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What's Your One Social Media Best Practice?


Posted by on September 17, 2008

Mitch Joel over at six pixels of separation asked his readers to identify their best practices for social media.  Ari Herzog tagged me to respond with my one social media best practice, along with Max Gladwell, Gillian Swart, David Bradley, and Kim Woodbridge (of course it’s not easy to just pick one!).  However, if I had to pick one social media best practice it would be this:

My one best practice is actually a shift in mindset

Meaning instead of people thinking about what they can “get” from their communities they need to think about what they can “give” to their communities.  I’ve talked about this many times before in relation to the roi from social media.

Here’s a good analogy (again).  Think about all of the friends you have in your life right now, how much would you be willing to PAY to keep them in your life?  My friends and contacts have essentially shaped who I am today and that is priceless.  The career I chose, the experience I have, the ideas I share; all of that has come from the collective experiences and interactions with my friends and connections, without them I would not be where I am today.

Coming up with social media best practices is like asking someone to give you the best practices to living life.  There are going to be tons of them and they will differ from person to person.  They aren’t all right or all wrong, in fact a lot of the best practices can be applied using simple common sense.  That being said, I think “giving” instead of “taking”, is a mindset that not many people think about or address.  People are too interested in ROI, analytics, advertising, etc. when it’s really the relationship that matters.

There are all sorts of fancy and cheesy names to describe social media roi such as “return on interaction, return on participation, etc.”  Personally I think it’s all just a lame way of hiding the fact that people do expect some sort revenue.  My question is, “why does the revenue have come from a dollar amount?”  Can we look at revenue in terms of attention, interaction, participation, etc?

Once we change the currency we will change our mindset.

What is your one social media best practice and why?

thanks for reading

  • http://www.maxgladwell.com Max Gladwell

    We responded with Discovery Marketing: http://www.maxgladwell.com/2008/09/discovery-ma

    Our social media best practice is the fundamental of making your brand more discoverable. It's integral to our “beacon approach” philosophy.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      hi max, i will check out your post right now, thanks for linking to it and of course thanks for reading mine and commenting!

  • http://www.ariwriter.com Ari Herzog

    Shift in mindset, of course. I like it, Jacob. The notion of changing one's currency reminds me of a scene from the film, “Star Trek: First Contact” when an earthling played by Alfre Woodard asks Patrick Stewart's Captain Jean-Luc Picard how he gets paid. To which, Picard responds he doesn't get paid because money doesn't exist but they work to better society.

    I don't know if currency as we know it will be removed, but it will certainly change. It has to.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      thanks ari. looks like i need to rent a star trek film! i used to love those. currency will not be removed but i think we are starting to see it shift.

      thanks for reading and commenting as usual ari

  • http://www.kimwoodbridge.com Kim Woodbridge

    Hi Jacob,

    I like giving as the best social media practice a lot. When you give to others without expecting anything in return they are very likely to help you later even when you don't ask for it. When I'm in the right mood I use twitter search on certain keywords like WordPress and offer assistance when someone says something like, “i upgraded and have lost my site”. I enjoy fixing WordPress, I might make a new friend, and it may enhance my own reputation. The last point, however, isn't why I do it.

    If everyone gave without expectations, there would be no reason to take as we would all be providing for each other.

  • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

    thanks ari. looks like i need to rent a star trek film! i used to love those. currency will not be removed but i think we are starting to see it shift.

    thanks for reading and commenting as usual ari

  • http://www.kimwoodbridge.com Kim Woodbridge

    Hi Jacob,

    I like giving as the best social media practice a lot. When you give to others without expecting anything in return they are very likely to help you later even when you don't ask for it. When I'm in the right mood I use twitter search on certain keywords like WordPress and offer assistance when someone says something like, “i upgraded and have lost my site”. I enjoy fixing WordPress, I might make a new friend, and it may enhance my own reputation. The last point, however, isn't why I do it.

    If everyone gave without expectations, there would be no reason to take as we would all be providing for each other.

  • http://twitter.com/MyersBaker Brandon Baker

    Remain politically neutral, but value rich. Focusing on common values in social interactions without moving into political camps helps build more meaningful relationships with a broader demographic.