What the eff is Social Media Etiquette and why should I give a hoot?
Just be cool man
Post by: The Kinship Studio
Social media is a best in it's own right. There are so many things that you need to know and navigate towards how your account should be run, it can be a lot to handle. While we have an awesome workshop about how to go through all those confusing steps, one thing we don't often chat about is social media etiquette. We know what you're thinking "oh come on ANOTHER thing I have to know about? This is getting out of hand". And yes it is another thing, however it is actually a super important thing, because no one wants to be a butthed. We laid out a couple of the main areas to make sure you watch out for, so you don't end up in someones bad books.
Ok but like, what is it actually?
That part is easy, social media etiquette is essentially, how to have manners and know what you can and should not share of yours and others content and what you respond to and what you don't. All social platforms are turning into a smorgasbord of images, and at times, their rightful owners can get lost in the overall sharing. Also sometimes we don't know if things are ok to post, or how to post them or what images I can take and where we should take them. Making sure that the rightful owner gets their credit is what is important, as well as making sure the content you are sharing is the message you want to send.
Can I share someones Images?
Great question! While we all know that once an image is posted on to a site like Facebook or Instagram, it technically now belongs to and is owned by those respective platforms, it is still important to credit the artist, creator, maker or whoever is the originator of that content.
Clearly there is a reason that you are sharing an image, it might be the image itself, maybe the message, funny phrase, doesn't matter why you are sharing it, the fact is that you are using someones images on your page, which has a general function of being instude as your own content. When you share something that isn't yours, a lot of people will think that it is yours and therefore think they can come to you for that (outfit styling, food plating, interior design etc) and that wouldn't be super accurate. It also is known as "stealing" when you improperly share something. You have taken something you didn't make and are sharing it to get yourself either more branding or image awareness. A simple way to do this and avoid bad blood is simple by tagging and giving credit to the original creator. a simple tag and mention will help show that you don't steal content and that you support the art of those who make what you like.
What are the rules on who to follow and when to follow back and when to like something when they like something of yours? It's nuts when you think about it, however instead of looking at it as "should I follow back or not or like their photo back or not", you should look at it as increasing your engagement with your audience. A lot of times you will see people just following any random account to get a follow back to get lots of follows and then get lots of likes and be internet famous. Probably not the best way to grow a business or an account. You really want to be genuine when you are posting and engaging on your account. Don't follow people just to get a follow back AND don't NOT follow people because you want a low follow rate so you look super cool. Do what feels natural. If someone follows you, go look at their account and see if it vibes with you and if so, give it a follow. If a personal account follows your business account and you aren't comfortable following them where they post personal images, thats ok. Follow what best supports your brand and or interests because that is actually what social media was created for, to be inspired, engaged and connect.
If I Throw Enough Spaghetti at the Wall, Some of it will Stick
If you are posting upwards of 2-3+ images a day, congrats! You are a spammer! It can seem like if you post a lot you will eventually find something people like and that will work. That isn't the best idea because things just fill up peoples feed, they get sick of you and will end up not wanting to participate in your image sharing. One post a day is plenty. Making sure it has meaning and reason behind is also the best option. If you want to share lots with people, stories is where you can do that! Share away in your stories because people can just swipe past.
You can spam with comments just as much as images. While its important to comment and engage you have to make sure it's genuine and authentic. Setting up a bot to go comment for you is not great, people see through the generic comments of "so cool" "great pic" and loose confidence in your brand. Comment specific and real comments on photos, "love the breakfast at this restaurant!" "ah I saw them in concert last summer! they were awesome!" are specific and honest.
Slide into my DMs
Direct messages can get overwhelming, especially when you have emails and comments and people are coming at you every possible way. Some people put in their bio "No DM, email only" or something in that like to stream line questions, however in this day and age people expect that they should be able to connect with you whenever and however they want. It is important that you respond to messages or comments in a timely fashion, such as 24 hours, to give the best service. Answering DM's, even just to say please email at this address is important to maintaining relationships. If someone responds to something that doesn't really have a question or comment (such as they reacted to a story), giving it a simple like shows that you saw and appreciate their time and voice. It can also help you to make sure you don't answer at all hours. Answering your DM's between the hours of 9-3 is perfectly acceptable and also trains your audience that you don't answer at all times. Create a schedule so you aren't pushing yourself.
You can't be perfect and thats totally ok, just making sure you're doing your best is all you need when learning the do's and do not's of the social world.