Want to be a social media expert? Break stuff.

Recently I did something to MackCollier.com that I thought I'd never do. For a couple of weeks, I switched the feed for MackCollier.com from a full to a partial feed for subscribers. I *hate* reading blogs that publish partial feeds, because it forces me to click over to the blog to read the entire post.

So why would I do this to one of my own sites? Because I didn't *know* what would happen. I didn't know how readers would react. I didn't know if there would be fewer comments, or more. For the record, neither traffic nor comments seemed to be affected, so I switched the feed back to full.

That's the thing about social media, it's still new. For all the '10 Steps to Building a Better Blog/Facebook Fan Page/Twitter Presence' posts, we don't KNOW what all the rules are. And the people that use social media the most efficiently, are often the people that have broken the most stuff. They are the ones that tinker, that experiment. They constantly change their blog's layout, or the content on their Facebook page. One of the reasons why I love Twitter is because the way I use Twitter is constantly evolving. I am always tweaking and changing the way I use the tool to connect with other people.

Want to be a social media expert? Break stuff. Color outside the lines. Write longer posts than you usually do, write shorter ones. Ignore all the rules.

When you think you've mastered one tool, that's probably the best time to mix things up. I remember Kathy Sierra once wrote that experts are often the people that always think 'there must be a better way' to do something, no matter how 'good' they got at it.


posted by Mack Collier @ 8:59 AM,

16 Comments:

At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Promotional Products said...

Great advice. Partial blogs are miserable, I completely agree.

 
At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Lisa Petrilli said...

Thomas Edison said, "To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk" and "There is always a way to do it better...find it."

Seems great minds think alike. :)

 
At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Brand Flex said...

So true. Never stop learning and experimenting! And never fall in love with one way of doing something. A great writer friend of mine once said, "If you fall in love with a sentence,kill it! Or you will contort all the rest of your copy just to make it work.

 
At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Elizabeth Brinton said...

I'm split on the full/partial feed. With anything you right, the first few sentences should compel the reader to finish reading it.

As for social media, I agree, you need to always be testing and improving the ways you use social media. Just because you are not having the best results doing one thing, doesn't mean you should give up on social media altogether. But as you suggest, you should constantly be tweeking it. Thanks for the post.

 
At 5:21 PM, Anonymous Ekaterina Walter said...

Yet again, Mack, you are spot on!

What people call "failure" I call "invaluable experience" and "opportunity". I love Kathy's quote as well. I wouldn't have been where I am right now by playing it safe and not trying things out. Do I make mistakes? Darn right, I do! And proud of it! That's the only way to better yourself!


Keep on rocking!

 
At 6:42 PM, Blogger Toby said...

One of the best posts I've read in ages. Love it!

 
At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Des Walsh said...

Made my day, Mack.

I don't like too many rules but one rule I think could be good for a while is that every post on the lines of "The 10 Rules for (insert social media platform/process/etc)" should have to be amended to "My 10 Personal, Experimental Rules Today for..."

 
At 6:44 PM, OpenID stevealbers said...

Great post Mack!

One thing that I like best about the social media experience is that the answer key hasn't been written yet.

 
At 8:13 PM, Blogger French In DC said...

Cool ideas. And a pleasure to read as it is extremely well written. Thanks.

 
At 4:01 AM, Anonymous Megan Zuniga said...

Social Media is a culture! It's constantly evolving because of the people who use it. Continous growth and leaving your comfort zone are always good advices whether in real life or online life. Do not let your fears hinder you.

 
At 7:12 AM, Anonymous Charlesgustave said...

Great insight... Definitely you have to think outside of the box in order to test the boundaries of an unknown arena....

 
At 12:11 PM, Blogger Mack Collier said...

Thank you Lisa ;)

Brand I think you are right, a few times I have thought of the PERFECT title, and then tried to write the post to fit it. Dangerous tightrope to walk there.

 
At 12:13 PM, Blogger Mack Collier said...

Thank you Toby ;)

BTW what are some of the stuff you have broken on your blog? Did it work for you?

 
At 8:31 AM, Anonymous Diet said...

Yup, partial is a no no for me. They just want more clicks to their pages as they may have uploaded seperately elsewhere and this ranks them higher in SEO including backlinks from comments from others

 
At 7:02 AM, Blogger mike1144 said...

Thank you for the very good post! It’s high quality. I have been visiting your website for a long time already and it’s the first time I leave a comment. Keep up the excellent job and keep on delivering the best value!
thanks

 
At 8:40 PM, Anonymous Brett Widmann said...

This is a really great article. In today's world you need to have something about you or your work that stands out from everyone else. Thanks for sharing.

 

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