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There are certain unwritten rules of social media that I follow and a lot people (even you) unknowingly follow.

These rules are imperative to your brand’s online success; simply put they can either make or break your brand.

What I am sharing with you today are my best kept secrets and is the reason this blog continues to do really well on and off social media. I decided to share just three rules because I know my readers, they like it short but straight to the point. Plus I don’t want to bore you and myself with so many rules.

Confession, this blog has only been active for 11 months now and being my first serious blog I do admit I still have a long way to go. That being said I did pick up rather quickly a thing or two about these unwritten rules of social media.

We all have different reasons to use social media, for most people social media is the place they go to snoop around on their friend’s updates, look up a trending topic, read random articles, watch random funny videos, or just simply scroll their feed until something captures their attention.

But for me and most marketers and business owner’s social media is the place where our brand meets the consumer and the consumer meets our brand.

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There is a quote I love by Ben Grossman that explains really well what it means to be social – New Marketing is about relationships, not the medium

So what are these unwritten rules of social media anyway?

Unwritten Rule of Social Media # 1: Do NOT Beg For Retweets, Shares, Likes and Comments.

It seems obvious right? Wrong! It happens so often, in so many different forms and I HATE it.

I don’t know about your business but for mine this is RULE #1.

If you don’t care about liking my posts, sharing them or even reading them I am not interested in convincing you otherwise.

I know who my audience is and you should too if you want your business to succeed online.

So what if you have 0 likes? That doesn’t mean your content isn’t great, perhaps what it really means is you need to work a little harder to get your audience interested.

I posted this quote on my Instagram page not too long ago and I wasn’t surprised to see people who felt the same way comment so passionately, I just love my fans

Unwritten Rule of Social Media # 2: Research Hashtags

Hashtags are NOT a random afterthought that you add to fill up your 140 character posts, they are a STRATEGY.

If you want to reach a certain type of audience the way to do that is through the use of hashtags.

Good hashtags have the Keywords that are related to your post. The more hashtags you use the better, trust me there is no such thing as less is more when it comes to hashtags.

Ive discovered as a rule of thumb:

  • Twitter – 4 Hashtags work best
  • Instagram – 10 Hashtags work, 15 even better.
  • Facebook – 0 hashtags works best at most 3.

I only cover these three platforms because they are what I use mostly and I have tried and tested use of hashtags on all of them.

Forget the research you’ve read online, these stats have worked for me and they can work for you too!

So now that you know hashtags work, how do you use them in your posts?

I use a tool called Hashtagify to research all my Hashtags before I post them.

If you do a search on Hashtagify for the hashtag #business this is what comes up:

hashtags data by

What you guys are seeing here are related hashtags that can be used as a complementary to the hashtag #business. 

You can also use a tool called webstagram to research popular hashtags. If a hashtag is poplar you might want to consider using it at some point.

You can also track how well your hashtags are performing against others.

Unwritten Rules of Social Media # 3: Auto DM Everyone That Follows You.

Nobody will ever tell you this, you can thank me now because I just have.

When I started being active on Twitter I discovered that this is actually a thing!

To be totally honest they are annoying as hell, but everyone is doing it, that’s why it’s part of the unwritten rules of social media.

If you have tried building an organic fan base on social media you know it’s NOT easy. People have to genuinely be interested in your content otherwise you won’t get any engagement.

So because of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) at the time, I started doing some research online on tools that can help me send out these DM’s to people who follow me.

My discovery led me to the tool called Crowdfire for no particular reason I started using it, okay I did have ONE reason, it’s mostly free.

I recently stumbled upon yet another tool called

When someone follows you on Social Media this is your first moment of interaction with that person so just like in real life you need to formally introduce yourself/brand/business and it doesn’t hurt to throw in a call to action too.

Not everyone will respond but over 70% of people who have followed me on Twitter almost always write back. For this to really really work your Copywriting skills need to be on point. Think of your DM as a sales pitch to a potential client.

To prove to you guys that this rule works this is what I auto DM everyone who follows me on Twitter:

Thanks for the follow! Got a minute? It’s by far the MOST shared article on my blog Show some love, Read and Share “

I posted that bit link towards the end of October last year to date, that article has over 500 shares on social media and get this over 360 clicks on that one link over a period of less than 2 months! Don’t believe me here’s a screenshot of my bitly dashboard

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Screenshot of my Dashboard


Unlike what the critics say I guess someone was actually interested.

Take Home,

Social media is not about trial and error, you literally have no room to make mistakes. It’s always better to hit the ground running when it comes to social media that is why equipping yourself with the right skills, knowledge and tools will guarantee to skyrocket your brand online.

More than anything I hope you can start with these 3 unwritten rules of social media.

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Catherine Mong’ina is the Founder and CEO of E-Technology Africa, a digital marketing agency based in Nairobi, Kenya offering social media, S.E.O, website and app development services. She works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing digital marketing content that gains social media attention and increases you search visibility.


    • Hi Jonah,

      OMG! As I wrote the article I seriously never thought that someone from Hashtagify would read it too! So cool.

      I am glad I could share it with my readers, it’s a great tool that everyone should be using.

      Consider me your unofficial ambassador 🙂



  1. Hey Catherine, it’s my first time reading your blog but guess I like it a lot! Thanks for such helpful tips and tricks, you just touched a soul 😉

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