Four Social Etiquette Tips to Improve your Social Media

I’ve always thought of social media as a digital conversation. Yes, we use GIFs, hashtags and links, but at the heart of it, we’re communicating thoughts and images with each other. We’re just using a digital platform. Most of what I have to say will come across as common sense to social media professionals who have worked for several years, but for those like me who are still learning, here are some helpful tips to improve your digital conversation.

Engage with Others

This is probably one of the easiest things to do, but many feel uncomfortable like it’s a middle school dance instead of a post. Don’t be afraid to start the conversation. Post something relevant to your brand, reach out to other profiles, engage with your viewers with a simple tweet or Facebook post. Reply to others, check your mentions and DM’s, and follow back. It’s ok to make friends with others. It builds up your following and reinforces your current following’s loyalty to your brand.

It doesn’t have to be planned or turn into a huge campaign. Could you imagine having a conversation with a person who planned out everything they wanted to say beforehand? Make sure your social media posts come across as natural while still getting the message across. Go ahead and say hello.

Know Your Audience

If there are posts about motorcycles and the brand is a clothing boutique, then there may be something wrong with who you’re targeting in the posts. Unless it’s a post about a motorcycle shirt.

Crazy example, I know, but you get the idea. It’s like if you’re at a party and everyone is talking about a sporting event, and then one person comes up and starts talking about math equations. Just like a conversation, see what others have said before you and bring your perspective to the table. Keep the conversation going, but make sure to contribute relevant content.

One of the biggest mistakes a person can make on social media platforms is not looking their demographics before posting. It’s an easy mistake to avoid now that there are several analytics websites that allow a user to track their demographics. Use these websites to track your demographics, what posts have been effective, what hasn’t been and make changes.

Include Others

No one likes feeling excluded in a conversation, so make sure each viewer feels included. You don’t have to respond to every single tweet or comment, but acknowledge the users in some way, shape or form. Users that feel acknowledged or like their voice has been heard will continue to contribute to the digital conversation and will come back to the page/brand.


This is the easiest mistake to avoid, but it is committed by several organizations. Using the conversation example again, imagine two people at a party. Person A is trying to talk to Person B, but Person B isn’t listening or responding. Person A feels awkward and upset about not being heard or acknowledged by Person B, which makes their opinion change of Person B.

Listen to the users and respond to them. Even if it’s just a private message answering their question or liking their mention of your brand, do it. Listen to the users and their feedback. Social Media is the new word of mouth. This is where customers go to look up different products, restaurants and brands. Listen to what the users are saying and respond when appropriate.

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Rachel Sprouse

Hello! I'm a senior in Journalism at Auburn University. Grad Date: Dec 16.

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