Sandbox Etiquette: 5 Playground Lessons Social Media Marketers Can Take to Heart

adult on a playground

Now truthfully, I haven’t been away from the playground for quite as long as many of my wiser marketing peers; however, from my short time in the industry thus far, I’ve found that a lot of valuable lessons we learned as kids in the schoolyard can be applied to things we do every day.

1. Sharing is Caring

For starters, sharing is caring. It seems obvious, but when it comes to your company’s social media strategy, everyone needs to be on board, not just the marketing department. One of the easiest ways to start being successful in your social media endeavors is just to make sure your content is shared. You might be shaking your head and saying “duh,” but you’d be surprised how often awesome content (blog posts, one-sheeters, whitepapers, etc.) go un-shared, even by the people who wrote them! Suggestion: You know what they say: if a blog post falls in the forest and there’s no one around to see it…

2. Don’t Hit Back

One of the most important lessons to take away from being a kid is that no matter who bullies you, try to take the high road and don’t hit back. Valid criticism is fair game, and it is usually one of the best ways we can learn how to improve ourselves, but some people are only looking to pick on your company to get a response. Again, to be fair, there are times when you should defend yourself and your brand–use your best judgment–but often enough, it’s not worth feeding the people who will unfairly attack you with baseless accusations (read: trolls). Suggestion: Haters will hate; don’t let them get under your skin.

3. No Backsies!

Remember that when you publish something on the Internet, it’s there forever. Even if you delete it, it’s probably cached somewhere online. Perhaps a loose interpretation of “no backsies,” but it’s definitely important to remember that whatever you put on the Internet, you can’t take back. Suggestion: Always, always, always re-read what you’re going to publish, ideally before you actually publish…

4. Play Nice

Seemingly common sense, a variation of the Golden Rule, playing well with others in the social media space is a really easy way to succeed. If you’re going to troll another company’s Facebook page, you can expect that someone will probably do the same to yours. Thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever to be mean online through anonymous posts. The flip side to this is that it’s also easy–through sharing content–to build up some good social karma. By being nice to other companies that have helped you out or created really interesting content, you can bet that they’ll return the favor eventually. Suggestion: Treat everybody else with the same respect you’d expect from them, and don’t be afraid to give some social media love to companies that aren’t yours!

5. Just Be Yourself

It may be a clichéd phrase, but always remember to be yourself and let your own personality show through in the company’s voice. As we all learned on the playground, it’s a lot easier to make friends when you stay true to your own personality. While it’s certainly possible to take this too far, don’t be afraid to humanize your brand and give your audience someone to whom they can relate. Suggestion: Speak through your company like a real person and you’ll find that people will keep coming back for more.

What childhood lessons would you apply to social media marketing? Feel free to let us know in the comments!

As a bonus for your fun-loving side, enjoy this short video of what appears to be the coolest piece of playground equipment ever conceived:

About Jared DeLuca:
Jared is currently the Associate Digital Marketing Manager at Compete (Millward Brown Digital). He is a graduate of Northeastern University, having achieved his B.A. in Communication Studies. If you like what you read, you can connect with him on Google+, Twitter, or on LinkedIn.