I have done a lot of speaking presentations recently in Cincinnati and around the US. One of the key things that we often discuss are rules of engagement for social media. Especially if you are new to the space, there are some basic guidelines or etiquette that should be observed in order to be successful in the space (we’ll share these tomorrow).
These rules are not unique to social media. They exist for all social interactions. In the real world we understand how to behave in social settings because we get immediate feedback from people – we can see their response and reaction to our behavior.
We also learn how to behave over time as we watch how other people interact. As adults, it is second nature – our socialization as a child prepared us for how to interact with people.
Online social interactions present a few unique problems:
- We haven’t been doing it very long.
- We don’t get immediate feedback.
- It is hard to know when you are offensive.
- The rules are still being written.
- We don’t have experience.
- We forget that we are talking to people.
- It is easy to be offensive.
- There is no face-to-face interaction.
- Automation is tempting.
- The rules are the same but different.
- We always want to sell.
- Softer sales techniques are hard to measure.
- Social media is hard to measure.
- Being direct is not the best approach.
- You have to earn the attention.
- You are invading on people’s conversations.
- Value is a must.
- Content creation as a strategy is difficult.
- Internal “ownership” issues create problems.
- Being interesting can be difficult.
- It is easy to be a dirty spammer (and it can get you results).
- It might just be a fad….
- BtoB organizations struggle with the applications.
- People are not passionate about your brand, so you have to talk to them about something else.
- It changes all the time.
- The tools change.
- The rules and etiquette change.
- Effective tools vary by community and brand.
- The same things don’t work for everyone.
- There isn’t a formula to success (like TV).
The good news? There are some general rules that will help you overcome these issues. There are a lot of brands seeing success in the social space and driving sales and ROI.
In the next part of this post (tomorrow) I’ll cover principles for success in social media.