Wednesday, March 17

Microsoft's Ten Commandments for Effective Online Social Networking

by Paul Chaney

1. Pull, Don't Push
One of the first lessons you will learn very quickly when engaging in social media is that old-school marketing tactics don't work. Don't come out of the gate pushing your products or services. New tools require new rules.

2. Win the Right to Be Heard
Social media engagement is a conversation, and participation in the community is required. In fact, you might say that participation is the fifth P of marketing. (The four Ps are product, price, place, and promotion.) Your value as a participant is judged by the value you provide to the community as a whole. Be a "glory hog," and you'll garner little attention. Share freely, and you will become a respected member.

3. Content Is Still King, but Conversation Is Queen (and Conversion Is the Prince)
Nothing beats well-written, informative, entertaining content in all its forms: blog posts, tweets, videos, podcasts, images, webinars, or whitepapers. Place yourself in a position of being a knowledgeable expert (assuming you are, of course). Community is the context.

4. Authenticity and Transparency Are Social-Networking Cornerstones
The words "authenticity" and "transparency" may seem trite, but I believe they remain the cornerstones of this new media-marketing paradigm. Be real. Be open. Be honest. Admit mistakes when you make them.

5. You Don't Have to Be on Every Social Network
Enough said.

6. Give, and You Shall Receive
Having an attitude of helpfulness goes a long way toward establishing a credible name for yourself in social media circles. "Seek first to understand, then to be understood," said Franklin Covey.

7. Don't Throw the Marketing Baby out With the Bath Water
The rules of marketing still apply to social media—well, most of the rules, anyway. Social media is another channel to build your brand and market your message. It's not a panacea, and it's not a replacement for other forms of advertising and marketing.

8. Social Media Is a Mindset, Not Just a Toolset

9. Be Yourself, Whoever That May Be

10. Social Media Is Not a Religion
Although it does come with a set of largely unwritten rules, social media is not a religion, no matter how hard guys like me try to make it one.

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