I’ve read a couple of blog articles recently themed, “Rule #1, there are no rules in social media!” I could not disagree more. In any give and take, there are decency standards, or rules, that must be observed. I cannot go to a dinner party and simply yell out, at the top of my voice, whatever crosses my mind at any time or I would never be invited again. The same is true of social media. There are rules. Do not buy into this belief that social media is anarchy. It is democracy, not anarchy.
I recently read a blog on how to have more Twitter followers. It had a great title, which I will translate into “How to Have a Twitter Explosion!” Here is the summary of the 1000-word blog. Ready?
Give away free stuff.
I could say there was more to the article, but I would be lying. Basically, it states that as long as you give away something for free (with a prize value of under $500 so that the winner doesn’t have to pay taxes) you will have a booming Twitter account.
It was contained on four different pages that I was forced to keep clicking through to continue reading the piece. About 15 seconds after the new page loaded, a full page ad popped up that covered the screen, and blocked the article I was reading.I had to search for the Cancel option to return to my reading. In this article, there was no mention of how to have your audience find out about this contest. There was a vague mention of using a hashtag to track possible winners, but that was it. There was no discussion of how to promote your promotion. There wasn’t even a basic guideline as to how to initially post you were giving anything away. Basically, it was, “Offer it, and they will come.”
People may argue that this style of blog, where the information stream is broken by the author so he or she can push his or her own full page ads, is a correct way of using a blog.These people are wrong.By interrupting the information stream, you risk losing the reader’s attention.In reality, I will go out of my way to avoid using their services, since my initial reaction was, “Thanks for wasting my time.” There was no original thought in the blog, and it was written simply to push the ad several times.
Sometimes, I think we lose sight of what blogs, facebook, Twitter, etc. are meant to accomplish. These are not tools to force ads on people, or of providing meaningless drivel just to increase SEO. The point of any social media channel is to increase communication between a company and its customer, in order to provide a better purchasing experience. Ideally, social media is putting the power to influence the direction of a company into the hands of the people that the company is in business to serve. It is democracy at its finest, and there is no anarchy involved. The Number one rule of social media is:
Serve your customer.
Neat how nicely that lines up with the number one rule of business in general.