The golden rule of social media: how to follow it

Do you follow the golden rule?

It’s pretty simple: “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

Have you heard about the social media golden rule?

Okay, it’s not really a thing; it’s more like a best practice us marketing mavens follow.

On social media, just like in the “real world,” it’s important to treat people the way you want to be treated.

Are you operating behind a computer screen? Yes.

Can you act however you want? No.

Just because you’re behind a screen doesn’t mean you can ditch the social norms and niceties.

Let’s break down exactly what the golden rule is and why you should follow it.

Talking the talk

The concept is simple: treat others the way you want to be treated.

Do you want to be treated the same as everybody else online?

Probably not.

I don’t like feeling like I’m being marketed to with the masses.

Do you want to receive promotional messages that don’t apply to your specific brand or business?

I didn’t think so.

I like seeing solutions that are specific to my needs and interests.

Walking the walk

It’s one thing to understand the golden rule; it’s another thing to actually apply it.

The best way to create a connection to your fans is to take a personalized approach. 

You want to treat each of your fans like the unique individual that they are.

Your strategy for content creation and engagement should reflect a desire to create real connections.

It’s adopting a focus on your FANS rather than yourself.

So, where should you start? What are the steps to take?

I recommend getting started with these three tactics:

  • Abandon automated messaging: Turn off any automated messages you currently have set up. The most common ones are automated DMs on Twitter that are sent after you start following someone. Seriously, those DMs drive me NUTS. I unfollow 95% of people who send me those messages. Why? Because they aren’t customized. They’re not creative. In summary, they make me LESS interested in connecting BECAUSE they aren’t personalized. Success on social media is driven by authenticity. Be genuine and use the DM feature on any channel to create a customized conversation.
  • Provide value: Think about the kind of content you enjoy looking at on social media, and craft it for your fans! Don’t be overly self-promotional. Share stories and lessons learned. Find interesting articles in your industry that will inspire, entertain and/or educate your audience! Treating others the way you want to be treated means sharing valuable content consistently.
  • Act with intent: Stop thinking about what’s in it for you and start thinking about what’s in it for your fans.

Following the golden rule on social media is all about creating real connections, crafting killer content and providing personalized answers to questions. 

Have something to add to the list? Share it below!

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