It’s been quite a few weeks…ones that have given social media denizens more than enough to talk about. From the unimportant, like Unilever telling women to how to think—or not think—about their bodies to hard news events that have impacted many of us directly and indirectly, one thing has become painfully clear: It is impossible to spit these days without hitting a Guru.
It’s relatively simple to trace the history of social media back more than a decade. If you’re reading this, then you have access to the vast interwebs, which means you also know that social media is in a state of constant flux. As a result, some of us use social media these days, while others gravitate toward social media.
And here’s the news flash: Neither is wrong. There are no rules. Opinions vary.
Following the bombing in Boston, as had happened after the shootings in Sandy Hook, some folks chose to let their scheduled tweets and posts run. And some took objection to this. The most famous example is self-proclaimed guru extraordinaire Guy Kawasaki, whose perfectly arrogant response to those who suggest he pause his incessant stream of scheduled tweets probably won’t affect his book sales one iota. But I was surprised how many people came out of the virtual woodwork to lay down the law as to How to Do Social Media Right.
To be fair, after Sandy Hook, I suggested that when tragedy strikes, scheduled marketing should be paused. I hope I wasn’t mean or school-marmish when I did so, and if I was, I apologize. Because ultimately there are no rules, just opinions.
I have no quarrel with tools that allow brands and people to schedule tweets and posts. To me, social media is just that: A form of media. It is not a party, a fete, a gathering, or jamboree. That said, I use it for social interaction quite often. But that’s my choice. If you can’t be live and in virtual person all the time in all the outlets, I don’t think this means you should forego them completely.
You can use the tools available—including getting help with content—in a manner that is transparent, and therefore no less genuine.
I schedule posts and tweets for clients. I have no problem being up-front about this. I also schedule blog posts, and for some clients, have their Twitter and/or Facebook accounts linked to their blogging platform, so that when these posts go live, word is spread through all the (social) media channels available.
I also choose to pause these when a major hard news story breaks, mostly because at that time, nobody really cares about anything other than that news story. So posting content then is pretty much a waste of time. If you’re an author (or publisher, for that matter) who chooses to carry on with “BUY MY BOOK” tweets and posts in the face of news like this, I’d suggest you reconsider.
And while we’re talking rules, some of you might have seen this nonsense about manual vs. not retweets. Despite what this post says, it’s fine to share information however you see fit. Whomever originated the information you’re sharing should just be grateful you do.