Who said there were rules on the internet? Nobody probably, because by definition there are no hard and fast ones, but there are social etiquette and promo styles that will get you further ahead. So, what you really want to ask yourself is if you’re willing to take the pointed troll hat off and step away from the ideologies keyboard warriors have defined as "digital freedom of speech" and are ready to succeed with a few simple rules?
The first is not a hard one to wrap your head around - when someone wants to fight, simply walk away. Now, many of us were raised by the age-old
saying, “Never start a fight but don’t walk away from one either.” Or at least that was something my nonsensical mother preached to my sister and me growing up (please God, tell me I am not the only one). In person, you sometimes can’t walk away from a physical altercation, especially if they have you trapped. I get it, but what you need to get is that virtual fights have no winners and no losers AND you can easily walk away without a scratch. So do it. Be the bigger person and refuse to let an all-out lose-lose battle ruin you or your business’s reputation.
Keep a piece and keep your peace. With the creation of social media it is VERY easy for us to communicate any and everything with the world, or at least to our “followers”. That fact alone is scary; social media is an incredibly powerful resource that should not be disrespected. Not only can it come back to sting you instantly, but can continue to toxify your brand for years to come. How? Well, first off, nothing really gets erased from the internet and second, it takes years to build a reputation, a brand, a voice but only seconds to bury it. Kind of like trust…
So what does this mean? Keep a piece of yourself to and for yourself - not everyone needs to know where you stand on every single stance there is in this messed up country of ours. Now, of course, I am not saying to stifle your opinions of things you are truly passionate about, but save that fight for just that… topics you REALLY care about. If you complain-post every day, you will get the rep of the town whiner, not the professional you truly are. If you keep some of those pieces for yourself, you are surely going to feel more peace in both your business and personal life.
Social Media DO Rule (3-2-1 Rule)
Now for my self-proclaimed famous 3-2-1 Rule for social posts. For the sake of easy math, let’s pretend you will be posting 6 times a week (3+2+1=6). Of course, if you aren’t, you can use this rule as a ratio or percentage.
Three of those posts should be informational, educational, personal, or humorous with NO direct sales asks. You can educate folks on your products or services, but watch your lingo for heavy-hitting sales words; these should offer insights your followers can leave or take with them back into their lives.
Two posts should be about lifting others up. A great networking opportunity would be to lift other local businesses or even competitors in your own industry up. These posts can also be an opportunity to highlight customers, clients, staff, volunteers, etc. They are all about celebrating others and have absolutely nothing to do with direct sales but speak to the values you hold as a brand (which we all know, turns into subliminal soft-sells).
And only ONE post a week is to be a direct sell or ask. No matter which type of post you are scheduling involving your readers and asking for participation is always a win whether you get the likes or comments you were hoping for. Again, asking to connect with your potential customers shows a level of respect for their lives, their opinions, and where they want to spend their money.
But the biggest rule of them all is to not be a d**k stay true to yourself and your brand. Be authentic- people know when you are being sincere and that goes a long way! Now get out of there and be social!!