10 golden rules of social media marketing

Ahh… the wild and untamed, broad virtual landscapes – often are referred to as “social media”; so much potential, so much promise.

So many people going about in circles, and failing miserably to make something interesting out of it, or even have a rewarding experience with it. In case you’re wondering whether there’s some kind of instruction guide for a fulfilling social media experience, this is your lucky day!

Consider the following set of do’s and dont’s, and you will drastically increase your odds of joining the social media revolution, in genuine revolutionary fashion.

1 – Be polite:

This is probably the most obvious and fundamental rule of social media marketing, but pointing out its importance is always relevant. In the web as in the real life, a polite attitude will take you a long way. Sometimes, simple words such as “please” or “how do you do?” bare a huge influence in the outcome of an interaction. It could be all it takes to make the difference between a “no way” and an “of course”! Within the scope of computer mediated communication, the basic of human engagement still applies… you always get what you ask for! So make sure you know how to ask, for best results.

2 – Don’t blabber pointlessly:

If you’re new to social media, the temptation to hi-jack conversations and digress inanely is surely to be very tempting. This is a good way to get ignored! If you want people to pay attention to what you’re trying to say, you should offer your attention before asking for theirs. Never voice your opinion before reading attentively into the context; otherwise you will very likely be inconvenient. When joining a new community or website, it’s always wise to spend a few hours lurking around and understanding the spirit of the place, before you start expressing yourself.

3 – Keep an eye on the big picture:

Social media is akin to role-playing. You can be anyone. But unless you decide who or what are you trying to be, your efforts will be scattered and ineffective. It’s wise to spend some time thinking about your goals before you set out to accomplishing them. Take some time to establish what you want to get out of social media, rather than just get in there and get random. By outlining a plan before diving into the action, you will surely achieve higher consistency and get more of a rewarding experience. As the saying goes “those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.

4 – Don’t be a spammer:

Sure, you have a business to look after. Of course, there’s a good chance you’re experimenting with social media hoping it will help you get increased exposure and success. Your time is limited, and as such you may be tempted to spend 90% of your efforts telling people how great your product is, or asking them to buy whatever you’re selling. Right? Well, no wonder your efforts seem to be of no avail! You need to focus 90% of your time on coming across as an authority in your field, and that will draw potential customers to you, like flies to honey. No effort, no spamming; just strout your knowledge, not your commercial intent.

5 – Be cheerful:

We live in the broad age of cynicism. The world is rough out there, and most people realize they need to be rougher to survive in such a dog-eat-dog scenario. Surely you can relate with such feelings, right? And that’s just why you need to realize that coming across as a cheerful person can be utterly refreshing and interesting, especially when everyone seems to be caught up in their own private stress spheres. A good sense of humor can open you many doors… however, you must bear in mind that being cheerful (good) is not the same thing as being clownish (bad).

6 – Don’t lose your temper:

Everyone’s a cryptic, aren’t they? Well, get used to it! During your social media adventures, you will surely come across all kinds of people; some will like you, some will be indifferent, some will hate you. Some will seem to make a point out of criticizing your every move, and you will better take it in stride. If you get all reactionary over negative remarks, those negative minded people will likely cling to you like leeches… it’s just what they do! Make sure to remain unfettered and avoid indulging pointless quarrels. If you stick to this piece of advice, you will save lots of time and lots of headaches!

7 – Provide value:

As human beings, we all tend to be somewhat partial to our subjective experience. In other words, we often have a knack to assume people will be interested in whatever we have to say, even when we don’t really have anything useful to say. In the real world this feature is annoying, but within the on-line realms, it can be fatal. Unless you provide others with strong and compelling reasons to listen to what you have to say, you will surely be preaching to the fishes in no-time! The antidote? Make sure you provide value! Interact with others in a way that is helpful and meaningful, and you will have no trouble drawing a crowd.

8 – Avoid self-serving attitudes:

One of the most common, most undermining behavior patterns of social media newbies is being interested in nothing except… their own interests. While you’re in this mindset, you will run along begging for votes and likes and subscribers. At first you may get a couple of people to support your interests out of kindness, but if you’re always bumming around for favors, people will quickly grow weary of you. If you’re serious about building a presence through the social media, you must put your focus on serving others, rather than having others serve you.

9 – Friendliness goes a long way:

Maybe you won’t exactly make it into the history books during your social media exploitations. Maybe you won’t succeed in becoming an awe-inspiring juggernaut communicator with legions of followers relishing and gawking at your every remark. But you know what? If you have a positive attitude and you make a point of being friendly, you will naturally befriend other users. And in time they will support you, and with the right support from the right people, you will surely go much farther than you imagined it would be possible!

10 – Keep it real:

To round things up, we want you to keep it real… in broad virtual playgrounds, no less! It may sound contradictory, but it’s actually the single best piece of advice in this list. You are limited only by your imagination, when dabbling with social media. You can even create a character and become it; that’s not being a fake, it’s just acting – and people actually love it. But you know what people don’t love? Users who tell lies for the sake of it, and who consistently engage upon deception. Be whomever you want to be, but make sure you remain consistent and genuine.

Oh, and make sure you’re having fun! It will make your social media experience much more rewarding, in the long run.