Here is a brief cultural guide to social media, and it is primarily common sense. But since I see these truths forgotten all too often, they are worth citing. Sometimes the most obvious ideas are the ones we overlook.
1.) Always listen and watch first. Being quiet is the first step to any social media strategy. Understand the social network you are joining by focusing on the people who compose it.
2.) Remember it’s about them, not you. Social media is a place to listen more than you talk, share more than you create and point to others more than you promote yourself.
3.) Know it’s about participation, not control. Social networking is about relating to people on their terms, so it requires a true spirit of conversation. Relationships reign. This is not about “re-purposing” your marketing materials or controlling the message.
4.) Be your true self. Authenticity and transparency are critical. Fake can be smelled a mile away. So be open about the good and the bad, and be honest about your own actions.
5.) Build friendships. Social networking is the work of forming and deepening relationships. Whether this happens online or offline, it takes time and effort if you want a true bond. Approach your supporters online like acquaintances you’d like to become friends.