One size doesn't fit all in social media and even the specific size needs individual tailoring

There's a horrible temptation, not just in social media, but in all walks of life, to see something that works, think "Oh, that's ok then," and leave it there, while all the small cracks slowly grow ever larger. You wouldn't forgo an MOT just because your car appeared to be working. The same's true for social media. So, just because a well run Twitter-based campaign worked well for one company, it doesn't mean that it'll work for another. And, crucially, it definitely doesn't mean that you can repeat it again a few months later for the original company. Everything is different.

Here's an example from my own work. On ITV.com, we've started running live chats around various shows and Q&As with producers and the talent (Dancing On Ice is the one currently running on Sundays). We've done this for various shows and events for several months now, and not one show is exactly the same.

After initial successes with football and I'm A Celebrity, it would have been tempting to say: "That works, let's roll it out." But we'd have done so at the peril of alienating our communities. Whereas one group would treat the chat in a knockabout way, another was deadly serious, whereas a third disliked us doing something we'd happily done with no problems in other chats.

These lessons can be applied to anywhere in the social media sphere. It's all to easy to fall into a basic, easy way of doing things that achieves decent results but ignores the community. But by listening to that community and tuning into their likes and dislikes and individual quirks, you have a chance not just to cater to their needs, but to listen, learn and improve across the board.

It's a principle that good online journalism adopts as well. The better you know your audience, the better you'll be able to serve them (even if this involves taking a contrary position to stir up a bit of debate in the comments).

Taking big conversations and great ideas and listening to them at much smaller levels may not seem like a priority, but it's not hard to do, and the benefits far outweigh the time you'll put into it (which really isn't that much in the grand scheme of things).