One Example of How Not to do Social Media.

» Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Business Strategy, Marketing | 0 comments

One Example of How Not to do Social Media.

“We have been taught to believe that negative equals realistic and positive equals unrealistic”.  Susan Jeffers.

I believe that negativity is poison, and I try very hard to not fall into the trap of negativity.  I do not believe that bringing out all the bad things that can happen is being smart or shows experience or even good judgment.

That being said, sometime people do things, either out of anger or frustration, or a momentary lack of judgment that hurts them.  In social media, we can all think of examples of grown men and woman who should know better, doing something stupid.

We at Spalding Barker use the rule, that you should view anything that you post as going to be read by your boss, your mother, and your priest/preacher or rabbi (substitute in religion of your choice).  Or if you rather, as if it was to be published in The New York Times.

I ran across a instance that might help you to prevent a more subtle mistake that can damage your hard-won on-line reputation.

I belong to a Linkedin group called “Strategies and Tips on Social Media Marketing”.  I recently received an email with the subject line, with the following text (below).

“Please stop spamming this group!”

I thank you for being a member of my “Strategies and Tips on Social Media Marketing” LinkedIn group — but please remember it is a group for people to share strategies and tips. Spamming the group with your or your client’s blog post is not sharing.
Please remember the difference between sharing and promoting. I am actively deleting anything in the moderation queue that is neither a strategy or tip on social media marketing. Please keep this in mind the next time you post something here.
I assume people joined this group to read, share, and participate. Help them. Consider they can help you too. Thanks.

(end of post).

So given it was addressed to me,  I took it personally.  Like most people, I don’t think of myself as a spammer, but in matters of taste…, so I checked my posting history on that group and had not posted there for some time.  So I was pretty sure that I wasn’t the problem.

What happens next is the interesting part,  within 24 hours, over 60 people took the time to reply and comment back to the above message from the moderator and creator of the group.  It was overwhelmingly negative.  Not only that, as I had not changed the default for preferences to receive notification from the moderator via email (and comments regarding what the moderator wrote), I received over 60 messages in my in-box.  Talk about spamming!

So what happened here?  Without knowing the moderator or having special knowledge, I think that he had read some posts for a while that he viewed as spamming, got sick of it, and rather than take the time to respond individually to the offending parties, wrote and sent the above post.

Did it hurt his brand?  Maybe too soon to tell, but it didn’t help him or the good work that he had been doing for some time.

The take away is that social media communication is similar to most other communication, email, letter, or even the phone, but the potential reach is greater with higher upside and downside.  So think twice about what you write and how it will be viewed by those that read it.  Especially if you are in a bad mood!


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