Let’s pick back up where we left off from part 1. If you haven’t had a chance to read the first part to this blog post, you can read it here – Social Media: Separating Business From Personal [Part 1]. I explained a little bit about why we see this as an issue for businesses.

DON’T post on behalf of the business unless it relates to the business.

If you want to be social and active with friends and family on social media, do it using your own personal profile and not the business profile. Think twice before posting or engaging – is this appropriate and does this provide clarity for the business or does this cause confusion?

TIP: If an individual tags the business in a post (for instance showing off product purchased, thanking or getting the business’ attention, etc), these are instances where it’s appropriate to like, comment, and respond as the business however you see fit. In fact, we encourage this type of activity as long as it is appropriate for the business.

DON’T like or comment on your own posts unless in response to someone else.

Don’t be that business that posts something on Facebook and then is the first one to “like” their own post or comment on it. It’s just awkward. You might as well hold up a big sign that says, “I don’t know how social media works!”

Instead, like the comments of others to show your approval or comment on customer feedback or questions people post.

DO respond to negative comments

It comes with the territory that you aren’t going to have 100% happy and satisfied customers all of the time. There will be people who have had bad experiences with your business no matter how hard you worked to make it a good one. That’s just life – you can’t please everybody. But you better believe that some of those unhappy customers will take to social media to give you a peace of their mind. When you receive a negative comment, review, message, or customer service issue, ADDRESS IT PUBLICLY….aka don’t delete it.

People, especially your following, need to see that you are doing something about it. Don’t just ignore or delete it as soon as you see it. As a business, it goes without saying that part of your job is to provide customer service. Good customer service means you do what you need to to listen to your customers and help resolve their bad experiences with your business. Addressing it publicly so others can read shows your customers they are important and you want to make things right.

TIP: Now some people get nasty so keep in mind that if you are responding to people, ones with legitimate concerns or issues are ones you should prioritize.

BONUS TIP: Instead of trying to have a 1-on-1 conversation in a comment thread on your profile, ask the upset customer to private message you with details and say you will be happy to help. Alternatively, comment that you will message them privately to get the issue resolved. Comment with the action you are taking so people don’t have to guess whether you did something about the negative comment or if you just ignored it.

Ultimately, creating some boundaries and separation between your business and your personal social media will more often than not be healthier for both you and the business. Strengthening your brand identity should always be a top priority.