Social_participationThere is actually no right or wrong way to participate in social Web conversation. However, if you want to feel welcomed in discussions, you should consider taking on some standards of behavior or participation rules. Just as there are some unwritten rules of behaviour that guide you in your daily life, there are kind of similar rules on the social Web.

In her book 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, Susan Gunelius presents three key behavioural areas – the so-called three Cs of social media marketing success or failure - that you need to be aware of when you join the social Web.


The three Cs of social media marketing success or failure


Wrong = failure

Right = success


Stop it

Let it flow


Copyright-protect it, or put up a barrier to access it

Share it


Hold it tightly

Give it up

Source: Susan Gunelius: 30-Minute Social Media Marketing

In a nutshell, the scheme points out businesses that allow the online conversation to flow at the hands of consumers are positioned for success, while those that try to control the conversation and hold tight reins on it will fail. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but for long-term success in social media marketing, the free flow of content across the social Web absolutely essential.

Providing useful information, interacting, and being personable are all critical elements of social media success, but they are not the only elements. You also need to be accessible, which means you need to surround your audience with your brand, so people can pick and choose where they are comfortable engaging with you.

However, not all consumers like to read blogs, nor do all consumers like to read Twitter updates. So, you need to do some research as you embark on your social Web journey and find out where your target audience spends time. Only then you should start joining the conversation and begin to publish your own branded content.

Find and own your audience

Your social media marketing strategy should be focused and dedicated to make sure you own your audience in your niche or online space. Unlike traditional advertising, where you are attempting to steal precious moments in time with consumers, you truly can own an audience through social media marketing.

Interestingly, 2008 marked the first year that people spent more time on the social Web than they did reading and sending e-mails. Thus, it is worth to invest your energy in searching for your best audience on the social Web.

Once you found them, spend some time with them and join their conversations, before proving to be a valued, engaging connection. If you convince them and gain their trust, you get them following your own blog and uniquely branded destination.

Successful social media marketing is rooted in relationships. While your online presence will certainly grow organically over time, as you publish more and more content online, traffic doesn’t necessary come that easily. So, you need to find your audience and give those people a reason to want to follow you all the time.

Regardless what your strategy may be, you have to keep in mind one fundamental rule, which is adding value in one way or the other. You start best with listening before you join the online conversations and build your relationships step by step, interacting on a par with your audience.

By Daniela La Marca