Gini Dietrich

Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

By: Gini Dietrich | January 12, 2010 | 

I wrote this for a client today and thought it would be valuable for you.

The do’s and don’ts of social media, according to Gini Dietrich.


* Target your market to follow the right people.

* Offer actionable advice.

* Use your time wisely.

* Have an offer and call to action.

* Define your goals.

* Track results.

* Be respectful.

* Submit original content.

* Participate actively.

* Be open-minded about other points of view.

* Be honest.

* Be authentic.

* Be transparent.

* Be human.

* Be consistent.

* Use pictures, videos, and music.

* Scratch other people’s backs.

* Build a community.

* Listen!


* Be too sales-y.

* Be too anxious.

* Be afraid to offer information, knowledge, and wisdom.

* Be self-serving.

* Post news releases.

* Shy away from connecting and engaging.

* Get your feelings hurt when people unfollow you.

* Spam.

* Stalk people.

* Accept friend requests from people you don’t know or barely know.

* Be negative.

* Engage in dubious behavior.

* Try to maintain more than one profile for your brand (either personal or company).

What advice do you give when talking about the social media do’s and don’ts?

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

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  • Nice list!

  • Great points. I created a Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts for my Social Media for Small Business presentation. Here are mine:
    1. Don’t broadcast
    2. Don’t say anything you’ll regret
    3. Don’t be negative
    4. Do invite conversation
    5. Do Follow back and Retweet on Twitter
    6. Do be friendly, show personality
    7. Do Tweet/Post links to good information – both coming from you and from others
    8. Do be present! Must stay involved
    9. Do respond quickly
    10.Update often

  • Patti Knight

    good post – my number one DO is be honest. Also, in the beginning i was guilty of accepting friend requests for those i barely know and am not sure why. I won’t accept them now.

  • Great list Gini, and great additional comments!

    I would also add to be patient and persistent. Social Networking takes proper “care and feeding” to blossom in to relationships. At the beginning, people WILL forget about you if you aren’t around for a while. You have to be persistent in order to create and leave an impression in the minds of those you care about.

  • Kathleen

    I really like this list – especially the part about being human; the place where social media really shines is by connecting people through their ideas and ideals. When businesses try to fit the same old sell-y messages into the social media mold, it just doesn’t work. You’ve got to find ways to customize and “fit in” with the crowds you’re trying to appeal to, and so often it helps to just listen and emulate those who “get it.” Thank you for sharing!

  • Self serving? check
    Get your feelings hurt when people unfollow you? How DARE THEY!
    Post news releases? Everything about Dashal should be a press release 🙂
    Be negative? If I see one more tweet about how great this year will be I will vomit lol.
    Try to maintain more than one profile for your brand (either personal or company)? I am Dashal and Dashal is moi :).

  • nick’s comments are so interesting. your post also good.

  • nick’s comments are so interesting. your post also good.

  • nick’s comments are so interesting. your post also good.

  • Michael Price

    Gini, great job speaking yesterday! Thought you would find these articles related to your comments of interest:

    Pepsi’s $20M Experiment:

    Death of Twitter:

  • Great list! – I’d add don’t ask me to become a part of your Mafia Team or ask me if I want to know what the secret is to getting white teeth in less than 7 days. Also, DO change your password once in a while so you don’t find yourself becoming a spam bot.

    Finally, DONT – Join groups that tell you that by joining you will be able to see who most recently viewed your facebook or linkedin profile – Like Judge Judy would say: It’s bologna.

  • @ Kathleen;

    I’ve been thinking about the “being human” part when it comes to Brands on social media. I don’t want to interact with a logo or a company, I want to interact with a person. I think that’s why @coloneltribune works so well, it’s a human face, even if he’s fictional.

    Would that work for every brand, to personify it? Maybe not, but it’s more real! There is a person behind those tweets…


  • Love this post. Great tip for entrepreneurs before I unfollow all of them 🙂 Nick I like your comments too. I think Ms. Gini has earned the right for news releases!

  • DO: Be aware of the scope of your audience and its diversity.

  • I would add “be patient.”

  • Deb Dobson

    I agree with Nancy and Abbie, I would add be patient. I see my clients diving into social media and expecting something immediately. Developing relationships takes alot of nurturing and patience. But wow, it is worth every moment spent. I’ve developed some wonderful friendships with social media and treasure every moment I’ve spent nurturing them.

    A great post Gini…as usual. Thank you!!

  • Gini Dietrich

    What great additions everyone has added! Now we all have a comprehensive list to share with others. Thank you!

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