Social Media Rule Breaking

    December 17, 2007

Conformity often creates a feeling of comfort, but it also starts to generate acceptable social norms that soon become the de facto standard for the way things get done.

I know I enjoy doing things my own way even when it means I am not always optimizing my team or creating the greatest efficiencies possible. Chip Griffin has written a positive post reminding social media marketers that just because some people say there is a certain way things should be done doesn’t mean it is the best way, the right way, or even the way you should be doing it.

 There are nine rules covered in the post, I won’t touch on them all, but I do believe that there are a few highlights worth mentioning that may make many marketers take a double take. Rule #6 states that “the customer controls the relationship”, now maybe I have been under a rock for a long time, but I don’t recall this being a rule. Still this is a highly controversial item because some marketers do see it as a black and white issue, while I believe most businesses and customers see it as a very gray item.

Rule #7 also got my attention, rule #7 says “authenticity and transparency are immutable truths”. This is the one I have to agree most needs tossed out. Chip makes a nice case where transparency is not always mandatory or even necessary and supports his conclusions well. Just because a business or marketer can be completely transparent when dealing with customers and social media doesn’t mean it should. Sometimes the ingredients in the secret sauce or percentages that make the perfect formula are what create the buzz.

Just as a quick recap for those interested, Chips nine rules that need tossed out are:

1. It Isn’t a Blog Without RSS.

2. It Isn’t a Blog Without Comments.

3. The Press Release is Dead.

4. The Social Media Release is King.

5. It’s All About Conversation Not Messages.

6. The Customer Controls the Relationship.

7. Authenticity and Transparency are Immutable Truths.

8. Audience is a Word of the Past.

9. Lack of Comments Means Lack of Influence.

No doubt there are many other topics that could be added to the list, but I think the post is provocative enough to start a real conversation and get social media marketers talking.