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10 Commandments for Social Media

September 29, 2014

Social media presents a multitude of channels for free-form messaging. For business purposes, it can be challenging to know what the “rules” or “guidelines” are for effective messaging and engagement online.

At BMG, we believe in a simple, clear message for your audience. Here is our take on the “10 Commandments” for the modern digital age ( though we’ve kept some Biblical speak for your enjoyment).

1. Thy Brand is Thy Brand

While it is always great to keep your website and business’ style fresh, stick to your essential value-add, and work to have it come through in everything you write. Write to engage, inform, and be useful. Your users will appreciate you for it, and further think of you as an expert.

2. Thou Shalt Keep Thy Scope

There are many market and industry trends that will come and go, and lots of “buzz” out there on the news. If it directly relates to your industry and business, use social media to be involved in the conversation. If a trend or news piece does not, however, it’s best to stay out.

This way, you aren’t trying to be anything other than yourself. It keeps the integrity and credibility of your business in tact, and lets users know that your channels speak beyond the buzz.

3. Thou Shalt Build a Platform

There are many channels out there: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Yelp, Your website’s blog, etc. These may not all necessarily be for your business. Assess which ones work best for you (for example, if you’re a restaurant, we highly recommend an active Yelp page). Select 2-3 channels, and invest quality time and energy into making them draws to customers (and ultimately your website/business).

Note that Tweets are different from Facebook posts are Different from 4Square promotions. Cater to your audience each time, and see the benefit of doing so.

4. Thou Shall Not Slander Thy Competition

In fact, we suggest considering the opposite – is there a way you can have an industry conversation online? A meeting of the minds?
In the common case that you don’t see it appropriate to “converse” with competition online, stick to the issues. If there’s something that must be critiqued, focus on the idea, and not the company.

5. Thou Shalt Honor Thy Source

Your blog might post industry information. While much of what you write might be common knowledge, it is still a good idea to credit your sources (information, photographs, etc.).

Plus, it doesn’t hurt your SEO either.

6. Remember the Sabbath Day

Take days off from Social Media. Prevent information saturation, and write a schedule out of when you want to post, on which platform, and with what frequency.

For example, you might tweet 1-3 times per day, then post 1 blog, and write 1 Facebook post per week. This way it’s active, and balanced.

7. Thou Shalt Respond To Thy Comments

Today’s marketing is a two-way street. Social media wouldn’t be very social if it was just you talking. Engage, ask questions, and respond. Your web activity will skyrocket as a result.

8. Thou Couldst Promote Others

Promoting your own business goes without saying in social media. However, promoting other related businesses in your industry could speak volumes. Building networks of reciprocity online is not only lucrative for business, but it also gives users a peek into the people behind the brand.

9. Repeat to Remind, and Not Rampage

It’s ok to promote a contest or discount more than once, but there are better (i.e. less annoying) ways to do it than others. If repeating a promotion, don’t post the exact same thing. Re-write it, relate it to today, get a new angle or spin on it. Not only does this keep content fresh, different languaging might capture the attention of different readers.

10. Giveth of Value, and Taketh No Crap

Whatever you do, always be clear on your intention behind posting something on social media. It might be as simple as “we haven’t spoken about X yet, let’s talk about it,” but unconscious posting equates to nothing but noise.
That’s our take here! Have a great Monday everyone.

If you’d like a consult on your website, or how to present content, contact our offices.

Chris A.

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Chris is a high energy graduate of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. His passion for brand development and management has led him to the digital marketing space. Combining innovative thinking with business acumen, he has experience on the front lines as an account manager, social media lead, writing copy for marketing material and brand promotion. In his personal time, he is an avid barefoot runner, globetrotter, and self-proclaimed yogi.

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