A quick Google search for “social media best practices” reveals 102 million results. If you narrow that down to “social business best practices,” you’ll end up with still impressive 82 million results and change. If you start digging down the results, you’ll find something even more interesting: advice apparently as conflicting as:
“Focusing on adoption as a success metric will likely lead to failure because it engenders resistance” (Deloitte, “Social Software for Business Performance,” 2011)
“Ultimately, adoption is the leading indicator of social business success” (Forrester, “Mapping the value of social business and collaboration,” 2013).
As you try to make sense of what industry analysts, business consultants and the so-called social media experts are recommending, you start wondering if there is anything that can actually be called “a best practice,” or if anybody out there really knows what they are talking about. Is the concept of “best practices” just a myth, a fabrication out of our MBA schools? Should we downgrade them to more modest “good practices”? Or even a non-commital “it-worked-for-us” practices? It turns out that we need to be careful to not throw out the baby with the bath water.