Here are some rules of engagement when utilizing social media. When you are first starting out as an entrepreneur, you may not have an elaborate budget to hire a team of experts to manage marketing your business. Here are 5 simple DONTS for entrepreneurs using social media.

1. Engaging

Social media has transformed the way the world does business. It is free (for the most part) and one of the largest advertising channels. As an entrepreneur you should have a social media page. However, a lot of entrepreneurs wrongly post content about their brand or product but never engage their audience. While having fresh content is important, it’s also important to participate in a conversation with your followers. A lack of conversation can decrease the value of one’s social presence, causing a brand not to build valuable relationships. Just like communication is important in a relationship, you are in a relationship with your followers that requires you to nurture and water the relationship so that it will grow.

2. Fake Followers

While fake followers can give the illusion of social media credibility, you must have real followers to achieve real success on social media. If you are looking to get real feedback and reach with your brand, the best option is to organically grow your following base.  Additionally, people have become more aware of different trends related to accounts with fake followers. Once people discover you are buying followers, you could potentially lose credibility as a business.

3. Spamming

Have you ever been tagged in a post by someone you didn’t even know? Or the content wasn’t relevant to your likes or interests? The first thought that comes to mind is to block the party tagging you. Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes, and use the same rules of engagement. If you wouldn’t want someone to do it to you, then you probably shouldn’t do it to someone else.

4. Not all humor is funny

While humor sometimes can be a universal language, as an entrepreneur or business you are held to a higher standard. While companies such as Wendy’s have been able to successfully “clap back” on social media, there’s a fine line between being funny and being offensive. Who can forget the Houston Rockets tweet that led to the termination of their Digital Communications Manager? The Houston Rockets played and won against the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs; fans all over were excited about the win. Well, one overzealous fan that controlled the Houston Rockets twitter account (also known as Chad Shank the company’s Digital Communications Manager) took things a tad bit too far by tweeting a gun emoji pointing at a horse emoji (representing the Mavericks mascot) along with “Shhhhh. Just close your eyes. It will all be over soon.” While I don’t think there was malicious intent, that is a great example of humor gone wrong.

Photo Credit: Houston Rockets

Photo Credit: Houston Rockets

5. Failing to Establish Metrics

Many companies have social media accounts and have no idea how well their campaigns are working. That’s because they have not created a goal that they plan to achieve through their campaigns. For a campaign to be a successful investment, you have to be able to measure the results and have the ability to improve the campaign. Some of the ways that you can track your social media campaign effectiveness include: brand mentions, social shares, referred traffic from social media sites to your website and the number of engaged members (comments and direct messages).