Social media Gurus and experts seem to be crawling out from every rock. But you don’t need them. Your Mom already taught you everything you need to know about social media theory and interaction.
Here’s some social media advice from mom.
1. Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back.
Mom knew that no one likes people that self promote. Online or offline, someone who talks about themselves doesn’t make themselves important—they make themselves appear needy and pathetic. Not the public persona you want to broadcast all over the Internet. You don’t believe someone who tells you how great they are – why should anyone believe you when you do it?
2. If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion and to disagree with you (even if they’re wrong) without worrying about personal attacks. If you have a disagreement, attack the idea, not the person.
3. If you don’t do it NOW, then when will you do it?
Some people procrastinate so much that they even put off procrastinating. If you plan on having a social media presence, just do it. Pick your market, choose your objectives in engaging them, develop a strategy, and the technology you’re going to use to accomplish it all. It’s better to do something and wait than it is to wait and do something.
4. I don’t care what “everyone” is doing.
I care what you are doing! Don’t be a slave to social proof. By all means observe the community and what they’re doing, but make your choices based on your needs, your skills and talents, and your schedule. Your social media engagement has to be sustainable to be effective, and that means you’ll want to go with your strengths, not a course of action designed to take advantage of someone else’s strengths.
5. Now, say you’re sorry—and mean it!
When you make a mistake, be transparent about it. Own the error and be frank about what it was, why you did it, how you recognized it as an error, and what you’re going to do to correct it. Understand how to use the community’s love of transparency as an effective tool for rebuilding trust after you have made a mistake.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget to eat your vegetables.
Bill Lublin is CEO of the Social Media Marketing Institute and CEO of Century 21 Advantage Gold. A version of this story first appeared on the Social Media Marketing Institute blog.