7 Social Media Lessons From Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol [Quotes]

Don’t Say Bah Humbug Social Media!

Charles Dickens offered seven social media lessons in his holiday tale, A Christmas Carol  long before the Internet was invented.

Before your inner Scrooge tweets “Humbug!” examine these seven quotes with their related social media tips and see what you think.

  1. There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.  Dickens understood that people, regardless of their personal situation, needed to be entertained. Actionable Social Media Tip:  Where appropriate incorporate humor and entertainment into your content in a way that’s relevant and in line with your brand.
  2. I wear the chain I forged in life….I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Similarly, the Internet’s memory is forever. Therefore, it’s important to consider the information you post since it’ll be around for a long time. Actionable Social Media Tip:  Before posting on social media sites, consider whether the information would reflect negatively on you or others. Be broad in your assessment since a fun photo from a party may not be what a future employer wants to see, even though it’s cute at the time. Also, where appropriate, create a set of social media guidelines.
  3. No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused. Think before you post anything on a social media platform. Bear in mind that impulses go straight from your brain to your fingers without thought about the impact that your action might have. Actionable Social Media Tip: Schedule time everyday to thank your social media friends and recognize things they’ve done. Remember social media isn’t about you or your company! It’s about the greater good.
  4. Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead; but if the courses be departed from, the ends will change.  Like Scrooge, everyone has the opportunity to build their online personality. In doing so, it’s important to be positive, generous and outgoing. Actionable Social Media Tip: On social media, don’t forget to pay-it-forward. Help others without expecting anything in return.
  5. “It is required of every man,” the ghost returned, “that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide; and, if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death.” This excerpt echoes the sentiment on social media platforms that each participant has a social responsibility for helping others and not making assumptions about them. Actionable Social Media Tip: Do one thing every day that helps others on social media. Curate useful information, give customers a shout out, or comment on someone’s post. More importantly, don’t jump on a negative bandwagon that’s singled someone out since there’s a person who may be hurt on the other side of your rants and comments.
  6. “There are some upon this earth of yours,” returned the Spirit, “who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name; who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us.” Ensure that others aren’t being malicious in your name. Call them on their bad deeds. This means taking action where appropriate and where you know who’s actually behind mean deeds. Actionable Social Media Tip: Monitor what’s said about you on social media platforms and respond where appropriate.
  7. God bless us every one. Understand that everyone has something to add to the conversation, even if you disagree with it. Actionable Social Media Tip: Make an effort to be positive about others on social media. Remember that in today’s social media connected world, there are less than six degrees of separation.

A Christmas Carol’s main social media lesson is to be generous to those you encounter on social media networks and appreciate that they may not speak your language or be able to express themselves well. It’s your responsibility to engage with them and appreciate what they have to offer.

Are there any other social media lessons from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol? If so, please respond in the comment section below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Note: This post title was taken from the post, 21 Attention Getting Holiday Blog Titles.

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/2177272897/
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  • Yuko Ichihara

    Hua, Hua, Hua, … timely and excellent! BTW, all of you may be interested in the annual radio drama Christmas Carol tomorrow from 8pm on WQXR, FM105.9. Also, online video http://www.wqxr.org/#/events/