Business Etiquette for Social Media

Times have changed from using fliers to create awareness and give updates on your business – the digital world has taken over. 

Social media is a vital component to promoting businesses, and how a business engages on social media is crucial to its brand’s presence in the digital world. Content that aligns with your brand and its audience will get the highest engagement. Basically, the content you’re sharing should make sense coming from the point-of-view of your company. Here are some suggestions we find valuable on business etiquette for social media.

Start with a Goal

As a company, you need to establish your goal and purpose for using social media and the different platforms available. Research and evaluate the platforms to find which best suit your business. Decide on your target audience, who you’re trying to engage with. As with any social relationship, social media accounts need to be nurtured and the more you give the more you get. You don’t want your social pages to remain stationary and stale. Connect with pages and people that agree with your company’s core values. Interacting with people’s and other businesses’ social media pages is a great option for exposure to help develop awareness for your brand.

Learn the Platforms

It is not required, nor in the best interest, for every business to use every social platform. Some platforms offer different features that are more favorable for certain types of business, whether you offer a product or a service. Keep in mind social media is a channel for two-way communication, making it a customer service function.

For business, there are two ways to use social media: paid and organic. Paid social media posts you pay for your content to be displayed on certain feeds based on specific parameters you have set for the campaign. Paid content can also be scheduled to run for a designated period. Whereas organic social media posts use each social platform’s features to help optimize your reach and exposure. Organic posts require more research to find what agrees most with your target audience. Part of organically breaking into a social network includes using hashtags, but some platforms are better suited for hashtags than others.


Facebook allows for the most written content but, keep in mind people have shortened attention spans on social media. It is also important to keep the content simple; generally, it is suggested to write at an 8th-grade level.

Stay engaged. People are likely to communicate their experience with your company: good, bad or indifferent. You want to make sure to guide the conversation and respond to the good as much as the bad. When responding, it is best to acknowledge the person’s name and if possible tailor the message to them personally. Avoid using the same response to every comment or complaint. Even though it is available, hashtags are not necessary on Facebook. It has limited reach for visibility and engagement purposes.


Instagram is the strongest platform for imagery. Instagram is essentially a digital-visual merchandise management platform. Make sure to display some form of consistency with the photos you use and format them consistently with the same filter(s). People may or may not read the captions on your posts, but they will remember, like and possibly share the image.

Instagram stories, which have taken the platform by storm, are video clips with features to temporarily document or permanently feature on your profile as a ‘highlight.’ This can give a ‘behind the scenes,’ exclusive look. Since this platform focuses on the visual, keep in mind this platform likely has the shortest attention span per post out of all social media platforms. However, hashtags are great for exposure on this platform.


Twitter is strongest for short, written content and its immediacy. This is probably the most conversational platform. People voice everything and anything on this platform, from personal to general statements. Abbreviations for words are acceptable and strongly suggested on this platform because of the limited character count.

Use sources, such as Ritetag or even Twitter’s trending section, to develop content using hashtags that are relevant and what most people are paying attention to. Be part of the conversation, but only when it makes sense to your brand. This will help you gain the most exposure that you can. It is best to limit the number of hashtags you use on this platform to two, no more than three at the maximum.


YouTube allows for video content and is probably the most difficult to make engaging. Statistics have shown that 20 percent of people who start a YouTube video will leave after the first 10 seconds; the video must be engaging as soon as it starts.

Thumbnails and tags, like keywords, are your best bet for engagement. A thumbnail is a custom image that displays when your video is listed, and the right image could draw your audience to watch your videos. Make the video content engaging by starting conversations. People can comment on this platform, which is one of its main features for engagement. The more interest you draw to your video content and the more you encourage conversation the more you can grow your following by including the call-to-action of getting them to subscribe.

Social media has developed a whole new world for marketing practice. Some companies have an entire team to manage their social media; whether it be aggregating and creating content, sharing and engaging with others content or monitoring their own social channels to make sure conversations stay on topic. Remember, this is a form of customer service and it is important to communicate with your customers.

There are a plethora of possibilities for growth through social media, you just need to do your research and be smart with the strategy. For more advice on strategizing and managing your social media pages, visit the Big Marlin Group website or contact us to collaborate on your digital marketing strategies today!

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