In order to succeed in the social scene, everyone needs to
stop measuring visits and start measuring victories.
Offline business rules have always applied in the online space;
so it would be a safe bet that the social rules we all grew up with, the ones our loving parents drilled into our heads, the rules that kept us safe and happy, would also apply when
used in online social situations.

Social Rule #1
Choose your friends wisely.

It seems that building a large number of friends is the goal for most online socialites. The more friends you have, the more popular you are in an offline situation. A good example of this is high school. The less popular, nerdy student only had a few friends, which happened to be other less popular, nerdy students with similar goals and interests.

By grouping together, sharing ideas, and staying hyper-focused, this social solidarity seemed to always achieve levels of success later in life that most of us could only dream about. One example of a person that has done so is Bill Gates.

Social networking works the same way. Be choosy when selecting friends. A smaller group of like-minded individuals allows you to spread your message through a more targeted audience. Large groups of broad targets and views will muddy the waters and stop you from achieving the results needed to succeed.

Social Rule #2
Treat people the way you want to be treated.

You get what you give is a rule that has stood the test of time. You cannot expect people to do for you unless you do for them. If you are going to make a mark on the social scene, first you have to do for others. You need to participate, comment, visit, and support others if you expect them to do the same in return.

By participating, you become part of the community. People start to recognize you and appreciate your efforts. These efforts will not go unrewarded. I started my marketing blog eight months ago. I spent the first six months visiting other blogs in the marketing category and commenting on them. I added some to my blog-roll and even sent personal messages to a few I really liked. The result was others responding in kind. Within eight months I developed a following of over 2,000 readers.


Social Rule #3
If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

This one is simple. Bashing and negativity runs rampant through the social scene. I’m not talking about negative comments. By all means, if you don’t agree with something, you should post your opinion, but bashing someone is something totally different. If you are nasty or tend to post inappropriate, negative comments all the time, it won’t be long before a community labels you a jackass and no one will take you seriously. Obviously, this is counter productive to your goals.

Take the time to think through your comments and actions. Try to give constructive criticism as opposed to a negative view. Choose your words wisely and it will showcase your expertise as opposed to your dark side.

Social Rule #4
If you keep doing that, you’ll go blind.

Whether it is a website, BLOG, or MySpace page, take the user into consideration. Lots of renegade code, widgets, and advertisements can not only slow down the site, but may even crash a browser or two. Take the time to think about how every element will be seen and reacted to by your potential customer (which is what a visitor is). Ask yourself, will it have a positive or negative impact and does it enhance or detract from your message?

The point of this rule is to take the visitors experience very seriously. This is where the rubber meets the road. Make things that you want viewed easy to access. When a site is cumbersome for people to use, they will stop using it and become blind to your existence.

In the end, social media is a two way street and the oncoming traffic will either help you or kill you – the choice is yours.

Free Roman Polanski poster
Stepping into web design
Ferrari Hamptons Rally (web link)
Ferrari Owners Club
Northeast region (web link)

Loveliers (web link)
  Magdalena Kolodziej (web link)
Designing for the web:
5 things I love and hate

A few extra pounds
Save Demoscene in North America poster
  Mulholland Drive poster
Design by numbers
Space poster
Octave One
  Getting social
© 2011 Michael Rytel. All Rights Reserved. About | Work | Journal | Contact