Social media rules? It’s just common sense right?

16 Jun

Is anyone else out there getting a bit sick of articles like “top 10 dos and don’ts on twitter”, “rules on how to engage in social media”, “facebook page 10 commandments”, “how to behave online”? They’re pretty much ten a penny these days and, in my view, most are pretty useless and just regurgitate the same old…

However, we all want to stay up to date right? And, make sure we’re doing it right in this ever changing space? Well, I certainly do, so I always make a point of reading the latest ‘how to’ type article – just in case I pick up something new or something I hadn’t thought of.

Having been in the social comms space for a while now, I have to say, most of it’s common sense, so it’s rare I spot a new nugget of any value. But when I do, it’s always a bit of a WOW moment and something I do my best to implement into what I do, and, of course, share with others – either by proactively tweeting it out, or by bookmarking it on my Delicious account.

And, I have to bear in mind that a lot of my clients are new to this space and are looking to me to help guide them through what many of them believe to be very scary waters. So, in the interest of sharing, I’ve posted below what I believe to be some of the most useful tips (for beginners) along with a link to the main articles.

But I have to say, whenever I want a sense check, or am looking for the latest tips and tricks in the social space, I turn to Mashable – in my view, THE best social media resource out there right now. In fact, I should probably get a t-shirt made with “What would mashable say?” blasted across it! I also think socialmediatoday and hubspot (blog) are pretty useful and make sure I have a daily feed of news coming through from them.

So, in the interest of sharing, here are a few of my favourite recent articles on rules, tips, how tos etc (targeted at beginners). And, I’d love to hear from you on any sites, lists, tips etc that you find refreshingly useful…

21 Rules for Social Engagement (from Mashable)

5. As in customer service, representatives require training to learn how to proactively and reactively respond across multiple scenarios. Don’t just put the person familiar with social networking in front of the brand.

10. Don’t speak at audiences through canned messages. Introduce value, insight and direction with each engagement.

11. Empower your representatives to offer rewards and resolutions in times of need.

12. Don’t just listen and placate — act. Do something.

16. Earn connections through collaboration and empower advocacy.

19. “Un-campaign” and create ongoing programs that keep you connected to day-to-day engagement.

20. “Un-market” by becoming a resource to your communities.

21. Give back, reciprocate, and recognize notable contributions from participants in your communities.

25 Characteristics of Highly Effective Social Media Campaigns

1) They spread like wildfire. Effective social media campaigns spread very fast. If your campaign is not spreading, it is not effective. Test the waters with micro campaigns. Learn to swim before attempting to ride the big waves.

2) They are not spammy. Don’t just promote your site links; share something insightful about your company or product. Don’t send out the same message to your community. It is spam…and it is very annoying to them. Even to you. Admit it.

7) They don’t ‘sell’. Instead of selling, you should work at generating leads with your social media campaign. Sell to those leads later on.

8 ) They build relationships. Don’t just broadcast. Interact. Building relationships  helps build even more relationships. It also increases the perception of value and builds loyalty.

16 Lessons on Using Social Media for Business

2. We can be everywhere – the internet opens up potential markets across the globe and, so, thinking globally will help you expand your reach. Don’t be limited by geography.
5. Don’t try and be everywhere – reflecting on lesson 2 can mean that we get over-stretched. So, pick what fits and works for you.
11. Not everyone is going to like you – there is so much truth in the variation of the old saying ‘You can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time’


10 Responses to “Social media rules? It’s just common sense right?”

  1. callumsaunders June 17, 2010 at 9:15 am #

    Hi Abi,

    First off, great post. I think there’s an immense amount of value to be gleaned from *trusted* peers regarding Social Media, rather than having to trawl a multitude of random sources. I recently wrote a post on how LinkedIn, blogging and Social Media in general has given rise to a plethora of ‘instant gurus’ (

    Whilst Social Media gives genuine ‘authorities’ an excellent platform to educate and share knowledge, there is a danger that people will start falling for poor advice, ill-informed articles and false claims.

    I think that there’s immense value to be had from a trusted network of peers – ‘authorities’ you know. Which is why I think that this post – and channels such as Delicious – will become increasingly more prevalent.

    Thanks for these – genuinely good – tips Abi!

  2. Ross McMinn June 17, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    Great post Abi. I completely agree that a lot of it is common sense. Frankly, the more people that try and portray social media as a dark art only serve to help the snake-oil-salesman sell more “Guides to using Twitter to make money” etc.

    One resource I’ve found quite useful, not in terms of a Top 10 things you should do type list, but more for getting into the right mindset for talking to customers, friends and colleagues online was Chris Brogan and Julien Smith’s Trust Agents. To be honest, the more guides and ‘rules’ that pop up, the more likely someone new to this space is to hold off posting, or engaging, rather than getting stuck in and learning about this all for themselves.

    • Abi June 17, 2010 at 11:50 am #

      Thanks Ross, I’ll check those resources out.

      Your last comment is really poignant. For those starting out, where on earth do they start amongst all the noise? I guess the advantage of the social element to all of this, is the fact that people are recognising the valuable resources and word of mouth recommendations are kicking in.

  3. Adrian Melrose June 17, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    As a consumer, I see far too many businesses trying to make their way in Social Media defying the advice you’ve distilled in this post and I believe not only are they getting nowhere but they are damaging their brand in the process.
    Part of the problem is the DIY nature of the social marketing tools like Twitter and Facebook. Of course, its not about these tools but totally about the content. Its still a complex task putting together a campaign and often exceptionally difficult for a business to come up with a strategy to offer genuine social value to its community. It’s the social value that will create the return and it doesn’t come as easy as registering a Twitter account.

    • Abi June 17, 2010 at 11:52 am #

      Thanks Adrian. And, yes, it’s bloody noisy out there and very difficult for new businesses to see through the fog of advice, and, far too many just assume by registering a presence, they’ve a big tick in the social media box.

  4. Jane O'Riordan June 17, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    Good article, dipping my toe in the water and it’s a minefield. I can’t believe how many people want to have a million followers – I really believe it’s quality not quantity.
    I also think a big prob is being disciplined about how much time you spent on computer social networking.
    It is family and friends finally that matter most in the end.

    • Abi June 17, 2010 at 11:57 am #

      Thanks Jane. You’re right about it being a minefield and it being all about quality, not quantity. There are just far too many people out there banging their chests, shouting about how many followers they’ve got – I predict that very quickly, if they carry on like that, they’ll have to slink back into the corner.

  5. Emma June 17, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    Great round up of the pick of the day Abi 🙂 There’s prob some value in doing this every day !


  1. Tweets that mention Social media rules? It’s just common sense right? « Social Life -- - June 16, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Abi Signorelli, Katrina Collier. Katrina Collier said: RT @abisignorelli: New blog: "Social media rules? It's just common sense right?" […]

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