Tag Archives: 13 Social Media Rules
Rule #13 Be Social

Rule #13: Be Social

Rule #13 Be SocialIf you want to succeed in social media, you need to be social.

It’s not enough to be a wallflower and wait for people to come to you. With hundreds of millions of users online and more joining every day, desperate for their friends and online acquaintances to ‘like’ what they do, you’ve got to be kicking ass, shaking hands, sharing your shit, and constantly making connections in order to succeed.

The saddest thing I see on Twitter or Facebook is people who don’t interact. They just in their dark, lonely corner of the internet waiting for people to come to them, hoping that by their divine right of being on Twitter that their one of their witty observations will get picked up into a flurry of online popularity.

Or maybe that’s just me.

However, just like in real life, most people don’t notice people who talk to themselves, or if they do, we consider them crazy. So step out of your social media cave and take time to say hello. Greet your new followers. Do something to stand out in the crowd. Talk to people and be nice to them. Retweet people who share cool things. Interact with other users. Make the social web social.

It’s not that hard. You don’t even have to shower or get dressed. Nobody will know from your text that you last washed your hands a week ago.

Get out there and make some new friends. There’s no reason why you should suck at social media in 2011.

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Rule #12: Don’t Sell Out

Rule #12: Don’t Sell Out

Rule #12: Don't Sell OutIf you ever become wildly popular online, don’t give in to the first big paycheck you see. Your online relationships should be worth more than whatever cash someone is willing to throw at you.

Wait for the second, even bigger paycheck.

By then, we’ll totally understand your need for cash over your online relationships.

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Rule #11: Be Different

Rule #11: Be Different

Rule #11: Be Different You already know you have to be nice and you have to be yourself. That’s all well and good, but what is separating you from everyone else? Unfortunately, you’re a special and unique individual, just like everyone else.

You have to make a conscious effort to be different in one singular way.

I’m not saying to go around online wearing rainbow suspenders all the time, I’m not asking you to be the last Cyndi Lauper fan alive, and  for the love of all that’s holy I’m not asking you to be the Tron Guy. What you need to figure out is the one thing that you can share that make you different from other people. Stand out from the crowd.

Give people a reason to want to get to know you. Inform them. Entertain them. Make it fun and interesting to check out your profiles and follow you online. But make sure you do something to grab their attention, otherwise, how on the internet will they find you?

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Rule #10: Share Cool Stuff

Rule #10: Share Cool Stuff

Rule #10: Share Cool StuffOnline, we’re all narcissitic, self-serving attention whores who really just want people to pay attention to us. The trouble is most of us just aren’t that interesting, or we do a poor job of making ourselves that interesting.

So, what can you do to retain people’s interest when you aren’t that interesting?

Share other people’s cool stuff.

Curate. Collect. Share. People love other people who find all the cool stuff for them so they don’t have to do it themselves. Get to work sharing a cool article that wasn’t already tweeted 1,000 times.

If you’re great at creating something to share, go ahead and share it. But not all of us are good at blogging or taking photos or videos, so share someone else’s stuff and give them credit for it.

The worst that will happen is that no one will pay attention, and it’s not like they were paying much attention anyways.

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Rule #9: Take Chances

Rule # 9: Take Chances

Rule #9: Take ChancesYou’re sick of Facebook, and Twitter is filled with meaningless crap you don’t give a damn about. But what can you, the individual, do against networks with user bases that are in the hundreds of millions?

Take a chance on a new social network.

The only way you’ll ever replace a social network you hate is to use other networks. I’ve recently started using Instagram, Path and DailyBooth.  While I’m not a big fan of Path or DailyBooth, I absolutely love Instagram. It gives me another simple way of sharing more photos of my cat, which is the primary reason I’m online.

Use a new network with not many people you know. Try a network you used once and never used again.  Tell people you’re leaving a network for another one. Things only get replaced online if people go somewhere else.

Give a new social network a chance. Who knows. You may actually like it.

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Rule #8: Be Humble

Rule #8: Be Humble

Rule #8: Be HumbleYour internet celebrity isn’t worth shit if you’re an asshole.

If you have 40,000 followers of Twitter and 1 million people like your Facebook page, and you think you’re entitled to anything, you’re crazy. People are fickle and will leave your Tay Zonday for the next iJustine the second they get the chance and a good reason.

Never use your followers as leverage. That’s called ransom.  We’re better than that on the internet.

Otherwise, thank the people who take the time to retweet your stuff.  Share the stuff you think is cool, and credit the authors. Write an e-mail to a blogger you like and tell them you appreciate the work they do. Remember if you are famous, those 2,000 followers can turn on you, and there are 1,999 more of them than there are you.

And I’d take a bet you can’t take down all 1,999 of them in a fair fight.

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Rule #7: Be Grateful

Rule #7 Be GratefulA while back I wrote about what I was ungrateful for in social media. I’m still pretty spiteful about bad social networks, crappy tweets, and Facebook’s madness, but there are a few things this year I’m pretty grateful for.

  • I’m glad I live in a society where I can write about what interests me online.
  • I appreciate that a lot of people come and visit my website everyday, talk to me, spark ideas with me, and argue with me.
  • I’m grateful I’m not the only crazy cat person on the internet (thanks Laurie!).

There’s a lot of terrible things that it’s easy to get caught up in anger for online (Example #1: My Blog). But for every little thing that causes anger, there’s always a solution and something to celebrate, even if it’s just a tiny happy dance in front of your cat and computer.

Take time to thank people for the things they do online.  Be glad you live somewhere where you can read this and other blogs without oppression. Celebrate that even though Facebook is slowly turning us into the Borg, we have other ways of communication.  For all the crap and weirdness that happens online daily, there are a lot of little good things that happen you can try and enjoy.

Or just be a curmudgeon.  Only the entire internet will judge you as an ungrateful bastard.

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Rule #^ Have Fun

Rule #6: Have Fun

Rule #^ Have FunSocial networks are great distributors of information. People share news, updates and tidbits that interest them.  Within minutes we can all be commenting on how terrible the new Gap logo is, when really, it’s just a logo we shouldn’t care that much about.

Before social networks became information powerhouses, there was a time you liked Facebook. Facebook wasn’t creepy before Cityville began taking over your life and your Aunt Gertrude posted another embarassing story on your wall daily.  It’s fun to keep up with your friends and play games with them.

Social Networking is supposed to be fun.  That’s why we have real friends to begin with. Most normal people get a kick out of spending time with other people and doing activities together. Remember that when you get online.

Social Networks don’t always have to be about work and spreading your message. You don’t always need to be working on your personal brand. You can get online to chat, to connect, to catch up, or play a game. Lord knows those actually might be more productive than trying to sell people crap through your Facebook page.

Have fun. Post something you think is funny. Let your hair down. We want to see your last shred of humanity.

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