re·fined

The #1 rule of social media marketing that should never be broken…

break-the-rulesHere it is: [highlight color=”yellow”]There are no rules of social media marketing that can’t be broken.[/highlight]

That’s the only rule, and technically it means that it too can be broken, but that would lead to something worse than a man going back in a time machine and accidentally killing his great grandfather.

Allow me to explain why this is not just a “clickbait” title.

Speak to just about anyone involved with social media marketing, community relations, social CRM, and they’ll point you to, or share their own, rules of how to interact with your customers, employees, investors, bloggers, etc. They all have the best intentions and, quite honestly, they are all correct. Wait, how can they ALL be correct? Well, they are correct for their situation, their audience, their brand.

You see, there are no one set of social media marketing rules that fit everyone. For some, retweeting a customer praising your company would be a huge no-no. For others, they would annoy their customers if they didn’t show their appreciation in that manner. One business may always leave a comment in a blog post that mentions them, while others know it’s better to stay out of the discussion.

[highlight color=”yellow”]The key is that you have to get to know the expectations of your brand’s stakeholders and you have to adapt your rules accordingly.[/highlight] What works for you, may not work for others. If someone tries to tell you that their way is the only way, then check their credentials–they’re likely a social media “guru” without any actual experience.

Lastly, never assume you have your own rules completely mapped out. They will change over time, and to paraphrase Abe Lincoln, you can please all of your followers some of the time, but not all of them all of the time. Learn, test, adapt, but never assume a commonly held social media rule can’t be broken.