Social Media Rules are Meant to be Broken




Conformity often creates a feeling of comfort, but it also starts to generate acceptable social norms that soon become the de facto standard for the way things get done. I know I enjoy doing things my own way even when it means I am not always optimizing my team or creating the greatest efficiencies possible. Chip Griffin has written a positive post reminding social media marketers that just because some people say there is a certain way things should be done doesn’t mean it is the best way, the right way, or even the way you should be doing it.

There are nine rules covered in the post, I won’t touch on them all, but I do believe that there are a few highlights worth mentioning that may make many marketers take a double take. Rule #6 states that “the customer controls the relationship”, now maybe I have been under a rock for a long time, but I don’t recall this being a rule. Still this is a highly controversial item because some marketers do see it as a black and white issue, while I believe most businesses and customers see it as a very gray item.

Rule #7 also got my attention, rule #7 says “authenticity and transparency are immutable truths”. This is the one I have to agree most needs tossed out. Chip makes a nice case where transparency is not always mandatory or even necessary and supports his conclusions well. Just because a business or marketer can be completely transparent when dealing with customers and social media doesn’t mean it should. Sometimes the ingredients in the secret sauce or percentages that make the perfect formula are what create the buzz.

Just as a quick recap for those interested, Chips nine rules that need tossed out are:

1. It Isn’t a Blog Without RSS.

2. It Isn’t a Blog Without Comments.

3. The Press Release is Dead.

4. The Social Media Release is King.

5. It’s All About Conversation Not Messages.

6. The Customer Controls the Relationship.

7. Authenticity and Transparency are Immutable Truths.

8. Audience is a Word of the Past.

9. Lack of Comments Means Lack of Influence.

No doubt there are many other topics that could be added to the list, but I think the post is provocative enough to start a real conversation and get social media marketers talking.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    I would disagree somewhat on #7. Sure, a business doesn’t have to be transparent in its, but it should still conduct itself as if it were. By that I mean run its business as if the whole world could at any time decide on an audit and peak inside the hood.

    Chip suggests there is nothing wrong in using a ghostwriter. It’s OK to think that way, if you’re truly comfortable that one day everyone will find out – because they inevitably will. ;-)

  • rcjordan

    >(Rules and the resulting) Conformity often creates a feeling of comfort

    And the end result may be detrimental to your web marketing goals, social site or otherwise. Banner-blindness, for example, is a negative marketee behavior based on conformity. OTOH, link baiting works because the headline or topic breaks the norm. The trick is finding the edge, the place where you have to sacrifice a few puppies & kittens but don’t alienate everyone.

  • http://www.blogcontentprovider.com Allen Taylor

    As long as you’re ethical in your business practices, I see no reason to let the rest of the world dictate how you run your business.

  • http://www.goodnightmoonfuton.com Futon-Matt

    I don’t know about #6, sometimes I feel this to be true but other times I feel this doesn’t apply.

    Matt

  • http://www.douglaskarr.com Douglas Karr

    Hmmm – so Seth Godin has no influence? I like the rules but I don’t believe the rest of the industry agrees with them.

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  • http://www.conversationalmediamarketing.com Paul Chaney

    My two centz…

    1. It Isn’t a Blog Without RSS. – It can be a blog w/o RSS, just not as effective. I mean, who would publish a blog w/o an RSS feed associated with it?

    2. It Isn’t a Blog Without Comments. – AMEN! No way can a blog own the title sans comments. Sorry, but that rule is golden.

    3. The Press Release is Dead. – Suits me. I hate writing them.

    4. The Social Media Release is King. – Yea. Give me a good blog post any day.

    5. It’s All About Conversation Not Messages. – “Markets are conversations” (that’s what the good book says…the Cluetrain that is) and “participation is marketing.”

    6. The Customer Controls the Relationship. – No one controls the relationship.

    7. Authenticity and Transparency are Immutable Truths. – I’ll second that motion. The twin pillars of blogging have been, are now, and always will be (should be anyway) authenticity and transparency.

    8. Audience is a Word of the Past. – I’ll buy that.

    9. Lack of Comments Means Lack of Influence. – Comments are a measure of influence. Scoble could say “spit” on his blog and people would comment. Same with, uh, Marketing Pilgrim. Mainly, I’d say the number of RSS feed subscribers is the greatest measure of influence though.

  • Roderick Ioerger

    9. Lack of Comments Means Lack of Influence. – Comments are a measure of influence. Scoble could say “spit” on his blog and people would comment. Same with, uh, Marketing Pilgrim. Mainly, I’d say the number of RSS feed subscribers is the greatest measure of influence though.

    I am not sure RSS is the way to measure influence, blogs tend to have many more visitors than they do RSS subscribers so measuring RSS subscibrers is only measuring a small segment of the entire audience.

  • http://bingbongtables.com Tom Schmidt

    Jesus Christ (and baby Jesus)…I have so much to learn, dammit! One great thing about the user friendly web2.0 apps that I’ve fallen into recently (I feel like when I took my first hit of myspace in 2004)

    We’ve cranknd our company’s organic growth, on and offline (www.bingbongtables.com) and created a market from a drinking game. We were on the cover of BOTH the NYTimes and WallStJournal (Aug 2007)…and still we just have been getting blown away on the search rankings by knock-offs…I mean , there was NO MARKET, so we do still dominate in beer pong industry and have been able to stop people like budweiser from screwing up our plans…but we have been offline with our market landgrab strategy…using retailers like Spencer Gifts and Beer Distributors…but we need help and just like our law roles/responsibilities, we’ll figgur it out

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