Ragan’s PR Daily posted The 36 Rules of Social Media, an infographic created by Fast Company.

Do you follow these? Are there any you disagree with?

I like to keep #12 and #33 in mind: #12 because accepting failure comes with the territory when you’re working with an ever-changing and context-based medium – try predicting everything when building a new brand’s social media strategy. It’s pretty difficult/impossible#33 I enjoy as a mantra for marketing and business in general. It’s important to remember that your brand (if it’s a successful one) represents not only your product or service, but the people who use it. Your fans should interact with, and ultimately have a hand in generating content for your brand. Think of it as a 21st century take on “the customer is always right.”

Twitter Gaffe

Staying Relevant On Twitter: A Checklist

Yesterday, I had the good fortune of noticing and deleting the following tweets I had scheduled for two of my clients: a curated month-old article on how to deal with “Supply Chain disasters” and a link to a report that named India as the leading consumer of green technology in 2011.

Why delete these posts? Because the word “disaster” has a heavier meaning in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and just that morning, Cyclone Nilam ripped through Southern India.

Twitter Gaffe

Image Credit: Salon.com

As the social media administrator for 3 separate brands from widely disparate industries, I have similar social media brushes with death almost daily. Like any content strategist, I schedule the bulk of my clients’ tweets in advance. However, if accidents like Celeb Boutique’s awful Aurora Twitter Fail have taught me anything, it’s that updating based on relevance is a high priority in the fast-paced world of social media. Not doing so can mean sacrificing quality, diplomacy, or worse, accuracy.

So how can I avoid generating insensitive or inaccurate content and stay on top of current events and industry news without being glued to the news, the blogosphere, and my Twitter feed for 23 hours a day?

Here is my must-have check list for maintaining frequent and relevant online content:


  • Give your editorial calendar a once-over (10 mins)

If nothing else, this is great for spelling and grammar (yes, that still matters!)

  • Take a look at Twitter trends (10 – 15 mins)

You never know what might come up – maybe a celebrity has worn something truly awful to a red carpet event and your working for a fashion blog or a designer. Also, don’t be afraid of a little snark… it’s what secretly fuels Twitter. Can’t think of what to write? Feel free to RT, but only as a last resort.

  • Take a look at the headlines (10 – 15 mins)

Reading the news can save you from accidentally tweeting something that may alienate a large portion of your audience.

  • Take a look at celebrity gossip/pop culture sites for top stories

May I suggest: Buzzfeed (WTF and Viral tags), PerezHilton, or Gawker 

  • Check Google Alerts

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend making google alerts for your brand name and industry

  • Check Google Reader

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend getting the RSS feeds for any and all industry blogs you read. It saves lots of time and screen space.

  • Get offline!

I know this is sacrilege, but sometimes talking to friends, family, and coworkers in person can give you nuance and context in a way that just can’t compare to your best friend Internetz. If you’re feeling especially stuck, schedule a walk to the water cooler or a midday coffee date with your chattiest friend.

Why I’m Watching a Viral Vid from 2009

While waiting for a ferry to Toronto Island a few weeks ago, my friends and I overheard a gaggle of teenagers singing this with unbridled enthusiasm: “At the red houuuuuse: where black people and white people buy furniture!!”

We couldn’t believe what we were hearing. Presumably, neither could they when they first stumbled upon the youtube sensation from which the song originated… in 2009.

What intrigued me wasn’t the initial popularity of the video – which generated over 2 million views in 1 year – but its resilience. The kids singing this ironic jingle couldn’t have been older than 16. Their spoiled 13 year old selves could have been streaming this video on their new 2009 iPhone 3Gs all those years ago, but as the vid’s current views top 4 million, it’s likely they found it more recently through searches, social media sharing, or Youtube recommendations.

Why is this a genius concept for a commercial? Its content defies context. A simple furniture store jingle exalting the joys of racial equality can be surprisingly relevant in any number of contexts. Obama had only been in office for a year when this video was originally posted, so its popularity could be attributed to the issues of race and race relations Americans were discussing at that time. But the video could easily be embedded in any number of satirical columns, humour lists (think Buzzfeed, Cracked, or College Humor), or any other content related to 2012 presidential race, low budget commercials, song-writing, race-relations, furniture, or the South.

Digital content doesn’t need to be high concept or high budget to go viral: if it’s funny enough, it will beg to be shared beyond the context in which it was created!