The Golden Rule Of Social Media

The secret to all this stuff—just between you and me obviously!

(WORLD) The following piece of advice is shared often with clients and others who are trying to get their head round all this social media gubbins.

It’s simple, it’s obvious, and can be applied to any platform / situation / strategy / sector.

Here we go:


This pearl provides something to check yourself against as newbies (and us oldies) craft their social media use with an eye on subsequent strategic development.

Here’s the rule applied—in a real room with real people would you:

  • talk about yourself constantly—we’ve all met these people and wished they had a mute button. Please don’t do this online. Here’s a nice test: check out Wordle and put the link to your blog/site in there, if it’s all about you then it’s time to shift the focus of your content.

  • cover your head with your company/organisation logo and/or introduce yourself just using the company/organisation name—time to step from behind the curtain and become human again. Brands can’t tweet, people have to tweet on behalf of brands. Being people is what it’s all about.

  • only talk in press release headlines—boring, boring, boring. If you are going to share this stuff make sure its in context and adds value to the conversation.

  • automate your responses without taking into consideration the person you’re talking to, their level of knowledge, why they are interested etc—of course we all have stock answers and similar things we say in certain situations, however, if you said the same thing EVERY time you’re not a person who cares but a robot who nobody cares about.

  • wear a dressing gown and expect people to take you seriously—being human does not equate to being unprofessional.

  • stand at the back, never engage with others and then call it a crap party—having a blog and not updating it or commenting on others is exactly the same. If you don’t know where to start ask those you know to introduce or recommend others. Seek out those who look and sound interesting. Ask questions. Make statements. Get involved.

Does this make sense?

What other things wouldn’t you do in a big room / using social media?

Image credit (slightly modded)

9 thoughts on “The Golden Rule Of Social Media”

  1. RE: What other things wouldn’t you do in a big room / using social media?

    Well I wouldn’t continue talking and relentlessly bombard people with information all the time.

    I would find out how everyone’s doing? What their into / upto? & inform them about interesting things about what I think they might like…

    But that’s just me : )

  2. Someone threw a Zombie at me once. I never thought that was a good way to start a conversation online - however in a real room, it kinda works.

    Good list to bear in mind there. I'm sure it could grow and grow based on the activities of so many people / companies barging their way into social spaces.

  3. I like this analogy. A lot of it makes sense, yet we break it all the time:-)

    As people become bombarded, they shut down their receptivity sensors, many either adapt to what everyone else is doing, or simply accept it as a way of life.

    And unfortunately, in absence of any relevant criteria, it works.

    So let’s change that.

  4. Another nice one; Make the effort to chat to everyone find people who share similar interests. Have fun but don’t make a fool of yourself

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