Corporate Do’s and Don’ts to Social Media


By Megan Bronner

Social media is more prevalent than ever before, and as the number of social media outlets continues to grow, the amount of people using social media is growing as well. Many companies, corporations and organizations have taken to social media to reach the public. Social media can be particularly useful for up-and-coming businesses. Recently, other groups, such as government organizations and Fortune 500 companies, have also begun tweeting, instagramming and posting status updates with mixed results.

The Do’s

1. Be original: Corporations should think of creative posts in order to attract more followers. People appreciate humorous posts and posts that relate to pop-culture.

2. Think about it: With social media comes power to send a message out into the world that millions of people can see. When companies make social media errors, it often leaves them in a PR crisis. For example, this fall, Best Buy tweeted, “We have everything you need. Unless you need a payphone. #serial.” Given that the extremely popular podcast “Serial” investigates a real life murder of a teenage girl, this tweet could be deemed indelicate. Best Buy then tweeted an apology. Companies need to think about their vast audience before posting on social media so that they can keep their apologies to a minimum.

3. Know what you are doing: This seems obvious, but everyone makes mistakes. Especially if you were not born into the technology generation, use of social media does not always come naturally. Therefore, companies should make sure that the people controlling their social media accounts learn the ropes before they start posting. For example, the EPA accidentally sent out a tweet about the popular Kim Kardashian game, then said it was the fault of an auto-generated tweet. Knowing how to use social media outlets, such as Twitter, can help organizations avoid similar mishaps.

4. Interact: Not only can companies reach people with their posts, but they can also reach the masses by interacting with them. Through comments and conversation, social media allows companies to talk directly to their followers.

5. One size does not fit all: It is important to understand which platform works best for a company. There are many social media outlets that are better suited for certain businesses. Just because a lot of companies are on Facebook does not mean that all companies have to utilize Facebook. If companies are looking to boost their image on social media, they should try Google plus and YouTube. If companies wish to get more attention and boost customer engagement, then sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest will serve them best.

The Don’ts

1. Don’t over-post: There really is not anything more annoying than people who overdose on social media. Think of your annoying aunt who shares the results of whatever Buzzfeed quiz she just took: The same goes for corporations using social media. Companies ought to post often enough that they do not lose their followers’ attention, but not so much as to clog their followers’ news feeds.

2. Don’t neglect: Just as companies do not want to over-post, they can’t neglect their social media pages. Corporations have to find the right balance and decide how frequently they wish to post. They have to make sure they use social media so that it can benefit their company.

3. Don’t overuse hashtags: Hashtags can be complicated. They are a unique part of social media and have even found their way into conversations off social media. Hashtags work best when they are creative and not overused. Using a lot of hashtags can easily become confusing and make posts hard to read, so people probably will not end up reading them anyway.

4. Don’t delete negative comments: Even though negative comments can also negatively affect a corporation, it is best to address the comments, rather than ignoring or deleting them. People will notice if corporations they follow on social media do not address what people have to say, even if it is negative. For example, United Airlines almost always replies to tweets, even though they are usually complaints.

5. Don’t use automation: Corporations should not use automated posts, because these types of posts are clearly pre-written and seem robotic. Therefore, corporations should try to always make sure their postings seem as genuine as possible in order to keep their followers engaged in what they have to say.