My Opinions on “The 36 Rules of Social Media” (Two Months Later…)

This post has been a long time coming. Back in November, I came across this intriguing graphic from PRDaily: The 36 Rules of Social Media. If you haven’t seen it, take a look. While the graphic is a couple months old now, it is worth considering the points it makes. Here are five I thought deserved further discussion. (Although I would love to chat about any of them!)

#2. Stop and ask: Would an actual person talk that way?

For my own work, this is a big one. It is especially difficult because, as an organization, you need to be your brand while also speaking the way an actual person speaks; you must get rid of the “marketing speak” as one of my professors used to say often. The content I work with at my job is often centered around health topics, which can get very confusing very quickly. It is always important to put yourself in the place of your audience!

#3 Everyone says they don’t want to be marketed to. Really, they just don’t want to be talked down to.

This is a big one, not only for social media, but for marketing in general. It is the cornerstone of what modern, strategic marketing is about: Blindly blanketing everyone you can with your message is not likely to get you too far. Drilling down your services and offering them up to people who need them now or will soon in the future is likely to offer more success.

#11 Solve problems for people who talk about you, even if they don’t address you.

I agree with this one, although it often makes me feel like I am “creeping on people. For example, I currently use HootSuite to monitor Twitter mentions of a few important keywords in my geographic area. This means any time someone located within 15 miles of my business’s particular city, their tweet comes up in my feed, and I can view it there. This not only helps me to see when something related to my company’s industry occurs in the local area, but it also helps me to reach out to people who mention my company or have a need. I try not to be too obtrusive for fear of, as I mentioned, “creeping” people out. But because of this feed, I have offered sympathies, compliments or additional advice for a problem. Often there recipient does not respond, but occasionally the person reaches back with a thank you. Finding and engaging in two-way conversation is what social media is all about, and doing that openly is easy with Twitter, which I feel is often considered much less private than Facebook.

#25 The only way to scale word of mouth: Paid advertising.

For the most part, I agree with this statement. Paid advertising can boost engagement and awareness significantly. However, I don’t think it is the ONLY way. I think sometimes there are stories, businesses, people, etc., that are so amazing or so outrageous that they grow by themselves. They grow because of what they are. However, this growth is not the norm and there is no shame in receiving a push. If you aren’t able to get that crowd organically, paid advertising is a technique.

#33 Fans own your brand.

This is another fact that, in my opinion, goes much farther than social media. Branding 101 says that your brand is not defined simply by taglines and logos, although they help to build it. A brand is contained in the minds of those of a community. It’s what an employee thinks in the morning before entering work, and how he or she treats the client that greets him first thing. While we all say that companies own brands and a brand belongs to a company, a brand is actually something that is developed in the minds of the people it affects through the experiences or knowledge they have.

Do you agree with these rules of social media? Do you have something you would add to the list?

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Don’t Let Big Biz Have All the (Social Media) Success!

In his AdAge.com article  “Why Big Brands Are Dominating Social Media,” Brian Sheehan raises valid points, saying although we always talk about social media tools being free to use, they do take tons of time to manage, and, as the saying goes, time is money. While Pepsi or Ford or other big brands don’t have to necessarily pay a ton of money for social media tools, they are able to pay a ton of money to employees who manage the conversations taking place through the tools.

It would seem big business brands have outdone small businesses again. While this may be true for right now, small businesses don’t have to sit back while big businesses have all the fun.

Instead,  small businesses can have just as much success, if not more success, on social media by thinking on a smaller, local community level and adding a dab of creativity. Continue reading “Don’t Let Big Biz Have All the (Social Media) Success!”

Hoot, Hoot, Hooray! Why I Use HootSuite

Today I came across good news: HootSuite (my personal media management tool of choice) just reached its one million users. Congrats to them!

I currently use HootSuite mostly to manage Twitter conversations. I track my “home” stream (all the people I follow on Twitter) as well as mentions and certain keyword topics I like to keep an eye on when I have a minute. (For more info on HootSuite and streams, click here. Based on that blog post and other plus this info graphic from HootSuite, it’s clear many social media addicts use the tool to track and manage Twitter and other social networking conversation like I do. Continue reading “Hoot, Hoot, Hooray! Why I Use HootSuite”