Social Media Rules [and Perceptions] are supposed to be broken: An inspired post b/c of Jessica Smith
There are many communities I am a part of on social media. I have my fellow professors who teach social media and PR with #prprofs and then I have also my crisis communications colleagues with #crisispr. However, there is another community I am a part of that is really great, and that is the #smsports community, or otherwise known as the social media sports community.
I have to thank Twitter for getting me connected to the great community that is #smsports. Honestly, some of the best strategic and creative minds are part of this community, and it’s truly been a pleasure to hear their ideas, perspectives, stories, and advice for others entering or working in the field. These professionals are dynamic, energetic, and absolutely brilliant in how not only they are for their respective teams and positions, but they are also very strong with managing their own personal brands as professionals as well.
Jessica Smith is one of these great professionals. If you are interested in strategic insights, great content, and knowing the latest tech trends in sports and their implications, you need to follow Jessica on Twitter and read her blog.
Jessica shared something this morning that truly struck a cord with me – she shared this post and talked about how social media rules are meant to be broken. This was an eye catching tweet and immediately started thinking – it’s not only about the rules, but the perception of what you are SUPPOSED to do on social media.
This actually is one of the things I talked about a few months ago at the UT Social Media Week. There are so many “rules” and even “myths” about how we are supposed to be on social media. As as professors, I’ve seen some of these come and go for years, and I never quite knew where these rules or expectations came from, but I knew they were not for me. I found out I was not the only one among my professor friends who thought this – so this of course sparked this presentation and another one I will be giving in March at SxSW Edu. We are seeing a lot more professors breaking down these perceptions and rules on social media, and it’s been great to see this as well as start a community where we can all bounce off ideas and perspectives on this topic.
So, where did these rules actually come from? I am not sure who made up some of these rules, but what we have to look at here when it comes to social media is the fact that these “rules” and “perceptions” are all based on the community itself. Social media is all about experimenting to see what works – that’s the beauty of it. Social media success doesn’t happen over night – you have to work at it every day like you would as an athlete training for a major competition. You have some great days and there are some days were you have to say – well, that wasn’t fun. But you learn from these and make sure you do what it takes to make sure you come back better and stronger.
In essence, each platform, team, community, and individual is different – if we try to fit ourselves in one particular mold, how are we going to make an impression that is memorable? Does every athlete train the same way? There are some things they do that is similar, but there are some exercises that are tailored based on the individual athlete as well as the sport in which they are in. By drifting away from the rules slightly and being unique is what makes a memorable impression. If we all did the same things on social media and acted the same way – wouldn’t that be a little boring?
In summary, it’s important to break down some of these set forth social media rules to be different, bold, and impactful within our community. As Jessica says, social media rules are supposed to be broken, but I’d add so are perceptions – and you want to provide them with alternatives and educational tools to take action to adapt them to fit your own individual, brand, and community needs.
Hope you all are having a great day!