This is really just the punchline, but the strip in its entirety brings to point some good advice for folks looking to put their work out there.
No one likes overt self-promotion, especially when it veers dangerously close to spam. Sure, you want to get your beloved message and content out there, but how do you do so without coming off like a door-to-door salesman (ready and primed for a digital door slamming)?
Well, the idea is to create unique content that is worthy of being shared, and the rest will follow.
While that’s certainly the cornerstone of All Good Things, that’s not enough alone for most people. You can’t just create something neat, put it on your website that no one knows exists, and wait around to be discovered. That’s a bit like delivering a great monologue to your bedroom mirror, and hoping that Hollywood has got your house hooked up like Big Brother. An exaggeration, sure, but not by much. I think the point is this:
You want to share your content? That’s fine. But you’ve got to be tactful about it, and let the content itself do most of the speaking. In the end, a lot of it comes down to that lucky spark that leads you to your niche.
However, if you just jump out there and spam your ‘friends’ list with constant content and, “HEY I MADE THIS THING IT’S GREAT PLZ LIKE IT PLZ,” you run the risk of tuning everyone out altogether (see: hidden/defriended/blocked/reported). And then, something they might actually like that you present later on, won’t end up reaching them.
It’s a fine line, and one many of us are still trying to figure out how to walk - some, more successfully than others. If you’re new to the arena of social media promotion, the strip in reference by The Oatmeal is not a bad place to start. Beyond that, there’s plenty of great resources out there. You’ve just got to look around and use your head.
And remember - there’s little worse than a marketing backfire in the Internets Age. The old adage of, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity,” doesn’t exactly hold true anymore, and the advice in The Oatmeal’s strip isn’t relevant to Facebook alone. In fact, try the Don’ts on this list anywhere else, and… well, just don’t. Antagonize the wrong pocket of the internet, and kiss your dreams of digital greatness goodbye. Also, expect pizza.
Perhaps it comes down to a riff on Will Wheaton’s rather excellent mantra of, “Don’t be a dick.” In the case of social media, that becomes, “Don’t be a douchebag.”
Probably good advice outside the sphere of social marketing as well.
For more good (and lol-worthy) advice, read the full comic here.