What Ghostbusters can teach you about social media

March 15, 2010

Peter Venkman, Raymond Stantz, and Egon Spengler couldn’t have told you anything about the Internet, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube back in 1984, but their advice from Ghostbusters makes for good social media practice today:

There’s something very important I forgot to tell you. Don’t cross the streams… It would be bad… Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.

Publishing your activity on Twitter to Facebook or Google Buzz isn’t nearly as painful, thankfully, but it isn’t doing anyone any good in the long run. As with most things in life, quality trumps quantity when interacting online. It’s better to cultivate strong relationships on one social media platform, by sharing good content over time and responding to other users, than to cross-pollinate your content across the Web. Publishing content from one source, such as a blog, to another, like Twitter, should be the exception, not the norm.

Immersing in one form of social media and doing it well is more rewarding than trying to be everywhere at once. In other words, Dr. Spengler was right. Don’t cross the streams.

(Hat tip to Alison Groves for steering me to the Salon article that inspired this post.)

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