In working on a course in Social Media Effectiveness, I found myself defining the base principles again. Overlooked far too often, I thought they might be worth sharing.

  1. STRATEGY: Define your objectives so that you can determine where your energy is best placed BEFORE your spread yourself too thin. Understand which sites are social and which are professional. Establish clear rules for you and your organisation as to what is public information. Define who the on-line representatives are and make sure they are clear on the strategy (Make sure they use separate accounts for their non-company related media activity). With clear objectives, it is easier to follow the tactical efforts for measurement of their effects on engagement and ROI.
  2. AUTHENTICITY: Don’t try to be something you are not, it will destroy trust, and ruins your credibility. Be real, it will add depth to your interactions. Errors are opportunities for learning and conversations. Accept them and use them to build engagement.
  3. ETIQUETTE: Remember the base rules of social etiquette that you learned in kindergarten. Speak when spoken to. Offer thanks for when someone helps you. Be respectful. Don’t use vulgar language. Maintain your connections. Don’t shout (all caps), unless you really mean it. Listen when others are speaking. Be humble.
  4. SHARE: Promote your peers. Pass on knowledge, links and media that is of interest to your readers or community members. Build, don’t burn bridges. Connect others who have potential synergies. Promote your own expertise by sharing your knowledge for others to learn from.
  5. QUALITY: Protect the integrity of your network. Participating in the same community does not warrant a “friend” or “link”. These should be determined by real interactions that provide ability to create a reference or support a referral. Just as reciprocal “following” or becoming a “fan” does not add value. As your interests also define your profile or your brand.

Of course there is more, as this is just the base key principles. Please feel free to share your thoughts and examples of success or failure using these keys.

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Social Media, social media optimization
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