart, and they can sense when a response is automated. If you can’t be online 24/7, share the hours when customers can reach you on the platform. Twitch Support’s bio contains its scope of assistance and open hours.

Social Media Etiquette: Twitch Support twitter bio

5. Don’t write in all caps

DO YOU WRITE IN ALL CAPS? Then you are likely stressing out your audience. Why? BECAUSE IT FEELS LIKE YOU’RE SHOUTING AT THEM!

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Even Twitter’s official business website for brandsadvises against tweeting in all caps.

So, stop with all caps. They aren’t funny and come off as rude and aggressive. Use all caps only when something is truly important (or exciting), and you definitely HAVE to call your audience’s attention to it.

Social Media Etiquette for Employees

Social media can be a minefield, and only good social media policies can guide brands and employees around it. Here are some guidelines to protect your employees, and by extension, your brand, from behaving indecently on social media.

Respect others

Although employees have the right to say what is on their minds and can post content on their personal time, it’s important to encourage them to be polite and calm on social media.

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Thinking before replying or posting online can de-escalate a potentially bad situation.

Respect privacy and confidentiality

Social media isn’t the place to discuss sensitive company matters or disclose internal information.

As an employee, you might not realize that you’re discussing sensitive or internal matters, so the best thing is to take no chances. If it’s not your place to do so or you’re unsure, then move on without discussing such matters online.

Don’t always want to be first

There’s a rush that comes from being the first to ‘break the news.’ However, doing so might come at the cost of losing your job.

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So before you post or comment, ensure you’re entitled to share the information. Even if it doesn’t get you dismissed, some information you share might hurt others and ruin relationships.

Don’t use social media on your employer’s time

Your employer is paying you for your time, so act accordingly. Don’t abuse their trust even if your employer allows you to use social media while at work.

If you’re the social media manager, stick to the professional accounts. Using that time to attend to trivial, personal stuff is unfair. It’s also risky because you could end up mixing up accounts and posting something you shouldn’t with your professional account.

Be a good company ambassador

Be mindful that you represent your employer. Thus, post information like you’re posting on their behalf.

Use good judgment when posting online. For example, if someone posts negative information about the organization, don’t fly into a confrontation. Instead, tell someone in charge who can handle the matter or give you instructions on how to handle it.

Do Social Media Etiquette The Right Way

These Dos and Don’ts of social media etiquette might seem challenging to follow. However, following them can save you and your company a lot of stress.

Several brands have experienced the power of cancel culture firsthand, and you can avoid their experiences by practicing good social media etiquette.

When you care about your audience and put yourself in their shoes, you can have a good culture of social media etiquette that will benefit your brand.

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Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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B2B customer journeys that begin at review sites are significantly shorter

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B2B customer journeys that begin at review sites are significantly shorter

The B2B customer journey can be a long one, especially when the purchase of expensive software subscriptions is under consideration.

“The average B2B customer journey takes 192 days from anonymous first touch to won,” according to Dreamdata in their 2022 B2B Go-to-Market Benchmarks — a statistic described by co-founder and CMO Steffen Hedebrandt as “alarming.”

But the report also indicates that this journey can be significantly sped up — by as much as 63% — if accounts begin their research at software review sites, gathering information and opinions from their peers. Journeys that originate at a review site often lead to deals of higher value too.

Fragmented data on the customer journey. Dreamdata is a B2B go-to-market platform. In any B2B company, explained Hedebrandt, there are typically 10 or even 20 data silos that contain fragments of the customer journey. Website visits, white paper downloads, social media interactions, webinar or meeting attendance, demos, and of course intent data from review site visits — this data doesn’t typically sit in one place within an organization.

“We built an account-based data model because we believe that there’s such a thing as an account journey and not an individual journey,” said Hedebrandt. “So if there are two, three or five people representing an account, which is typically what you see in B2B, all of these touches get mapped into the same timeline.”

Among those many touches is the intent data sourced from software review site G2. Dreamdata has an integration with G2 and a G2 dashboard allowing visualization of G2-generated intent data. This includes filtering prospects who are early in their journey, who have not yet discovered the customer’s product, or who have discovered it but are still searching. This creates a basis for attributing pipelines, conversions and revenue to the activity.

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“Strategically, our ideal customer profile is a B2B software-as-a-service company,” said Hedenbrandt. “B2B SaaS companies are particularly ripe for understanding this digital customer journey; their main investment is in digital marketing, they have a salesforce that use software tools to do this inside sales model; and they also deliver their product digitally as well.” What’s more, it takes twice as long to close SaaS deal as it does to close deals with B2B commercial and professional services companies.

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Read next: A look at the tech review space

The Benchmarks findings. The conclusions of the 2022 Benchmarks report is based on aggregated, anonymized data from more than 400 Dreamdata user accounts. Focusing on first-touch attribution (from their multi-touch model), Dreamdata found that customer journeys where a review site is the first touch are 63% shorter than the average. In contrast, where the first touch channel is social, the journey is much longer than average (217%); it’s the same when paid media is the first touch (155%).

As the Benchmarks report suggests, this may well mean that social is targeting prospects that are just not in-market. It makes sense that activity on a review site is a better predictor of intent.

Hedenbrandt underlines the importance of treating the specific figures with caution. “It’s not complete science what we’ve done,” he admits, “but it’s real data from 400 accounts, so it’s not going to be completely off. You can only spend your time once, and at least from what we can see here it’s better to spend your time collecting reviews than writing another Facebook update.”

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While Dreamdata highlights use of G2, Hedenbrandt readily concedes that competitor software review sites might reasonably be expected to show similar effects. “Definitely I would expect it to be similar.”

Why we care. It’s not news that B2B buyers researching software purchases use review sites and that those sites gather and trade in the intent data generated. Software vendors encourage users to post reviews. There has been a general assumption that a large number of hopefully positive reviews is a good thing to have.


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What Dreamdata’s findings indicate is that the effect of review sites on the buyer journey — especially as the first-touch channel — can be quantified and a value placed on it. “None of us questioned the value of reviews, but during this process you can actually map it into a customer journey where you can see the journey started from G2, then flowed into sales meetings, website visits, ads, etc. Then we can also join the deal value to the intent that started from G2.”

Likely, this is also another example of B2B learning from B2C. People looking at high consideration B2C purchases are now accustomed to seeking advice both from friends and from online reviews. The same goes for SaaS purchases, Hedenbrandt suggests: “More people are turning to sites like G2 to understand whether this is a trustworthy vendor or not. The more expensive it is, the more validation you want to see.”


About The Author

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Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

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He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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