27 May 2009

Golden Rules of Social Media

Online veteran Aliza Sherman has come up with `10 Golden Rules of Social Media.' They are aimed primarily at online marketers, but they work for providers of other kinds of information, as well. And they are:

1. Respect the Spirit of the ‘Net. The Internet was meant for communication and connection to people and information. You'll have more success focusing on those attributes than throwing money at hard-sell tactics.

2. Listen. Listening thoughtfully gives you a better sense of what people are feeling as well as saying.

3. Add Value. Enter any online conversation with the aim of adding value. In some circles, talking about your product or service can be considered valuable, but in most, it is unwelcome and intrusive.

4. Respond. A quick response is crucial; thanks to search tools, alert apps and other services, it also is possible. Don’t be a dam in a conversation flow.

5. Do Good Things. Your business model should include `people, planet, profit.'

6. Share the Wealth. Sharing time, information and knowledge fuels the conversation engine.

7. Give Kudos. Social media works when you are generous with praise or with time in the spotlight. The rise of retweeting shows the value of giving credit to others can go in social spaces.

8. Don’t Spam. Avoid the ugly trend toward spamming in social media. No one has the time or interest to tolerate it.

9. Be Real. Authenticity is the secret ingredient behind valuable use of social media. `If you know your audience, locate them online, listen, add value, respond, refrain from spamming and just be yourself, you’ll have far better and more long-lasting positive results than if you try to be someone — or something — you’re not.'

10. Collaborate. Look at what else is out there and whether other social media players might be potential partners.

`Social media tools are only that — tools,' Sherman says. `The real energy, spirit and power of social media is people. We are social media.'

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