Recently I had the pleasure of sitting on a ‘Fail Fair’ panel about social media. My time was fairly limited so I decided to keep my presentation short and sweet – focusing on the three most essential fundamentals of social media:

  1. Don’t break guitars
  2. Don’t eat at McDonalds
  3. Don’t say dumb things

Admittedly, these aren’t the most commonly referred to fundamentals of social media. If I were to say any of these in a client meeting there would likely be blank stares and the possibility of me being asked to leave the room. I stand by them nonetheless.

So lets break this down a bit more, shall we:

Don’t break guitars

Watch this video but – quick disclaimer – the song will be stuck in your head for days.

Don’t eat at McDonald’s

Our friends at McDonald’s decided to get cute with hashtags on Twitter. Here’s an example from their #MeetTheFarmers and #McDStories campaigns:

McDonald's Tweet

You can probably see where this one is going… and the response:

Tweet Response

Don’t say dumb things

Just stop… seriously stop. Please.

In conclusion…

  1. Don’t break guitars – or listen and own up for mistakes. The right decision could have been made many times in the case of United. It never was. 12 million views – I’m sure someone out there much smarter than myself can calculate the cost of that negative PR.
  2. Don’t eat at McDonalds – or be ready for the good and the bad. Not everyone agrees with you, that’s life. Get over it and be ready with a counterpoint. If you’re not you probably should rethink your strategy a bit.
  3. Don’t say dumb things – hopefully this one makes sense.

Hope you enjoyed the not-so-standard look at Social Media Fundamentals. If you have any tips or social media failures to learn from please let us know in the comments.