On a recent episode of his excellent Media Driving podcast, Jay Moonah talked about something that I’ve been pondering about for a while; how come nothing bad happens to Apple because they don’t blog, podcast, etc.? Jay also asks the question about Seth Godin blogging with comments turned off.

My very simple take on the Apple question: Apple’s already got a large base of rabidly engaged (read: satisfied) customers blogging, podcasting, twittering, social mediaing for them. Unless, of course, Apple’s the one feeding all the rumours (so maybe they are engaged in social media after all).

My take on Seth Godin’s no comments policy is he’s doing what he wants to do (my uneducated guess, anyway). Good things always happen when people do that.

It’s about tools

I also agree with Jay when he ponders if it has anything to do with Seth’s content being fantastic and useful. I experience the same thing reading Chris Brogan ’s blog. While Chris encourages commenting, he always gives his readers something to take home and build upon.

Now that I’ve mentioned it, maybe that’s Apple’s key ingredient. They provide something useful (tools) for people (their customers) to use as they wish (create).

This reminds me of (back when it was called) Macromedia’s slogan when Flash MX-something-or-other-or-8 was released; “We can’t wait to see what you do with it”.

Using another case study, I’m now pondering if that’s the key ingredient behind Dell’s social media success ; taking in customer comments on what they wish Dell would and wouldn’t do.

So it sounds like it’s simply got to do with religiously keeping your brand message clear, having your product(s) or service(s) exceeding your customers’/readers’ expectations and being useful .

Corporate social media is definitely not one-formula-fits-all.

If you’re fearless, go ahead and do differently despite what the masses are saying (ex: not blogging will make the sky fall on your head). While I believe 50 million Elvis fans can’t be wrong , going against the grain is how innovation and heroes are born. When done properly of course.

I’m far from answering my question (I like these tangents!). What’s your opinion on breaking (the right) social media rules?