How To Use Social Media For Business

Unofficial rules of social media

Using social media to promote your business is very different to using a personal account.  Obviously you want to tell people about what you offer, but you don't want to talk about that too much or you'll put people off.  You want to engage with your customers and potential customers, and give them a reason to follow you.  Below I have summarised some of the dos and don'ts of using your social media accounts for business.




Take the time to reply to comments and queries. Social media is all about interaction and responding to things in a timely manner will encourage that.


Engage in arguments; remember everyone can read your comments. Keep it professional at all times. 


Post links to useful articles/projects/news stories/events that would be of interest to your followers.  If you get a reputation as a good source of knowledge you will get more followers.



Only post links to your own site, or post the same links over and over.  It will bore your followers and make them stop following you.


Update regularly but leave a gap of at least 30 mins-1 hour between updates.  Try to stick to a regular schedule so people know when to expect updates.


Suddenly post 10 updates in a row because you haven’t updated for a week or so.  It’s a very fast way to lose followers.


Tell people about your offers, sales, new products etc but in moderation and interspersed with other updates.


Spam people with endless updates about your business.


Ask questions and try and encourage interesting debates relevant to your area of business.


Debate contentious issues which could result in you losing followers.  It is generally best to avoid voicing strong views on religion or politics.


Share good quality images.  You normally get more interaction with images; they also tend to rank better on Facebook.  On other networks people may pin them onto Pinterest bringing you more traffic.


Use poor images, people may think that poor images = poor quality products.  Also never try to pass other people’s images off as your own.


Promote other businesses who are complementary to your business. If you are lucky they may promote you in exchange and it can also help you build relationships with other businesses.


Bad mouth competitors – it makes you look petty and could even result in libel action.


Address negative comments, it allows your other customers to see that you do acknowledge & deal with complaints in a professional manner.


Ignore or delete complaints.  It will only irritate the complainant more and could lead to them bad mouthing your company on other platforms that you can’t control.


Take the time to check your spelling and grammar to help make your account look professional.


Use swear words, slang or a rude tone.  It will give a bad impression of your business.


Allow your personality to shine through.  With small businesses in particular people want to get to know the owners and feel that they can relate to you.


Over share personal information, or moan about your personal problems.  People don’t like negativity.


Think before you post, once said in the public arena some things cannot be unsaid.


Post when you are angry or over emotional.  Think about it and come back to it later when you are feeling calmer.