80 rules of social media – for PR redux

Social Media London has a great ‘80 rules of social media’ infographic by Jeremy Waite, head of social strategy for Adobe EMEA.

I’ve pulled out my favourites and not so favourites:

5 If you talked to people the way advertising talked to people, they’d punch you in the face – courtesy of that great Hugh MacLeod cartoon.

6 People share emotions they don’t share facts – I’d quibble with this one as people share what they like or find interesting, or sometimes to show they are ahead of the pack. Sharing news isn’t sharing emotions, but news is frequently shared. A better rule would be to tell a story to make a cold hard fact more emotional.

9 Facebook is not the answer to your problems – Amen to that. Blogs and forums may not be as trendy, but they can frequently be far more powerful.

10 Understand that ROI can only ever be ‘Return on Investment’ – I’d add that most people who claim they can measure social media ROI are at best bullshit artists and at worst liars. There are exceptions, but not many. If you’re not convinced then listen to David Meerman Scott’s ROI rant.

12 Update your page or delete it – Actually no that’s bad advice, you still want to protect your user name for potential future use. I registered my Pinterest page in early 2011, but never updated it until Pinterest actually became popular in early 2012. Similar true of many clients I’ve worked with.

19 Over 90% of people who visit a brand page never return – and as it says who can blame them.

23 Just because you can measure everything doesn’t mean that you should – so true, but why spoil the rule by talking about measuring ROI when most times you can’t? See rule 10.

24 Despite what your boss may think, social media is not cheap. Nor is it easy – Spot on. If you hire a player from the local amateur league you’ll not get the results you’d get from a player from the Premiership.

28 Social media is a lot like teen sex. Everybody wants to do it. Nobody quite knows how it’s done. And when it is done, there’s surprise it isn’t better – That’s why it’s so important to never over promise.

34 85% of people working in social media have been in the industry less than two years. Most of them have not failed enough. Chances are they have no idea what they are talking about and should be avoided at all costs – my absolute favourite rule.

I’d always choose an expert in a particular profession who knows about social media, over an expert in social media who knows about a particular profession.

36 Social is 24/7 not a one-time stunt – it’s rude to walk out in the middle of a conversation. Always put relationships first, never campaigns.

42 If fans start publishing and sharing your content without your permission, offer to help – Yes and a version of this can work with critics as well. As Sun Tzu and Michael Corleone said “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”.

43 Reply to EVERYONE – not necessarily, you don’t feed the trolls. Better advice would be DEAL with everyone as a reply isn’t always the best response.

52 If your content doesn’t work on a mobile device, it doesn’t count – Yes, yes and yes. And remember not all mobiles are high-end smart phones like yours. And they definitely aren’t just iPhones.

54 Engagement is not a dog. It cannot be owned – so true, except it ruins it by implying you were once in control of your brand. You weren’t. Marketing and advertising people just deluded you into thinking you were.

73 If you don’t understand what each kind of Twitter or Facebook ad unit is you shouldn’t be working in social media. Learn fast or go back to working in PR – What the ….! I refer you to rule 5 and remind you of nearly all the other rules which mainly talk about the fundamentals of good public relations.

75 @StephenFry is not going to follow you… Actually, he does and he has retweeted tweets in campaigns I’ve been involved with. Although he’s never sent me a DM, but there again I’ve never sent him a DM.

The 80 Rules of Social Media

In response to Rule 73 all of these rules could be considered as rules that are simply part of good public relations:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 21, 23, 24, 27, 29, 30, 31, 36, 42, 45, 49, 54, 61, 64, 67, 68, 70, 72, 76, 78, 80

There are probably more, but I did it quickly!

About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.

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  • Rachel S. Park

    great summary! of the ones you’ve highlighted #28 and 36 are my faves. i also love 2, 8 and 72. i’ve been immobilized on how to use social media for a b2b, but that’s not the way i should approach the challenge. it is truly a P2P environment where useful content and collaboration is the key to building a community of brand advocates.

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