my best practice – conversation

Late last month, Mitch Joel of Twist Image, a marketing agency north of the border, posted a fun and educational social media writing project. The project is simple and asks the community this question:

What are your best practices for Social Media Marketing?

I thought about the question for a bit, as there were several that crossed my mind but then it became evident to me what my best practice is:

Conversation

A best practice describes the building blocks of the strategy/industry at hand, something that brings it to life. The backbone of social media, in my opinion, revolves around the conversation. Taking part in the conversation is one of the biggest things you can do to help evolve your social media presence. Opening the lines of communication within your network shows your willingness to be transparent and to learn & build from that network. So how can you effectively be part of the social media conversation? Here are a few thoughts:

  • Read and Comment – visit industry blogs that interest you and comment (thought provoking not just a ‘great post’ comment). Stay active and on top of what’s going on in the industry.
  • Listen – Opening your ears to what’s being said is just as important as talking. What are the hot topics, the hot people; educate yourself and provide value when you do jump in.
  • Write – Encompassing what you learned – start writing! Bust out some posts and engage your readers. Ask them questions, ask for feedback, grab their interest and hold on to it for dear life (ok, maybe not that dramatic but you get the point).
  • Be Yourself – Show the real you, in the posts to your readers, in your tweets, to anyone (which is everyone) that can hear you on the interwebs. Transparency gets picked up easily in social media and is appreciated.

We can probably expand this topic even further but will stick to the basics for now and keep it concise for Mitch’s project. Feel free to add your thoughts about conversation and what YOUR best practice is.

4 comments On my best practice – conversation

  • I would add to the comments section that asking questions is important. It helps me learn more not only about the blogger, but also about other commenters as an exchange develops.

    So my question is: Who determines what a best practice is and how does that practice proliferate?

  • Thanks for the comment Deb!

    That’s a great question. I think the community as a whole determines best practices for social media. With things being so new, a lot of us lean towards ‘influencers’ who live & preach the industry and practices day in and day out.

  • That’s a great question, Deb. From what I’ve seen, “best practices” is often really “what everyone else is doing so we’d better start doing it”. They’re often talking about standard practices, not best practices.

  • Collaboration and knowledge exchange through conversation is important (reading and commenting on other blogs) but the exchange is only significant and insightful if it’s genuine. As you suggested, “transparency gets picked up easily in social media…” It’s easy to spot when someone is being disingenuous and that is a very quick way to amass a great deal of discontent towards who you are and the brand you represent.

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