Your social media channels are a huge part of your brand and should be treated as such. They should present your business in a positive light and help you connect with your customers, both old and new, on a more personal level.

Now more than ever, it’s important to know both what you should be doing on your social media channels, as well as what you shouldn’t be doing. These guidelines go beyond just content alone, and the more you know, the better equipped you’ll be when putting together a social media plan that takes all of these components into account.

Although it can be overwhelming to execute correctly, if you take the time to get to know your audience, plan ahead of time and create relevant content, you’ll increase your chances of achieving your social media goals.

For part 1 of 2 in this series, here are a few tips as to what you should not be doing on your various social media channels.

Don’t be Overly Self-Promotional

Although it’s essential to educate your customers on your business and its offerings, it’s also important to know when to do it. Your content shouldn’t always be exclusively about your business, there should be some variation involved. It can be beneficial to be comical, interesting and unique on social media, so long as it’s appropriate. Sharing content that is entertaining and unique (articles, gifs, memes, etc.) will help you build personal connections with your customers. They might even share your content on their own pages if they like it enough.

Don’t Forget to Cross-Promote on Your Channels

If you’re operating multiple social media channels, like a Facebook and an Instagram, you should be cross-promoting your content across these channels. Doing this will increase exposure to your posts and can help generate more engagement than a single channel alone. For instance, if you’ve published a new product on your Instagram page with a description and other information, be sure to link that post to your Facebook page as well. A lot of your customers may have one channel and not the other, so it’s important to cross-promote your content.

Don’t Ignore Comments and Reviews

Your social media channels are meant to be just that, social. That means engaging and communicating with your customers, even when you don’t want to. You should be responding to comments and reviews, both positive and negative, in a timely fashion. If your customer posts a question, they are more than likely expected in to be answered within a 24-hour window. If you can’t write out an answer immediately, you should write a short response explaining that you’re seeking out the information and will have an answer soon.

Don’t Spam Your Followers

Much like email spam, your customers don’t want their social media pages to be spammed either. Don’t post about the same content or topics over and over again, as it can become annoying to your followers. You want to have variation in your content to keep things interesting. You also want to make sure that you’re not posting more than the recommended number of times on each channel.

Don’t Forget to Stay Updated

Social media best practices are ever-changing. You want to make sure that you stay updated and informed when these changes occur. Set aside some time every few months to research any trends or updates. You should also monitor your competitor’s social media channels and see what kind of content they are posting. You might come up with a few unique ideas of your own from doing this.