Social Media Sites are About Socializing

I heard a report the other day about a “secret” party that was posted on the social media site Facebook by a high school girl.  Her parents were away at a wedding for the weekend and within a few hours, the party got out of hand.  A group of people showed up, uninvited and completely trashed the place.  They threw the parents collection of Samurai swords all over the house and left some of them stuck in the walls.  A playhouse was smashed and thrown into the garden, the tv remote was microwaved and bubble bath was poured into the television. In the next few days, the gang of destroyers bragged about what they had done on their Facebook pages and were brought in for questioning.

Of course teens do silly things and I sure had my fair share of parentally void parties, but hello, don’t people get the whole point of social media sites.  It is about sharing, and when you share with one person, you share with their friends, and then friends of their friends and so on.  In fact, check out Claudia’s post about how the friend effect can keep the fire burning for outreach through social media.  This is what makes social media sites so great.  Here are some other funny, caught by Facebook stories…

  • An employee called in sick to work and then posted, “called in sick, screw work”.
  • The guy who figured out his girlfriend was cheating on him when she posted pictures of herself with another guy in one of her Facebook albums.
  • The fugitive who made the mistake of adding a former justice department official to his list of friends and then posted status updates on his location in Mexico talking about all the fun he was having.
  • The burglar who stopped to check his Facebook page on the victims laptop and forgot to log out.
  • When I read about these incidences, I think one thing, DUH!  These stories are a great reminder of the importance of the do’s and don’ts of maintaining social media sites.

The Do’s of Social Media

  • Be Consistent – Make an effort to check in everyday, and make social media part of your day-to-day to-do list.
  • Be Unique – Use your profile as a way to highlight your brand or enhance your online presence.  Avoid building generic pages.  Customize your social media sites and make them uniquely your own.
  • Define Goals and Objectives – Decide what your strategy is, what you plan to use the social media sites for and what you are looking to gain from being involved.
  • Exchange – Do not just become a one way door. Instead, be a revolving door of information both about you and the things that are happening in your field.
  • Engage – Sharing is caring.  Build relationships and connect on social media sites.  Whether you problem solve, manage brand or reputation, or improve customer service, get in on the action.
  • Collaborate – Find people in your field.  Birds of a feather should flock together.
  • Take Time – It takes a long time, a good strategy, and a lot of hard work to build a good social media site campaign.  It will not happen overnight and in fact, the more organically it happens, the better.
  • Integrate – Link together your social media sites.  Make sure you blog feeds into your Facebook and Twitter pages.  Add buttons so people can easily share your information with others.
  • Listen – People will give you feedback on social media sites and will let you know what they want.  Take note and make any necessary changes.
  • Be Human – Just because you have 140 characters in Twitter or 421 characters in Facebook does not mean you have to sound like an automated machine.  Get creative with your posts and above everything, be yourself.

The Don’ts of Social Media

  • Do Not Wait – Now that you set-up those Twitter and Facebook pages, do not just let them sit there and collect digital dust.
  • Do Not Be Overly Pokey – There is nothing worse than the perpetual ReTweeter, the excessive thumbs up guy, or the friend the whole world gal.  Manage your social media sites with a purpose, not just to do it.
  • Don’t be Lazy – Find or create good content and put it on your social media sites.
  • Do not Engage in Negativity – Period.
  • Do not Take Offense – Admit when you are wrong and take ownership.
  • Do Not Lie, Embellish, or Misrepresent – The social media world has a way of finding things out and it is just not worth it.
  • Do Not Talk About Your Competition – No matter what.
  • Watch Out For the TMI Effect – Sharing on social media sites is good but sharing too much information or inappropriate information is never professional.
  • Do Not Forget Your Audience – Remember who your readers are and do not exclude any of them.
  • Do Not Give Up – It takes a long time to build a social media community, never give up.

Indeed we could learn a few life lessons from the caught on Facebook community and remember that common sense in the digital age goes a long way when conducting ourselves on social media sites and in the social media community.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 and is filed under Integrated Marketing.

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