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36 Rules of Social Media

Screenshot 2014-08-19 15.53.30Like any functioning system, the practice of social media marketing comes with its own set of rules that you should follow to get the most out of your endeavors. While some may be open to interpretation and others are merely guidelines practiced by some and not others, here are a few Universal truths that should always be followed.

#2. Stop & Ask: Would an ACTUAL person talk that way?

Even through a digital medium, people respond to people, they trust other people and they want to talk to other people and BUY from other people.  By making sure that how you are engaging on social is how you would talk to your neighbor and not how you would write a marketing brochure, you are making and keeping that oh-so-important human connection alive.

#12. Not everything will work and THAT’S FINE.

Want to know a secret? No one has the magic formula for what will and will not work on social. Moreover, what works for one brand or business may not work for another.  It all depends on where your audience is and how they want to connect with you and it’s a matter of trail and error until you find the right mix. Don’t be afraid to tweak processes to work better for you or to skip channels altogether if they don’t make sense for your brand.

#21. Social Media doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Make traditional media and social work together.

The beauty of social media is its ability to complement other endeavors from traditional media to support functions to marketing to sales. Add your social links to your email marketing and signatures.  Share links to online versions of local news stories.  Post videos of TV appearances to Google+ and Facebook.  Add social icons to your marketing materials urging people to find you there. The more you integrate social media into all of your marketing and media activities, the more chances you provide for people to find you.

#35. Think past vanity metrics like followers.

Social media is not a numbers game, it’s an ENGAGEMENT game. Although your goal should be to reach as large an audience as possible, you are far better off slowly and steadily building an engaged following rather than adding low quality Likes and fans simply to inflate numbers.

#36.  It’s an ORGANISM not a PROCESS.

Social media is a living breathing entity that needs frequent care and attention.  Left on its own, it will wither and die.  Without attention and pruning, it can grow wild and unwieldy.  It needs to be fed consistently with new content.  It needs love some days and a firm hand others.  As social thrives in human interaction, no two days will be the same and while an overall plan is essential, day to day needs may vary greatly.

Below you find the remainder of the 36 rules.  Which do you feel are most important? What is missing? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

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