Social media may be popular and easy to access, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to navigate your way through the waters. Just like your Uncle Bob and his affinity for typing in all caps, you could be breaking a serious social media rule of etiquette without even realizing it.

Listen to the Customer

Being on social media isn’t a chance to talk AT people — it’s an opportunity to engage with them. When customers comment on a post or send you a message online, respond as quickly and professionally as possible. When they tag you in posts elsewhere, chime in with your two cents or a brief interaction. Customers want to be wanted and if you invest time with them, they’ll be more likely to invest their money with you.

Focus Your Attention

Don’t try to be all things to all people online. Focus on your industry and don’t worry about posting cat videos or links to the latest piece of viral content. Instead focus on content that actually relates to your business and that your customers will naturally connect with your company.

Your Content Should Be Current

This has been true for websites since the dawn of the Internet but in social media, it’s even more important. Be sure your social media team is working closely with other departments by using cloud based inventory management and retail sales analysis software that gives up to the minute figures on product levels and sales. This will help you promote specific items and track the success of specific online campaigns easily.

Commit to Quality

Don’t be in a rush to post any old content. Instead take the time and make the investment to create high-quality content. People respond more positively to content that isn’t rehashed. Be the innovator, not the follower.

Be Reliable

Setting a pace for posts on social media is crucial. Too much and people will feel overwhelmed, too little and they’ll sense your heart isn’t in it. Develop a schedule that’s reasonable in terms of the message you want to get across and the amount of time you’re willing to spend in the long run.