PSA: Remember, Social Media Is Serious Business

Brass Tack Thinking - Social Media Is Serious BusinessMy friend Sara Santiago is awesome. She is also a very serious professional.

And she reminds us – and me – of something very, very important. Please pay attention.

Social Media – especially Twitter – is very serious business, all.

Please be mindful of that when you’re out there.

It’s very important that social media not be trifled with unless a definitive and hard-line Return On Investment can be calculated from it. It’s critical that there always be a business reason tied into your participation, or it’s an absolute waste of time. Do be sure we recognize that social media is the Second Coming, and abandon all hope that anything we’ve done in business before that is remotely relevant. Declare things dead, repeatedly.

Do not laugh. Do not use silly hashtags with abandon. Do not have insipid conversations about your dog or share pictures of cats. Do not discuss your weekend plans or your vacation or your interests and hobbies. Do not tweet about your favorite TV show.

Do not taunt Twitter.

If your Klout score is not on the rise, you had better share some more links, solicit attention via DMs, or Tweet more, for heaven’s sake. Produce “content” at all costs, for you too are a Publisher now and we are expecting that of you. Be sure that you are counting your followers meticulously, and do indeed obsess when someone unfollows you.

It is important that you assert your authority and expertise at all times. It is important to correct others’ mistakes or misinformation, and be sure that non-serious statements are interpreted as passive solicitations for your expert and clearly more experienced advice whenever possible. If you can, ensure that you take swipes at social media experts or gurus as a matter of principle and to establish just how very serious you are.

Ensure that you are tracking the number of retweets and likes you get at all times. Put them in a spreadsheet. Run analytics on everything, all the time. Marvel at them.

Do not make friends, for this is not real life. Do not invest in these avatars that call themselves humans unless they can do something for you, make you money, send you links.

Do not believe that social change can happen with social media as a catalyst. Do not seek out value in everyday conversation and connection, because that can only ever happen offline. Do not, under any circumstances, fall in love. And most certainly, do not suggest that social media can be fun, or that fun can have value. That would be foolishness of epic proportions.

Please, my friends. This is very serious business. I encourage you to give it the deference it deserves. Thank you for your attention, and be careful out there.

photo credit: foshie

  • omochan

    Amber, this is why I love you. This. Right. Here.

    You should see what I post on my work account.

    You know what’s gotten me the most conversation? Nothing related to work, just a simple “Hey, how ya doin?”

    Go figure.

    • Amber Naslund

      Amazing, isn’t it? Go figure indeed. :)

  • hanelly

    Get angry in the comment section. Tell the writer why they’re unqualified to have an Internet connection. Launch boycotts against any company remotely related to said content producer, even if they’re just the grocery store most frequented by said content producer.

    Label them ignorant for their viewpoint and arrogant for not responding to yours.

    • Amber Naslund

      Don’t you know who I am? 

      • Lucretia M Pruitt

        I’m sharing with you my horribly inappropriate response to that phrase only because I know you’ll use it at some point.
        Invariably, “Don’t you know who I am?” directed at me is met with “Oh! Oh dear! Do you have amnesia?!? Somebody help me – this wo/man doesn’t know who s/he is!!” spoken loudly and melodramatically. ;)  

        • Amber Naslund

          I’ve seriously never heard someone ask “Don’t you know who I am?” and do so without irony and humor. I hope I never do.

  • Drew McLellan

    Awesome.  Really made me laugh out loud.  Way to be serious.


    • Amber Naslund

      Don’t laugh. This is serious. You must. Be. Serious.

  • Carson McKee

    Love it – the only thing I don’t like about it is that I didn’t write it myself.

    • Amber Naslund

      I can change the byline if you want.

  • Jim Turner


    • Amber Naslund

      Like, totally.

  • Brian Clark

    Uh oh, hope we don’t see an Attack of the Literal People. Worse than zombies.

    • Amber Naslund

      They ARE. They’re very dangerous. They only use blunt objects and don’t hear
      very well.

  • Meg Fowler

    Bless you for including us. :) Honestly, why would you ever put up with these channels if you couldn’t enjoy the folks you meet there now and then? And by enjoy, I mean marry them .:)

  • DJ Waldow

    Wait. Is this serious? Truly awesome, Amber. Made me smile AND laugh – deadly combination (serious).

  • SaraSantiago

    Ms. Naslund, 

    I agree with all points presented in your finely written and super serious post. If people continue to misuse social media or our precious #hashtags, might I suggest that you pull out your strap and lay them busters down. #socialmediaregulators

    Yours, in all seriousness,
    Yer Mom 

    • DJ Waldow


      In all seriousness (serious serious here), you are on my list of folks to meet, Ms. SaraSantiago (or is it just Sara Santiago?). At one point, we were this close to sharing the stage at Blogworld with Scott Stratten. But…or panel did not get accepted. Oh well. 

      Soon, right? Maybe Amber can make the connection.

      • Sara Santiago


        According to my watch, we still have time for joint world domination. I do believe Amber was heading up that committee… :) I hope to meet you one day soon. You’re sure to be wildly disappointed, but I’ll buy you a beer. 


        • DJ Waldow

          Yes and no. The (next) RAPTURE is scheduled for … soon … right? Either way, I’ll take you up on that beer. Amber can have her snakebite.

          You are in WI, right? I’ll be in Amber’s hometown in mid-August. Never know…#WordToYourMother

          • Sara Santiago

            Hit me up in mid-August! #OnLikeDonkeyKong

          • jaybaer

            If you’re coming to Chicago in August, I’m expecting a trip to Bloomington, Mr. Waldow. 

          • DJ Waldow

            Hmmm. I’ll be with Rick Calvert & Jason Falls. May have to make that happen.

          • jaybaer

            Room for all 3 of you at casa Baer.

    • Marjorie Clayman

      I don’t feel like this comment is serious…=/

  • Mandy Vavrinak

    I would type “LOL” but I think that would indicate a complete lack of appropriate seriousness on my part, and in the interest of preserving the future of all social media, everywhere, I will refrain from enjoying or otherwise devaluing this very serious post. I will, however, share it with abandon and I don’t care what the #regulators say. #cautiontothewind

    • Patrick Allmond

      Mandy was nice enough to share this with me . I didn’t realize how much I had been screwing around and not taking SM seriously. Well that ends tonight. As blog commenters are my witness no longer am I going to F around with SM.

  • Ryan Critchett

    Glad you have time to be in your comments section. ;)  

    I feel the fun in this post! 

    • Amber Naslund

      I do try. 

  • DJ Waldow

    The comments in this post are, well…SERIOUSLY awesome.

  • Dr. Peter J. Meyers

    There’s nothing more serious than pictures of my cat. Mrs. Fluffybrisket won’t even come out of the bathroom since she read your post.

    • Amber Naslund

      Okay, that earned a good snort laugh from over here.

  • Caitlin Madden

    I attended the Type A Parent Conference this past weekend as a sponsor & attendee. I measured ROI by the number of Hugs & “Squeeeee’s” I received. I was happy to report to our Finance Controller that our ROI from the conf was up 800% from ’10 & up 1200% from ’09. 

    Thank you for this post which has moved me to comment for the first time. I sense a similarity in our styles of humor – Pint’s on me at the next conf. 

    • Amber Naslund

      Caitlin, you are ON. Like Donkey Kong. :)

  • Lucretia M Pruitt

    Yes, very, very serious.
    (I say noting that my Klout score has me listed as an authority on #bacon)

  • Natalie Sisson

    This is brilliant. Here’s to having fun -seriously

    • Amber Naslund

      Natalie, if I stop having fun, you have my express permission to be the first to call me… well. Something nasty. :)

      • Natalie Sisson

        You can count on it!

  • susangiurleo

    Phew, good to know all the measurement I do on my Twitter account is the “right” way to do it. But I do notice that I get the most engagement when I mention the word “chocolate” and ask for recipe ideas…hmmmm…

  • Anne Patrick

    For time and effort saving, this will be perfect Amber. And there were times that marketers are keep on postings or tweeting for certain links without thinking how much they will gain from it. Right and proper usage of social media, specifically Twitter, is very important for us. Time and effort are part of the business and both should not be wasted. Thanks for sharing this information.

  • Marjorie Clayman

    hmph. Now ya tell me :)

  • Pingback: – The Blog Library

  • Elias Shams

    Social media is here to stay for
    good. Given vast variety of the existing channels to choose and stick with,
    it’s time for such a hot space to enter into a new category.Here is my 2cents on this whole internet -> search
    Engine -> Social media things and my rational on why there is a need for a
    portal to provide a quick and intelligent decision for both the consumer and
    the companies about their online connections. A Platform to Help us to
    Distinguish Our Quality vs. Quantity Friends, Fans, Followers, and Companies:- Early 90s:  WWW
    was born…

    - By mid 90?s: 
    millions of sites popped up on the Web…

    - Mid – late 90s: Yahoo & Google were born to help us
    to find the right information of the right pages on the Web…

    - Early 2000: 
    Social media was born…

    - Late 2000: 
    Millions of pages created by people, companies, and organizations on all
    these social media channels.

    - 2011: Deja vu all over again… we are back to early
    90’s…That is why I built to accomplish such a
    mission – the portal to all your existing social media channels.EliasCEO & Founder

  • Tim Griffin

    Too awesome. I think this is required textbook material for all new kids on the internet. Seriously ;-) Thanks for the studious helping hand here!

  • Mark Davidson

    I swear this is true but every time I get serious on Twitter, every stat, score and metric drops. If I don’t use the humorous and silly side of my personality, nobody will read anything I post of a serious nature. Over time, I figured out a way to interweave the two but for better or worse, the moment I go into geek mode, it’s all over. I think people expect me to be human and as much as I find it annoying at times, I have to make every attempt to be that.

  • Pingback: 23 Things Great Brands Do In Social Media

  • Pingback: 23 Things Great Brands Do In Social Media - Omnia Veritas Blog

  • Pingback: 23 Things Great Brands Do In Social Media | Omnia Veritas Business Blog

  • Pingback: What Do Great Brands Do? | SocialTechPop

  • Pingback: 23 Things Great Brands Do In Social Media | mySaveHereClub

  • Pingback: 23 Things Great Brands Do In Social Media | Free Web Design Tucson

  • Pingback: 23 Things Great Brands Do In Social Media | ksralsmt

  • Pingback: 23 Things Great Brands Do In Social Media « MESA POST *????*

  • Pingback: 23 Things Great Brands Do In Social Media | Targeted Twitter Followers Plus

  • Karen

    “Produce content at all cost, for you too are now a publisher.”

    Oh dear… I think i must be tired. I read that as “you too are now a pusher.” which, now that I think of it, is an equally true statement. : )