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Why is there so much chatter about how to do things in social media? Why not use plain ol’ common sense when there’s a doubt? So,

1. Why is there so much argument for and against Twitter follow/ following? Or Facebook friending? You follow someone after you see their tweets or after seeing their Facebook profile. Does it interest you? Is there anything common? Are there tweets that seem to be helpful to you? Follow. No? Forget it. In the real world too, this is not about etiquette…its just about being yourself.

2. Conversations are great. On Twitter…on Facebook. But do you need to force yourself into one just because everyone says conversations are the basis of social media? Of course not. You jump into a conversation if you think (a) you can add value or (b) you can gain value. Forced niceness is difficult to sustain, just like in the real world.

3. You’re a brand and want bloggers to write about you? How should you approach them? How do you approach anybody for the matter? By being polite…being helpful and straight to the point. The mode is really not the point – think of the ‘what’s in it for them?’ part and you can simply use any mode to get to them. They won’t complain, I guarantee!

4. You want to ‘create’ a community for your brand’s followers (ambitious, are we?) and are wondering where you should be creating one? Does it really matter? Pick your country, check the leading social networking platform or simply create one in your corporate website. Its real easy to create one. Whay will you do with it? What will you do if you call a dozen fans of your brand to a room? You’d have planned ‘something’ to engage them – else they’d simply leave the room, right? So, why is a social media community any different? What makes you think that just because there’s a community, people will join it? They will not. Think about it – why should they?

5. Someone’s not happy with your brand and is venting their hatred online? What would you do if they’re doing it in the real world? Reach them…speak to them…explain your point of view. And let them arrive at their own conclusion. The only difference is anonymity – social media allows anonymous rants. But, it also allows you to convey your side of the story and close the loop. Go ahead and simply do it in a calm, honest and neutral manner.

6. You see those other guys tweeting like there’s no tomorrow. A blog post a day? Loads of Facebook material added? Feeling lost? Left behind? C’mon…do you have a lot to share/ say? Say it. No? Just stand by and listen. The more you listen, the more you may have something to say.

Photo courtesy: Deep Fried Kudzu via Flickr.

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