Social media best practices: create a positive environment that promotes discussion and learning

This post is in response to Mitch Joel’s great suggestion to write about social media marketing best practices.

Tag, I'm it. Morriss Partee challenged me to add my two cents to the social media best practices meme making its way around the blogosphere. Mitch Joel started it here. Morriss recommends using multiple media, William has a better name for social media and Trey recommends being compelling in the real world first. Here's a best practice that I have been thinking about a lot lately:

Make a positive contribution. The social web has its share of negative places. If you or your company are going to enter the fray, commit to being positive. Be lively, be interesting, be an expert, be encouraging, but try to avoid publishing negative content just for the purpose of being controversial. This applies to your own blog or commenting on other blogs.

Criticism is welcomed, but I encourage you to back up your criticism with helpful suggestions that promote healthy discussion.

Always think it through before publishing a potentially caustic blog post or blog comment. If you are not sure, get a second opinion before putting it out there. Breathe. Take a walk. The Internet never forgets.

Leave the hating to the celebrity gossip bloggers and the like. Link baiting and negativity used solely for driving traffic or controversy doesn't lead to anything worthwhile and doesn't reflect well on you or your company.

Now I am supposed to tag some people to add to the meme. I tag Denise Wymore, Charlie Trotter, Jeffry Pilcher and Gene Blishen.

Mitch is planning to organize all of these posts in some fashion. Once I have a link, I will let you know where you can go to read the entire collection.

Tim