You probably already know this but it’s worth mentioning again. Social media is considered one of the most important functions on the Internet. With over 400 million people logging onto their social media accounts daily, it’s a resource that cannot be ignored. Potentially useful for marketing and brand recognition, social media is probably one of the most provocative tools since TV first premiered. However, we should point out that as fast as social media can propel a business, improper use of the social media machine, could also destroy it. Here are a few useful points to bear in mind when using social media to boost your brand:

1. Avoid mixing personal with business

Whilst a little personal interaction is good, there is a very fine line that, if crossed, can be detrimental to your bottom line. Many companies have suffered after accidentally blending too much of their personal life into their business profile through social media. If in doubt, adopt the 70/30 rule; devote 70% of your time to marketing and 30% to personal interaction, including comments on followers non-work related posts.

2. Your post is there to stay

Remember, anything you post on social media, stays there forever. And just because people have stopped liking or commenting on your post, doesn’t mean it disappears. It’s usually the most controversial posts that resurface over and over again, usually at a time most damaging to your image. So keep track of anything you’ve posted in case you inadvertently contradict yourself later.

3. Those annoyingly stupid posts

It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how often it happens. Posting the first thought that pops into your head might not always be the cleverest move. In fact you could end up sounding plain ridiculous. Give some thought to your posts so you avoid losing valuable social media followers with random posts.

4. Causing offence

Slinging insults can potentially offend your followers, possibly even your biggest clients. There is never a good time to complain via social media so find the right channels for complaints. Keep in mind that even your personal account may be under scrutiny by your clients.

5. Stick to the rules

Your content should always be within the guidelines of the social media site you’re using. Never post topics deemed inappropriate to that social platform. Not only is it detrimental to your image, your account could be removed. Not a great look for your company profile.

6. Don’t move too slowly

If you need to address a social media blunder or a controversy in one of your posts, do it quickly. Social media has a long memory.

7. Plan your social media

Vital to any company wanting to succeed online, is a social media plan. Knowing the correct buzzwords, hash tags and posting styles can boost your social media presence. Research and planning is key. Consider both the good and bad results from any social media campaign when working through the planning process.

8. Don’t be afraid

Use social media to promote your brand, company and business, and you’ll reap the benefits. Not plugging into social media and your business could be left behind. If used correctly social media is an undeniable force. Good or bad, social media is here to stay. Use it wisely and your business will prosper.