William Shakespeare said it best – “Brevity is the soul of wit.” Say what you want to say and get on with it.

“Be short and belong” is my 2010 way of endorsing brevity in the socialsphere.

From my vantage point (17 years of experience as a professional communicator, 11 years as a consultant in this field, 3 years on Twitter, and the author of one very underused blog), there are some reasons to be engaged in social media. And as the yin and yang go, there are reasons not to. So I have some rules and some ideas for folks about social media. Follow them…or don’t. Read them, or don’t. They are my rules and I’ve found them to be fairly useful.

  1. Social media is 90% about the social part and only 10% about the media part. I say that in nearly every conversation I have with people about social media. And I say it early. And I repeat it. Because to me, it’s an important message.
  2. Social media is about building relevance within a community for a brand – – and that brand is you. Be you. Share. Tweet. Post. Retweet. Link. Just don’t karaoke when anyone has a video camera nearby.
  3. Be strategic. Shania Twain sings: “If you’re not in it for love, I’m outta here.” Be on Twitter and Facebook, join Ning, LinkedIn, sign up for RSS feeds…but engage for the right reasons. Your fans and followers and connections can tell when you’re calling it in. Social media requires you to be present.
  4. I read over the weekend in an L.A. Times article that only 21% of all Twitter users have more than 10 followers and follow more than 10 people. There is a lot of space out there to splash around. Go on! Engage! And remember Rule #1.
  5. And be brief. One of the advantages of Twitter and other microblogs is it responds to our need for speed. Quick, pithy, witty, insightful, meaningful, value-added and relevant. Indeed, brevity. So be short, and belong. And follow me on Twitter @KellyFerrara. Let’s focus on the social part, and have a conversation. Cheers.