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The Rules of Social Media

The Rules of Social Media

Browse #TheRules:
On Content | On Engagement | On Follows & Fans | On Philosophy | On Process & Goals

ON CONTENT

Last year: Pump out content. This year: Optimize content.

Chris DeWolfe, @Chris_DeWolfe

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Don’t try to be clever, be clever.

Wally Petersen, @Draftfcb

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

Noah Brier, @heyitsnoah

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Don’t use ads to prop up boring content. Use ads to accelerate successful content.

Jeff Widman, @jeffwidman

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Always be honest and trustworthy, in everything you say and do.

Madeline Johnson, @marketcouncil

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People care what you had for breakfast–if you’re a food brand.

Natanya Anderson, @natanyap

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Forget individuals. You’re creating content that encourages groups to form.

Jonah Peretti, @peretti

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Never tweet just the headline of a story. Be creative and give people a reason to click.

Ryan R. Reed, @ryanreed

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Don’t say things you wouldn’t want to be quoted as saying.

Saqib I. Ahmed, @SaqibReports

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Everyone says they don’t want to be marketed to. Really, they just don’t want to be talked down to. Read More >

Patrick Starzan, @Starzan

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Hire a good writer so your brand has a distinct voice and personality on social sites.

Tom Jeffrey, @tjeffrey

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Entertain me. Tweets are short; so is life.

Tom Whaley, @TWSaint

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Stop using exclamation points in every post. Unless you genuinely scream uncontrollably at cocktail parties.

Roshan Bhula, @roshanbhula

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“NEVER USE ALL CAP LOCKS” in tweets or Facebook, use your indoor voice in the world of social media.

Shaaz Nasir, @shaaztastic

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Don’t tweet about everything, tweet about what you know best.

Krista Rossow, @natgeokrista

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Not everyone can be “trained” to create interesting tweets — it takes personality to tweet personality.

Laura Good, @goodlaura

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Don’t use to many #tags in one tweet.

Leszek Kurycyn, @LeszekKurycyn

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Quality over quantity.

Lauren Gallo, @missgallo

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140 characters ARE enough.

Thomas Vanbrabant, @abdulinho

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Thou shall not retweet everything you read.

Papas Con Cuero, @papasconcuero

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ON ENGAGEMENT

Don’t make people do X, Y, then Z. Stick with X. Read More >

Alex Iskold, @alexiskold

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Take Twitter conversations offline and build a network.

Auren Kaplan, @aurensays

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Listen first and never stop listening.

Dave Kerpen, @davekerpen

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You should worry about all those who don’t complain and simply go away mad!

David Nour, @davidnour

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People are going to talk about your brand. Can you afford to NOT participate in that conversation?

Brad Moore, @ferdenherd

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Sticky customer issues are sometimes best to take offline and resolve via more traditional channels, i.e. email, telephone, etc.

Hassan Mikail, @hmikail

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A tweet must be answered, no less than a ringing phone must be.

Jared Schechtman, @Jareds81

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People would rather talk to ‘Comcast Melissa’ than ‘Comcast’.

Kip Wetzel, @kipwetzel

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Social media engagement has to be an everyday routine. The keyword is “engagement”

Kumar Kandaswamy, @kumar_k

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If all you do is respond to complaints, that’s all people will send you.

Marcel LeBrun, @lebrun

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ALWAYS write back.

Paul Davison, @pdavison

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Open your fridge…how many of those brands do you really have time to have a relationship with?

Rich Meyer, @richmeyer

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Social is a conversation, not a message.

Robin J. Phillips, @RobinJP

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Just tweeting or posting stuff is neither connecting nor engaging.

Ron Villejo, @Ron_Villejo

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People are fickle, change their mind often, and don’t usually do what you want them to do.

Matthew Knell, @matthewknell

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Go beyond the dialogues: promote “multialogues.”

Beto Do Valle, @betodovalleTF

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A small act of appreciation (on a brands part) will go a long way to the person who receives it

Gabi Gesch, @gabiwinks

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It’s a conversation not a commercial.

Tami Belt, @1bluecube

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Stop thinking Campaigns and start thinking Conversations

Neil Hughes, @TIMJ_Neil

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ON FOLLOWS AND FANS

Asking me to follow you on Twitter guarantees I won’t. Read More >

Cindy Gallop, @cindygallop

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Spend a little time getting to know each new follower and what they are interested in.

Computappoint, @Computappoint

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People love to feel that they are special. Make followers and those who interact with you feel like they are getting inside access.

Erik Johnson @erikj

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Don’t buy Twitter followers; it tarnishes your authenticity. http://ow.ly/cPcL1

Erin Schulte, @erin719nyc

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Follow liberally. You never know who will lead you to discover something unique or important.

Liz Heron, @lheron

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Don’t follow just to get followed. It’s slutty.

Nneka Okoro, @Nnekarisms

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#SMR: Never buy fans for followers. Genuine users will find you genuinely pathetic.

Amber Lovell Boone, @puresurplus

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Follow people who have something worth saying…then follow the people they follow.

Rory Newcomb, @roryaileen

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Treat your followers like you’d treat your friends, not like numbers.

SonicomIT, @sonicomit

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Dont ask for followers,DO something worthy of followers

Wesley Diphoko, @wesleydiphokot

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ON PHILOSOPHY

The consumer is out for himself, not for you.

Andrew Weinreich, @aweinreich

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People fight for their privacy.

Caterina Fake, @Caterina

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Not everything will work, and that’s fine. Read More >

Chloe Sladden, @ChloeS

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Having a LinkedIn and Facebook profile does not make one a Social Media expert.

Douglas Ritter, @douglasritter

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Everyone’s an influencer.

Duncan Watts, @duncanjwatts

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People don’t want to shop where they socialize. Read More >

Krista Garcia, @eKristaGarcia

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Civility still matters.

Emelia Sam, @EmeliaSam

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My Rule No. 1: Be wary of social media rules.

Ron Harris, @journorati

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Your television can’t hear you. We can.

MTV India, @mtvindia

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Social media is all about collaboration, not isolation.

Niketa Patel, @Niketa

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Your fans own your brand.

Scott Hudler, @scotthudler

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People always matter most. Social tools enable and enhance our lives, but our lives don’t exist in technology.

Sheena Medina, @SheenaMedina

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Social Media is like a spouse rather than a friend with benefits.

Dedric Lam, @dedlam

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Cooperation is the most important attribute of any successful social media engagement.

Richard Sink, @richard_sink

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Don’t worry about tools – the two most important ones are always with you, your head and your heart.

Evonne Benedict, @evonnebenedict

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Reach without influence is useless and irrelevant like that direct mail piece in your mailbox.

Bilal Jaffery, @BilalJaffery

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ON PROCESS AND GOALS

Be creative and spontaneous. Every mistake (if used creatively) can become an opportunity.

Allan Vazquez, @allan05

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Post on your customers schedule, not yours.

Steve Armneti, @armentisteve

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Embrace negative content about your brand.

Brett Hurt, @bazaarbrett

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Rules are great but all aren’t applicable to you. Test rules out to see what works for best results.

B Culture Media, @BCultureMedia

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It’s an organism, not a process.

Michael Lebowitz, @bigspaceship

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If you don’t see financial results, you wasted your money.

B.J. Mendelson, @BJMendelson

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As monetization attempts go up, consumer experience goes down.

Bo Peabody, @bopeabody

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Desktop is conquered territory. Mobile is the battlefield.

B. Bonin Bough, @boughb

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They’re are no one-size-fits-all solutions.

Chris Date, @chrisdate

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The only way to scale word of mouth: paid advertising.

Christopher Tuff, @christuff

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

Deb Roy, @dkroy

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Social is 24/7, not a one-time stunt.

David Wertheimer, @dwertheimer

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Have an ROI. Have an ROI. Have an ROI.

Erin Mulligan Nelson, @erinclaire

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Update your page, or delete it.

Matt Monahan, @gomattymo

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Become BFFs with your Facebook reps.

Graham Kahr, @grahamkahr

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

Hilton Worldwide, @HiltonWorldwide

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Don’t focus on numbers (fans, followers, likes, etc.) focus on real conversations.

Duane Hogg, @iamduanehogg

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Consistency is critical. Don’t expect results if you’re not regularly putting forth an effort.

Jennifer Bilbro, @jennifer_bilbro

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Social media should be part of the upfront planning, not an after-thought.

James Ha, @imonke

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People trust their peers…become a peer.

Joe Turgeon, @Joe_Turgeon

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ROR is the new ROI…Return on Relationship!

Lindsay Listanski, @LListanski

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Be real. Be supportive. Be consistent. Be nice.

Lori Gama, @lorigama

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If fans distribute your content without your permission, offer to help.

Melissa Brenner, @marose1025

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Contests and sweepstakes are fine, if you want to encourage short relationships. Read More >

Mike Proulx, @McProulx

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It’s okay to drive people to your site instead of Facebook’s.

Tara Missrogue Hunt, @missrogue

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Only way to figure out what works on social media is to try it.

Radhika Kapoor Giri, @radhikakgiri

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Would you measure the ROI of your conversation with your friends?

Roberto Estreitinho, @restreitinho

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If you’re bored by social media, it’s because you’re trying to get more value than you create. Read More >

Tim O’Reilly, @timoreilly

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Think past vanity metrics like followers. Read More >

Zac Moffatt, @ZacMoffatt

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Automatic Facebook and Twitter posts do the opposite of their intent: they drive audience away. Disable it.

Adam Henry, @viewofadam

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If you contribute content to a product for free, you are the product.

Andrew D. Nystrom, @adnys

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For restaurant’s customer service there is no better tool than YELP.

Natascha Otero, @NataschaOS

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Use cross-channel strategy to full engage your customer.

Ben Tepfer, @bentepfer

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For the love of god, stop regurgitweeting the same message you blasted on FB five seconds ago

Alex Covington, @AlexNoelleCov

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Don’t try to be everything to everyone unless you want them to ignore you.

Kendall Morris, @KendallMorris

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I know you’re fantastic, so stop liking your own posts.

Julian Silva, @onairmastering

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Don’t feed the trolls

Asaru Sans, @AsaruSans

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Show the real people behind your brand, and have a sense of humor.

Mike Wood, @mikewoodtweets

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Thou shalt set up Google alerts for both your brand and your domain.

Jeff Carroll, @jeffcarroll

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Different #socialmedia platforms lend themselves to different strategies.

Michael Behr, @bigpictureguy

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Never delete comments, queries or complaints!

Heike Meyburgh, @heikemey

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If you are active in social media, you don’t need to say so in your social media bio. That’s like having a bumper sticker on your car that says “I drive a car.”

Dan G. Bergeron, @dangbergeron

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Don’t tweet and drive

Greg Kubin, @kubeans

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Print “The Rules”

Click here for a free downloadable “36 Rules of Social Media” color poster, as featured in the September issue of Fast Company.

*Some of these rules were distilled from interviews as part of our September 2012 Social Media Roadmap issue.FCS