William Faulkner (picture from reverendross)

William Faulkner (picture from reverendross)

This one got my attention right away. 

First, it was forwarded by Pete Blackshaw (thanks, Pete). 

Second, in the first sentence if referenced William Faulkner, one of my favorite authors.  In college, I once took a course where we read 13 Faulkner novels in one semester.  Phew!  But, it was one of my favorite courses.

Anyway, the post by Andy Dunn,CEO and Co-Founder of Bonobos, offers some very seasoned and rational suggestions for making social media work for you. 

I’ll summarize his four main points, but encourage you to read them for yourself:

  1. Ask provocative questions. If you want to have an impact in these channels, you have to be relevant. Do this by asking provocative questions.
  2. Spend as much time listening and responding as you do talking. Be a good date! Show your appreciation for your customers by listening to what they tell you through social media and then by responding to their comments.
  3. Complement self-promoting with promoting others. Re-tweet from your corporate Twitter page. It will help propagate an interesting idea, and you’ll pop up on the original tweeter’s radar. Same goes for blogs.
  4. Blend the personal and the professional. Consumers are savvy; they want a well-balanced mix of salesmanship and personality. Find a happy medium between promoting your product and bringing variety to your social media efforts. The more interesting it is for you, the more likely it will be interesting to your customers.

As professional communicators, we must understand that social media is “social” first and “media” second.  That certainly doesn’t make it any easier, just as it doesn’t make it the right for all clients.  But, it is what it is!