One of the greatest channels to reach your customer base is social media. According to Statista, in 2021 84% of the American population used at least one form of social media, with that number being a whopping 4.2 billion users globally. Similarly, Meta reports that there are three million businesses who actively advertise on Facebook – which doesn’t include those businesses who have just an active page. It makes sense that you should also consider creating a social page for your business.

With every business act, standard etiquette must be followed. Read on to learn the do’s and don’ts of posting on a business social page.

Do: Be on social media

Social media can be an effective tool to reach your target market. If you’re wondering whether you should make a social page for your business, take this post as the sign you’ve been looking for. Business pages are free to make, which makes them a low-risk marketing channel for your business.

Don’t: Be on social media if you’re not going to be active

Don’t have a social media page just to have a social media page. If you don’t post regularly, then don’t create the social page. When individuals search for your page and find an empty social account, this can discredit your business, making customers feel like your page is illegitimate.

Do: Post regularly

Similar to the ‘don’t’ tip above, posting regularly on your social media page will help newcomers understand you’re a legitimate business. Keeping your information up to date will further enhance this (like holiday hours or current menus). Posts can include whether you’re attending a local event (like a Farmer’s Market), if you have a popular product back in stock.

Don’t: Post spam material

Reposting content from another account has a time and place, but make sure it’s not the only content you’re using. Also make sure it’s content that’s relevant to your business. For example, if you’re a local carpenter who owns a storefront with ready-made items like tables and chairs, it wouldn’t be on-brand to re-post political updates from your favorite candidate.

Do: Make it personal with your customers

YOU are YOUR business, and having a relationship with your customers is important. Share your ‘wins’ with your customers on your social page – like if you made a recent store renovation you’ve been meaning to work on or want to test the waters with a new recipe. You can also share info like if you’re closing the shop early to hold an employee appreciation event, or give thanks to another business owner who helped you with a project!

Don’t: Get too personal with your customers

Everyone loves seeing your children’s accomplishments, but posting them on your business page isn’t the best spot for that content. It’s important to remember that when it comes to social, there’s a difference between personal and business. Personal content like family picnics belongs on your personal page, and all things business belongs on the business page. But feel free to re-post your business content on your personal page!

Do: Follow industry best practices

Every business is different, so make sure what you post is in your business’s best interest. If you own a night club and want your followers to know that tonight’s a theme night, it’s better to post earlier in the day rather than after you already opened. Similarly, if you’re a biergarten it would make sense for you to host an Oktoberfest or St. Patrick’s Day promotion.

Feel free to try new things. If they don’t work out, just don’t do it again next time!

Don’t: Copy everything your competitors are doing

It’s important to remember that every business is unique, and that is the draw that gets people walking into your door. If there’s a new bakery in town who makes Instagrammable shakes, customers will notice if you start doing the same thing (and might penalize you for it).

Now, if you’re both celebrating Harry Potter’s birthday, that makes total sense. However, make sure your products are different enough to give your customer base a wider set of options to choose from. This can include selling Fizzing Whizzbees when your competitor is selling Treacle Tart. The point is not to make your customers decide who is better, but to fill the needs of your community.

Do: Respond to your reviews – even negative ones

Remember that social media is composed of user-generated content: meaning that all users, not just yourself, are able to create content talking about your business. While some features may be limited – like editing your privacy settings – the most common feature is the ability to leave reviews on a business page.

You should welcome reviews of all kinds, but remember that sometimes what people have to say might not be palatable. You don’t have to respond to every review, be respond to the negative ones. Responses can include apologies or offering ways to fix the problem. Making these responses public will show other users that you’re serious about the quality of your business. According to a study by Northwestern University, businesses who have an overall rating of 4.0 to 4.7 have more sales than those with perfect 5-stars.  

Don’t: Complain that your reviews are unfair

There’s a fine line between complaining and setting the record straight. For example, someone leaves a review on your page saying they came in on Sunday and experienced rude behavior. BUT, you’re closed on Sundays! Point this fact out to the customer in the review response. Not only will this show other customer reading your reviews that the reviewer is a troll, but according to Forbes unfair reviews can increase empathy for your business. This can lead to customers posing positive reviews on your site to offset the negative ones.

Social media etiquette rules can be arbitrary, so don’t take everything we post as scripture. Remember that there can be unique instances when you need to go against the grain of the do’s and don’ts list. At the end of the day, remember that the customers who are interacting with your site are regular humans just like you. Mistakes can be made, but if things get too far you can always just hit ‘delete.’