Using Social Media Right – For You

Chris Brogan wrote a post the other day about connecting your Twitter profile to LinkedIn. His take was that it’s annoying, and you should only be sharing some of your Twitter stuff.

There are a ton of folks that say you shouldn’t be tweeting about what you had for breakfast, or how silly your cat is. Doing that means you’re not using Twitter right.

Then you have folks that say you shouldn’t connect Foursquare to your Twitter account, because no-one wants to know that you’re sitting on a patio having a cold one somewhere, or you’re in Best Buy getting a game for your Xbox 360.

Again, it’s “not the right way” to use the service.

Here’s a little heads up – there’s no right or wrong way to use social media.

There is a right way to use it for you and your needs, though, and that’s different.

To take Chris’s point about Twitter and LinkedIn, I worked with a client in the service industry. They used Twitter to help resolve issues and technical queries. We fed their Twitter feed into LinkedIn and Facebook.

Because of this, they won three big clients who were impressed at how quickly they resolved issues, and how concerned they were for their customers. Where did these clients come from? Two from LinkedIn and one from Facebook. The three new clients equated to six figure contracts – something that would have been missed had the Twitter account of my client not been linked up elsewhere.

As for not using Twitter to share personal stuff? Look at Twitter’s own description of the service – “Twitter is a rich source of instant information. Stay updated. Keep others updated. It’s a whole thing.” Nowhere does it say, “Please keep this business related.”

And sharing what you’re up to on Foursquare allows others to see your tastes. We keep complaining about ineffective advertising – by sharing what we like, we’re allowing marketers and advertisers insights into what we’d like to see from them. Seems like a win-win (as long as they don’t abuse our trust, obviously).

This whole “doing social media right” mindset seems to miss the mark. Who said that using Twitter or LinkedIn should be one way and one way only? Where did these “social media rules” come from? I don’t recall seeing a Social Media Ten Commandments movie. You?

Social media is just like anything else – people will either like what you’re doing or not. They’ll either agree with your viewpoint or they won’t. The ones that agree will be your customers; the ones that don’t probably weren’t a good fit anyways.

And isn’t that the way business and personal relationships have always been anyway?

Creative Commons License photo credit: QualityFrog

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