5 Social Media Rules and When To Break Them

Buh-buh-buh-breaking the law, breaking the law. 

We know, we know, it’s not always cool to break the rules. But sometimes being bad can be oh so good. 

When it comes to social media rules, there are a lot of fickle, goody two shoes out there. There are probably some social media managers out there who would live AND die by their rules and regulations. But, sometimes it pays to say screw it and throw out the rule book. 

So here is a list of the top social media rules and when it’s a good idea to break them.

Have a Consistent Tone of Voice – Be Ready to Rebrand

Having a distinctive tone of voice is very important as a brand. It’s what helps define a brand and set it apart from the millions of others out there. 

It can be friendly and familiar, or vague and mysterious. Whatever it is, it should be consistent. A consistent TOV makes your brand seem professional and it makes everything you post seem, well, on-brand

However, as important as consistency is, if the old approach is not working out, don’t be afraid to rebrand and mix things up! 

If you feel like your TOV isn’t working or it just doesn’t match the vibe you’re trying to go with, then ditch it. It’s better to have a total overhaul of your brand persona than stick with a TOV that isn’t working for your business. 
Need some help figuring out your TOV, check out our blog on how to create your brand’s persona.

Keep the Content Short – Be Descriptive When You Need to Be

According to Hubspot, the ideal caption length for an Instagram post is 138 to 150 characters whilst Facebook posts with 80 characters or less receive 66% higher engagement.

Whilst short and snappy is always great for visual platforms, such as Instagram or TikTok, it won’t do any harm to be more descriptive in your captions every now and again. 

If you’re doing a BTS update, a ‘Meet the Team’ or some other post that requires you to be more informative, don’t hold back from getting descriptive with your captions. 

In addition, if you don’t already, look into starting a blog for your brand. This long-form content is a great marketing tool for driving traffic to your site and is also a great thing to put on your social media channels. 

Don’t Post Too Frequently – Post in Clusters

There’s nothing worse than a brand that clogs up your feed with their incessant posting. It’s annoying for followers and a waste of time for businesses. 

However, not only is it a social media faux pax to overpost, but it can also be detrimental to your brand’s social presence and reach. In fact, according to the findings of a Hubspot study, smaller Instagram and Facebook pages experienced a 50% drop in engagement per post if they posted more than once per day. That’s a pretty big dip.

Instead, many experts would suggest that one post per day is optimal for most businesses to keep their audience engaged and grow their following. 

But (and it’s a big but), if the occasion calls for it, posting several times in a day can be useful. For instance, if your brand has an active Twitter, it would be a better idea to try and post more frequently, such as 15 times per day.

Or, if you’re running a special series, such as a competition or an informative series for a Pride campaign (read here for more tips on running a meaningful and successful Pride social media campaign), it doesn’t hurt to post several times in one day.

Make a Content Strategy Plan – Be Proactive & Follow Trends

Ask any social media manager worth their salt, they’ll tell you that all businesses should maintain a detailed social media content plan. And they are right. A content calendar will help you build an online presence through gradual and continual posting. 

Also, with all content being planned and scheduled in advance, there is a lot more time for the stuff that requires more focus. Think about it. If you’re a small business owner, you don’t want to spend your time posting on your brand’s Instagram when you should be prioritising the brand itself. 

That said, it can also hurt to take this rule too seriously. Be ready to chuck out your schedule and go rogue every now and again. 

To keep your brand relevant and your content fresh, you should keep an eye out for current social media trends and jump on them. 

This can be as simple as participating in a certain challenge or hashtag. Or, this could mean adapting your content plan to suit a platform’s new feature, such as Instagram Reels. 

Plan out your content, of course, but also be ready to think on your feet and throw the plan out the window to hop on new hypes and get your content out there. 

Respond To Every Comment – Ignore/Block Trolls & Spam Accounts

It’s definitely true that a small business should stay on top of its comment section, answering enquiries and engaging with interested individuals. 

Interacting with followers is modern-day customer service. How you deal with customer questions in the comments can leave a lasting impression on your client base and set the tone for how people perceive your brand. 

If you’re friendly, familiar, and well-spoken, you come across as an authentic, professional brand. So you should answer even the stupidest questions about your product or service with a friendly and helpful tone. 

However, don’t be afraid to block and delete comments and/or accounts. There are a lot of trolls and spambots in the webisphere and not every rude or spammy comment warrants a response. 

Luckily, most social media channels have an inbuilt comment management feature, so it has never been easier to delete a troll.

DMT is a digital marketing team based in the heart of Manchester. If you’re interested in seeing how we can help your business succeed online, get in touch, or follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and LinkedIn.