Best practice is a term that has originally described a method or a process “…that is believed to be more effective at delivering a particular outcome than any other technique, method, process, etc.” The idea is that there is some way in which you can do something that will result in better outcome than all other ways of wanting to produce that specific outcome.
Remarkable is never done twice
Best practice is thus a way in which you make your working process the most effective in comparison to other working methods. Of late, this concept has become more synnonym with “good ways of doing a thing” or “a way to do a thing correctly”.
With regards to social media I think we can calmly say that there is no such thing as best practice. The rule of “everything you do, I should do better” must apply to all activities. Ie. if you are to make something spread between users in social media, it needs to have never been done before. Or, at least, it needs to be some time inbetween the last time and this time you’re doing the same thing.
I base this on the notion that people only talk about you when you give them a reason to talk about you in the extremes. “I LOVE them”, “I HATE them”, “They are THE BEST”, “I heard they make WONDERFUL”.
Thus there is no room for best practice as if you copy someone elses campaign, and do that with perfection, it is merely at most an “as god as the other one” campaign.
There is no other company better at being you than you
Secondly, it is important to know that people does not want you to do something that others do. They want your company to do what you want to do. This is important and perhaps one of the main reasons why todays media is much more of a strategic question than it has ever been before.
For example, when you used to communicate a single activity to a journalist, then that journalist could portray that activity to a mass of people through the newspaper, tv-show or through radio. This made it very simple for you to create and base your communication, merely on short and activity based campaigns. You could simply look at who had done something successful and then apply that concept to your industry.
As a means of communication, this does not work for social media. The journalist might apply their expertize in the topic and analyze from his or hers analytical plate. If you know that analytical plate, you will be able to answer all the question that one person might ask.
Now put that into the perspective of social media where you have millions of diffrent analytical plates. There is no way that you can make sense, if you do not make sense. You can fool one person, or shine more if the focus is only on you. However, if you got millions of people talking about you, then your make up really needs to be your skin tone for people to think that it is beautiful.
I mean. Purple lipstick on a pale british girl, will make her look as though she’s freezing. The same goes with a company that starts blogging about whine and weekend parties when no one at the company stays out later than 5 on a friday after work.
I guess you get what I’m getting at.
Two reasons why best practice is dead
Thus there are two reasons why best practice should be dead. First of all since you cannot do what someone else has done before. People will not talk about you if you’re not remarkable. Secondly, you have to be true to yourself, know WHY you’re doing what you’re doing and then stick by what you are saying. If you’re not true to yourself, you will be exposed.
Simply… I don’t want to see or hear ONE more company asking about “what’s in your social media strategy” or “we would like to do what they are doing in social media”… It simply won’t work. Sit back and think about what YOU want to achieve. Then think about the best way to express that. The web is social baby!! No way to get around it anymore 🙂