Social Media has existed for over two decades, and has been a prominent influence in public mindset for more than a decade. Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, Instagram photos, Snapchat snaps, forum comments, video conferences, and more have allowed people to connect, to discuss, to argue, and to share with friends, family, and strangers. Social media has allowed businesses to present their products and engage with consumers around the world, regardless of distance. But just as in face-to-face business interactions, social media requires proper rules of etiquette to ensure the right image and decorum.
General Social Media Guidelines for Builders
- Keep your personal and professional social media accounts separate. This keeps your business interactions separate from your personal interactions.
- Understand the image and persona you want your Builder Business to present. Post and share on social media if it is consistent with this image and contributes to your business.
- Make it clear that your social media posts come from you, as a Multipure Independent Builder, and not as a direct representative of Multipure Headquarters.
- Be as factual and correct as possible when posting as your Builder Business, especially in regards to Multipure products, performance claims, and certification.
- Use proper grammar and spelling. Your business loses credibility with grammar and spelling errors.
- Photos and videos can make your posts more appealing and engaging.
- Do NOT write in ALL CAPS. Writing in all capitalized letters is the Internet equivalent of shouting, most often conveying anger.
- Do NOT respond to provocation. You cannot expect to please everyone, and any business social media can expect some negativity from displeased customers. Respond with understanding and a desire to help.
- Use the 80/20 Rule: 80% of your social media content should be entertaining or informative, and 20% should be directly related to products and recruiting.
Social Media Etiquette: Commenting
When commenting on a social media post made by another person or business, it is important to contribute to the conversation in a substantial manner. Offer your thoughts or opinions on the post in a constructive manner; this can foster further connections and interactions with the original poster as well as other people who view your comments.
- Exceptions can be made when commenting to offer congratulations, condolences, or other forms of support to another’s post.
- Be respectful of the original poster and anyone else commenting on the post.
- Do NOT simply post a link to your business page or social media account. EXAMPLE: Someone shares an article about water contamination due to nearby hydraulic fracking, and remarks that Multipure can treat the presence of the contaminants referenced in that article. It is a very poor response to simply reply with your Builder ID Number, and/or a link to your Builder website or social media page; such action adds nothing to the discussion, and comes off as self-serving rather than contributing. It is especially poor etiquette to do so on another Builder’s post, as it demonstrates an attempt to “poach” potential customers from that Builder.
- Do NOT simply advertise your business. Contribute meaningful, pertinent comments. Join the discussion.
- Do NOT repeat the same comment on multiple posts and pages. It gives the appearance of little thought or effort.
- Do NOT get involved in arguments. Disagreements can escalate very quickly on social media, and the results often leave every party involved viewed more negatively. For example, someone might claim that another brand water filter treats far more contaminants than Multipure – perhaps even disparaging Multipure’s products in general. Instead of arguing, and escalating any conflict, a smarter move may be to reference Multipure’s NSF certifications – including a link to the NSF certification page. Internet arguments – possibly due to the lack of facial/emotional cues, can often degrade quickly in content and maturity. People viewing that argument may lose respect for any parties involved.
- Do NOT interfere with another Builder’s online sales efforts, whether through chat, social media posts, or other method. If you feel that you can help another Builder in their online sales efforts, address the Builder first, and ask for their permission, before interjecting.
Social Media Etiquette: Sharing
- Give credit when sharing a social media post, whether it is an image, video, or text.
- Understand any subtext and meaning to anything you share, especially when it comes to memes. You do not want to share what you think is a humorous image, only to discover too late that the meme is based on something negative, e.g., racism, sexism, violence, etc.
- Do NOT plagiarize someone else’s post. When possible, share the original post and give credit.
- If a post cannot be directly shared, seek permission from the original poster before sharing (typically by copying the post and pasting it into your own post). Give credit to the original poster unless they specifically tell you not to.
When used properly, Social Media can be a terrific way to connect with customers and businesses, and a great way to expand your reach to a larger audience. Social media is a way to give a “face” to your business, and give people a better way in which to learn and engage with you. But just as people must understand the etiquette when speaking in professional versus casual situations, proper business social media usage requires understanding the general rules of etiquette. There is an online saying, “The Internet never forgets.” Treat anything you put online as if it will last forever, and make sure anything you post portrays you and your business in the best light possible.