Six Social Media Rules From Your Mom

It's a little lot disconcerting to me that we now need books, blog posts and experts to tell us how to engage in social media.  I've read a slew of pointers and lists of things to do and not do from people who charge lots of money to tell me what they think.  Here's what they always say about getting started:

Don't spam.
Be helpful.
Give something of value.

That's it.  No Big Idea here, is there?

Are we really so far gone in our social interactions that we need dozens of Social Media Emily Post gurus to tell us something as simple as how to begin basic relationships?

What's even more disconcerting is that there are still plenty of businesses and self-proclaimed thought leaders who ignore this most basic advice.  They can be found with no @ symbols in their Twitter timelines, or Facebook wall posts that shout out to no one in particular.  I'm assuming they've never taken to the lessons of childhood, or never had the benefit of a good teacher of common courtesy and decency. Why else would they not yet know that it's in poor taste to speak without pausing to listen?  Or that repeatedly shouting your name in public is almost never a good idea?

From what I can see, there's really not a lot of mystery to building a successful social media foundation. It seems to be as simple as keeping to some of the most basic rules taught to a child.  Let's say you want to walk into a new social media playground with lots of people having a great time and you want to get in on the fun. Here are Six Amazing and Foolproof Rules my mom offered me, and I won't charge a dime for writing them down here.  They're just too idiot-proof.

1. Say hello.
2. Listen.
3. Figure out what game they're playing. 
4. Ask questions if you're not sure.
5. Wait your turn.
6. Share your toys.

As you listen and play you'll begin to learn all the subtle rules of the game and how to get in on creating new ways to play.  The others will trust you once they see you really like what they have to share with you, and that you're willing to share your toys too. 
That's it, all Six Rules you need to build a good start. Once these lessons are done, then go read books by the gurus.  You'll find that you're a lot smarter about figuring out who the good ones are.
Tell me, did I forget anything?  Because it's my turn to listen.
Photo credit:  macsimc on Deviantart

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