Just need to get a little something off my chest here. It’s about social media. Not usually my bag, but it’s annoyed me lately how BAD people are at using it to engage people, especially for business. Frankly, if you’re just Jo User feeling the urge to spew your thoughts on the world, that’s cool; I don’t want anything from you, you’re not trying to foster a strong image in my mind, and I can simply “unfollow”. Fine. I move on.
I’m by no means an expert (I can hook you up with one or two if you read this and think “holy crap, I’m doing it all wrong”) but I AM a consumer, and I’m part of a pretty hefty global pool of consumers who are switched on to the social world, and switched OFF by bad social media.
Key examples relate more to Twitter than Facebook (I tweet a fair bit – mostly rubbish but see my earlier point re Jo User – but Facebook fills a fairly specific role in my life. Namely making sure I know when my hockey games are). To kick off, then, my first wee point re branding on Facebook: If you’re a small brand with limited following, don’t ask THEM to contribute (to be honest, even if you’re a big brand you should be careful with this – bit.ly/waitrosereasons). You’ve got to drive it. Content doesn’t have to be original, but it does have to be RELEVANT. And if it’s not original, the source should ALWAYS be linked.
Twitter, then. In more than 140 characters. Bit of a list. Possibly a tad vitriolic. It’s nothing personal, honest. Unless you’re guilty of the crimes below, in which case it’s personal. Bazinga! Not really.
- Don’t tweet your Facebook posts (if they’re more than 140 characters).
- Sure, tweet a link to them with a quick précis if you must. What sucks is reading half of an interesting sounding sentence and then having to follow a link. I NEVER follow the link.
- Don’t Facebook post your tweets. The language and syntax is different, and mostly it just makes you look like a tool to people who use only one of Twitter or Facebook.
- Some people get it, but most get turned off by #tags and @s on Facebook
- Don’t just sell yourself. If I follow you, I’m not interested in hearing once a week about the backups service you offer.
- Yes, some is OK. But 1/10 tweets AT MOST. New product? Cool, tell me. Once. Old product? Not interested.
- If you’re quoting/retweeting, CREDIT THE ORIGINAL.
- Sure, it limits what YOU can say, but you’re a self righteous prick if you don’t give props to the original tweeter. They did the hard work. Probably.
- Don’t post all your tweets in one go. Please. Seriously. I might read two at best.
- Even if you have your “twitter hour” every day, just use it to set a few scheduled tweets up with something like Tweetdeck and spread the love over a few hours.
- Don’t just hashtag things for the sake of it. Normally there’s no point, or no need, or it just looks dumb.
- Jo User, I couldn’t care less. You brands out there, unless you’re using a SPECIFIC tag for a campaign or such (#takethestage, #makeitcount) you can generally not bother.
- I concede there are some grey areas here, but best err on the side of caution to avoid looking like a n00b.
- Don’t get someone’s handle wrong. Double check that you’re mentioning who you think you’re mentioning, if you don’t know for sure.
- Seriously, my company get more @mentions for another company with the same name but DIFFERENT TWITTER HANDLE than we do for our own…
There. That’s better. I can sleep easy now.