Social Media Rules

(ie. is cool + there are actual rules)

Let’s start with a problem.

What is the difference between these two people?

  • John wears clothes while walking to his favorite lunch spot.
  • George wears no clothes during his daily jog.

They have different names – but also different clothing choices. That’s the one worth noticing.

Like brushing your teeth, driving on the right side of the road and paying taxes, wearing clothes ranks high in the list of rules (and laws) we have made for ourselves. They’re normal and expected.

Social media is no different – the rules are just a bit different.

This article compiles various social media engagement rules from PR blogs and pros. I’ve also found examples from organizations or people in communities I follow that exemplify those rules.

Be Transparent

image(1)People know phonies. Being honest and open on social media will not only draw people to you or your organization, but it helps keep conflict at a distance. Jami Nato is a well-known blogger in the Kansas City area. She mostly writes about her family and Jesus. She is one of the most transparent, honest writers I’ve come across so far. I especially appreciate her because Christian writers can sometimes be big cheeseballs that only write about the pretty and neat parts of Christianity.

Stay Relevant

image(2)This one doesn’t take a ton of extra work or effort. International Justice Mission does it simply by recognizing big days such as MLK Day. Make a post about something relevant going on in your world or community.

If someone goes out of their way for you on social media, make sure you reciprocate the gesture.

image(6)I can only say from personal experience how true this is – it actually makes a difference. I posted a picture on Instagram with a scarf I bought from Raygun, a store in Kansas City. They reposted the picture and thanked me for the picture. It isn’t a huge deal and I’m not their newest product model, but it meant a lot that they would take a few minutes to thank me for helping them with some permission marketing. 

Always, without hesitation, say thank you.

image(3)When you have millions of followers like Charity Water, one ‘thank you’ post is heard and felt by at least some of them – especially those who have donated or supported the organization in any way. If a woman donates a million dollars, say thank you. If a child asks for donations to your organization instead of presents, say thank you. Both matter.

 Embody the attributes you wish to portray and instill.

image(5)Again, Charity Water does it well. If you believe in clean water for everyone, show it! Show that you aren’t just sending volunteers to international land and leaving all the dirty work up to them. If your leaders embody the values you are looking for in donors and volunteers, make sure you have them first.

How do these rules apply to your organization or community?



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