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We all love our grandparents, and they all taught us a thing or two growing up. How we shouldn’t bite our nails, how carrots help us see in the dark, and how finishing our dinners will make us big and strong! (Not all of them are strictly true, but still….)

With the talk of late of Politicians causing ever the uproar by commenting rudely on fellow colleagues and constituents, and many a footballer putting their over-priced football boots right in it, we decided here at Codastar it was time we reflected on our childhood lessons and help these poor people out.

We’ve delved into the internet (and around the office) to put together our top tips on how to improve your social media ‘netiquette’, by remembering the cries and catchphrases of our younger days, and how to keep your social platforms (be them personal or professional) squeaky clean.

Social media explained by your granny

#1 “If you have nothing nice to say then don’t say anything at all..”

As mentioned above – some people just can’t seem to help themselves when it comes to dropping themselves in a big ol’ pot of hot water and controversy. A certain well known footballer seems to go out of his way to cause drama on Twitter, and far too many companies (generally speaking on the small/medium sized end of the scale, though many large corporations are just as guilty!) use their platforms as a soap box to air their 140 characters worth of disdain and disappointment.

Of course, we all have an opinion, and social media is a great platform for solving problems in a time frame that we otherwise would never have been able to even 1 year ago (think phone companies and support accounts), however there is a right and wrong way to go about it. Especially when it comes to controversial news items. Remember, once it is out there, there is little you can do to take it back – and the damage a post could do to your integrity in the heat of the moment just isn’t worth the aggravation.

#2 “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket…”

When it comes to social presence, there is no one platform that outranks another – you need cross platform engagement and brand continuity. Of course, different styles are required for each and every site. More in depth posts and imagery works wonders over on Facebook, whereas a neatly placed hashtag can work wonders on Twitter.

Once you have gained your cross platform presence you gain authenticity as a brand, and give your customers (current or future) different mediums in engaging with you. With more and more focus moving to customer service (and expected response times an hour or less for people to keep their cool) it is more and more important to not only hear what your  followers and fans have to say, but respond and discuss the questions and queries they have.

#3 “Do unto others as you would have them do to you…”

When it comes to Twitter (and even Linkedin to some extent) you can’t sit back and wait for things to happen. It simply doesn’t work like that. If you want people to interact with you? You need to start interacting with them too. Many companies still insist on the robotic approach to social media – but people want to see that they are interacting with people. Inject some personality to your social media feeds and brand. Share funny stories, comment on questions. By showing there is a real person on the end of your 140 characters people are more likely to engage with you in return, and hopefully in the long term, convert into a little something more.

#4 “A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link..”

Lets face it – everyone…yes, EVERYONE is on social media nowadays. That includes every single one of your employees. We’ve all heard the horror stories of fired or ex staff members going rogue and as a result viral (for all the wrong reasons).

The importance of your overall appearance on social media can come down to every last cog in your business. If you work for a food company, and your staff are tweeting about their hangover and antics from the night before, it doesn’t seem all that appetising. If they are slating services or completely controversial in their own social presence, it will ultimately have an effect on your brand too.

It is becoming more and more common for social media clauses to be part of employment contracts, and its a safe thing to do. It is also wise to have a quick ‘Google’ of prospective employees, to check they aren’t airing their dirty laundry (sometimes quite literally!) in public.

#5  “Good things come to those who wait..”

We’ve said this many times, but social media is an a ‘slow and steady’ type race, and building organically is the only way to go. Still so many companies and individuals insist on buying followers and fans, acquiring tens of thousands overnight. To be blunt, it looks phoney and fake – and people aren’t stupid. If you are a local bistro and have a strong following in the local area, but have more followers than there are residents – then you’re going a little wrong. Whilst a strong presence is necessary to succeed, remember that you need a presence with the right people. It comes down to quality of quantity, and focusing on that quality will naturally expand your reach and gain your business the necessary authenticity to gain said success.

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