14 Guiding Principles of Social Media

I live in Florida and hard times are visible everywhere. I’ve seen businesses open with promise and flair only to close within a year with nary a sound and barely an announcement. This extends to the houses in my neighborhood, the families that occupied them, and the jobs that the people who lived in them once had. All Gone. Empty. It sucks.

I know some of these families. We were almost one of those families. And because of that, because I know where I once was and because I know where I could be, I have a respect, an  empathy and an acknowledgment of people’s situations, of their plights.  These are still sucky, hard times for a lot of families and thus when I see some of the Dad’s at various functions around town-usually our kid’s games of some sort, I try to help in as many ways that I can but also being respectful of their situation. Oddly, I try to tell them what social media can do for them and what it did for me.

It sounds corny but it’s true.

Social media altered the course of my career. It was somewhere between 2005 and 2006 but that’s when I really started to “understand” the power of the possibility with social. I know things are much different now and the space may appear to be crowded and overrun but the principles still exist.  It is by no means a silver bullet but social can help someone create that picture of who and what they are. It also can help define where you want to go. I could fill up pages with stories and instances of where I personally benefited from the impact of social media-and I want to pay that forward. It starts with these principles that are derived from the positive impact of social media. Now I know they may seem high level but they are absolutely concrete.

The 14 guiding principles of social media.

1) Everything that you do online has some relationship to search either directly or indirectly. Always know this.

2) Understand that you can leverage search in your favor-but so can your detractors

3) Social Media loves search-your footprint is permanent

4) People have an innate curiosity about you-including those you went to kindergarten with and your current employer

5) You can create and control your online  presence instantly, but it takes longer to remove it, if at all

6) You can socialize that online presence instantly

7) You can manage and curate that online presence in real time and any time

8. You can find your tribe easier than ever before-what happens after that, is up to you, and sometimes up to them

9) Social is free. The investment is in your time, understanding and commitment.

10) You can connect with virtually anyone, anywhere and at anytime-but respect that power

11) Social requires  that you are upfront, honest and genuine-If you find that hard to do, reexamine your motives.

12) You can’t wait for it to happen, you have to make it happen-sounds a lot like life doesn’t it?

13) It can be life altering in both good ways and in bad

14) Realtionships matter-take time to develop them and make them Real

I’m sure if I went back over my past 800 plus posts, I may have written similar posts about principles, tenets, beliefs or rules of social, but right now at this moment, these 14 principles are holding fast from my perspective of what social is and what you can make of it if you understand what is at it’s core.. Care to add to it?

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4 Responses to “14 Guiding Principles of Social Media”


  1. 1 chucklasker September 1, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Nice list, Marc. I completely agree. To me the most important thing is to be genuine. Unlike the “real world,” where you can mask your intentions and true personality fairly easily, over time the real you will come out in social media. While some might find that scary, it is truly what everyone should want.

    I have friends in many countries I’ve never met in person that are better friends than most in-person relationships. It’s because over time we have learned a lot about each other and feel connected that way. Some people like me less, and some “real world” friends don’t like me anymore, because they’ve learned who I really am.

    That’s what I want. I want to be friends with people who know the real me and still like me. And I don’t want to waste my time with fake relationships. So I consider “being genuine” to be a filter – to find true friends. If someone doesn’t like the real me, that’s just fine! Either way, if they follow me on social media, they will know me well.

  2. 2 Brittany at Sprout Social September 1, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Great points, Marc! I think #14 is the true key though — it doesn’t matter how many fans/followers you have unless you actually interact with them and nurture those relationships. Start conversations and take the time to build an actual relationship. Social media offers you the unique opportunity to meet someone new and start the conversation!

  3. 3 marc meyer September 8, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    @Brittany, #14 might be the hardest !

  4. 4 marc meyer September 8, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    @Chuck, thats a great point about knowing the real you. I think in some cases, social can be the precursor to f2f, and then from that, 2 people have the basis for a pretty healthy relationship, thanks to the ability to vet that person online first.


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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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