In this 10-minute podcast, I explore some social media crimes and misdemeanors spotted in the wild recently. Which ones have  you seen?

You can listen to the podcast now with the player above or download it to listen later. Or subscribe to this podcast in iTunes using the link at the top of this page.

Here are the show notes:

[00:01] Welcome and intro; Trafcom News is a podcast about communications tactics – tactics for people who care about communicating in person, in print and online. This episode is about what NOT to do when using social media.  Thanks to Sue Horner for this idea, which started when I told her I was working on a client project that included doing a survey of their competitors’ efforts in the social media world.

[01:52] It’s a crime for a business to start using social media without a strategy in place.

[02:45] Bad practice: Using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc. and NOT linking to any of your social media properties from your website.  Why would you want to keep your social media accounts a secret?

[03:15] How about companies that don’t fill in their Twitter bio? Twitter gives you 160 characters for a bio, that’s 20 more than you get for a Tweet. Use them! Be sure to include a link to your main website.

[03:30] And then we have the Twitter account that’s updated once a month, with a link to a news release. Boring boring boring. Why bother using Twitter if you are not communicating, sharing, entertaining, doing SOMETHING?

[03:48] Yet another faux pas: The Twitter account or the Facebook page where customers are lodging complaints and sometimes sharing compliments too. What does the owner of the account do? Ignore the criticisms from customers. Or delete them. They ignore the kudos as well. If you’re putting yourself out there, you have to step up to the plate and engage. Certainly you can take certain conversations offline – directing customers to a toll-free number or support email address but don’t be absent.

[04:23] What about businesses that use Hootsuite or TweetDeck to routinely cross post to Facebook and Twitter, using Twitter hashtags and other lingo? This can be confusing to Facebook followers. They will think you’re not communicating clearly. They may also think you’re lazy.

[05:01] Remember that Facebook penalizes business pages that use third-party apps to post updates, so people are less likely to see your so-called news in their feeds anyway.

[05:30] Here’s another crime: Using a Facebook personal profile page instead of a business page – in other words, Acme Engineering masquerading as a human being with the first name of Acme and the last name of Engineering.

[06:15] Social media crimes and misdemeanors mentioned by some of my Twitter and Facebook friends:

  • Amanda Laird –  auto DMs or auto direct messages on Twitter.
  • Barb Sawyers – Facebook business pages that send you too many messages. Know your audience, and don’t over load them with content.
  • Olivia Gadd – people who “collect” people they don’t know on LinkedIn.
  • Peter West – people not using a lapel mic when recording video; messy backgrounds in videos.

[08:01] Recap of social media crimes and misdemeanors, this time with a  more positive approach (as social media best practices):

  • Have a clear strategy before using social media as a business.
  • Link to your social media sites from your website.
  • Fill in your Twitter bio completely; be sure to include a link to your website.
  • Publish interesting content, not just links to dull press releases. Be sure all of your content is not self-promotional. Engage.
  • Respect the idiosyncrasies of each social media platform; don’t blindly post Twitter updates to your Facebook page.
  • Please don’t use automatic direct messages (DMs) on Twitter.
  • Use LinkedIn wisely as a business-networking tool, not to collect people like trophies.
  • Set up a proper business page on Facebook; do not use a personal profile page for your business page.

[09:25] Please check out my video on content curation, based on a presentation I did at the IABC world conference in Chicago in June.

[09:40] Have a comment? Add your comment below or email donna AT Trafcom DOT com.

Theme music  for Trafcom News Podcast is “Beneath Your Surface” by the Elisabeth Lohninger Quartet from Music Alley




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