My 8 rules of social media engagement
1: Don’t say ‘fizzin’ at the slit’ on the work account
Or any other phrase you wouldn’t want the brand directly associated with.
I cannot emphasise this one enough.
2: No Frape
Be careful that you don’t post things meant for your personal account to the work account. In general, most brands don’t want to be associated with how hammered you were on Friday.
3: W.W.P.D.? (What would Perez do)
Unless your brand is especially politically minded, there’s no need to get into your opinions on the situation in Syria/north Korea/other. We’re not curing cancer here people (unless you work for the cancer research trust) – we’re just trying to introduce a few people to our products/services.
If in doubt, ask yourself – what would Perez Hilton do, would he talk about this? He manages to generally be socially responsible these days, and opinionated, without repeatedly posting pictures of Justin Bibeber with puppies. You can too.
4: House party rules – ignore the stupid drunk person trying to talk to you
If someone tries to talk to you at a party and is being a drunken tool – ignore them and hope they go away. It’s the same with Twitter. Is that your phone ringing/buzzing? Oh look it is, and it’s someone more interesting…
5: I am an island. I am bloody Ibiza!
No matter who your brand is, you are not the most important person at the party. Learn to play well with others. If someone tweets something hilarous/interesting/witty, give them a retweet. If someone sends you a box of cupcakes, take a picture, tag them in a thank you post.
6: You are not your job
When you are being paid to Tweet, the brand is not you. You may love your iPhone with an unbridled passion, but if you work for Nokia – you’d better keep that to yourself.
If you work for a French brand, but were born on these sunless shores – you’ll still have to talk about French things quite a lot. It doesn’t make you French,
7: These aren’t the droids you’re looking for…
You were hired (hopefully) because of who you are, not despite it. Bring your own personality to the table, but with the brand ideals and tone in mind.
Instead of “Isn’t the weather terrible”, try something less generic – “Was looking forward to water-skiing home from work, but Argos are sold out. #gutted #thegreatflood”
8: I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise
Use relevant cultural references to emphasise the fact that this brand is made up of real people that were not grown in pods.
What kind of cultural references would be relevant to your brand? If you sell flowers, you could possibly avoid references to zombie movies of any kind. If you are a bank, avoid references to Fight Club. Having said that, if I heard a bank quoting Fight Club I would absolutely move to them. Consider who you’re targeting.