Two of my least favorite words in the new business lexicon are “best practices.” That’s because the new rules are being written so quickly – and then often modified – that there really isn’t a rulebook anymore.
I know that’s a tough thing for a consultant to admit, but the rapid change in the new media and technology universe signals that just when you begin to get comfortable with a given – it changes.
So when I hear clients and radio professionals at conferences and state broadcaster associations ask Lori Lewis for her list of “social media best practices,” I have begun to wonder what they’re really looking for.
“Best practices” is the easy way out. They are designed so that someone else does the heavy lifting for you, and essentially provides a guide for how to behave that seems to work just about everywhere. While there are some basics, it is safe to say that with social media, your results will vary – perhaps wildly.
And in this environment, if it can go wrong, it will go wrong. Murphy was never more relevant than in today’s social media world.
Here’s a case in point:
What’s the best way to engage your Facebook brand page? Simple – ask a question to get the comments flowing. That’s a part of just about everyone’s social media “best practices” list.
So that’s what Samsung did a month or so ago to engage some conversation on their Facebook page. They posted the picture below and posed this simple question:
“If you could only take one electronic device on to a deserted island, what would it be?”
You can guess the rest of the story. Thousands of comments and answers to the question, and not nearly the number of Samsung responses they were hoping for:
From the standpoint of a response, it sure worked. As of this writing, Samsung Mobile USA had garnered more than 47,000 “likes” and nearly 20,000 comments. But as you can see, many of those responses weren’t anticipated when their social team dreamed up this question.
What it comes to “best practices,” what works for one brand just may not work for another.
And just getting your friends, followers, and social communities responding does not always translate to success.
Be careful what you ask for.