There’s a lot of great information on social media and digital marketing. You don’t have to dig two tweets into your feed or go past the first page of Google search results to find information, that is helpful and actionable for social businesses of all types. With the good comes the bad social media advice that is unhelpful, meaningless or just not applicable to most businesses. The trifecta is complete with the addition of downright ugly information on social media. The ugly contains advice, tips and strategies that are counterproductive at best and harmful at their worst. Fortunately, the ugly is a small portion of the advice out there and most of it is easily discernible as ridiculous and far-fetched.
This is the first in a series that I’m going to call Social Media Call Out. In this I’m going to give you a reaction and counterpoint to information that I find on social media. Today’s I’m calling out Melonie Dorado. To be fair, this call out is good in nature. I respect her and many others do too. 62k+ people follow her on Twitter. She’s got a healthy Twitter following and knows a thing or two about social. So, I’m not challenging her abilities, intelligence or success, but I am going to offer some counterpoint to a piece she published earlier this year. In fact I encourage you to follow her on Twitter and learn from her Tweets.
That said, I think I’m an expert in social media too and I would like to offer some reactions to her article about 12 Bad Social Media Shortcuts. I’ll share the truths and falsehoods of each statement in this piece and allow you to draw your own conclusions based on your situation.
Let’s start, shall we?
Pre-Scheduling Posts For Real-Time Events
True: Unless you have a crystal ball, a spiritual connection to Nostradamus or a time machine, you’re likely not going to create a live event post that has much meaning if you’re talking about specifics.
False: I think that you can and should plan posts for real-time events. If you plan on heading to The Super Bowl and are worried that you’re going to be too inebriated, too busy or too consumed in the event to be able to live Tweet, well then there are certain posts that can make sense. The thing that you need to think about is context. You could certainly schedule a Tweet professing your admiration for your home team. You probably shouldn’t schedule a post that has anything to do with particular plays, the score or the outcome.
Auto-Replies or Auto-DMs on Twitter
True: Indiscriminate auto anything can spell disaster. This problem occurs again and again for brands that have good visibility. Not knowing what you’re replying to, or who you’re replying to or who you’re retweeting is bad news and bad social media practice. Bad automation looks robotic and heartless, not the goal of any good social media communication plan.
False: Know who you’re replying to or retweeting is good business. Using automation tools for auto-replies, auto RT can be a smart use of time and resources. Good automation tools offer some customization options. Check out Socedo. Don’t ignore your automation. Stay on top of the work that your tools do for you.
Creating Fake Profiles To Increase Your “Engagement”
True: What do you plan to accomplish with a fake profile? Additional visibility? A layer of identity protection? Something nefarious? Fake profiles without a positive purpose will do little for you and may be a detriment to your reputation.
False: There is a time and place for a second profile, but you need a purpose and a strategy. Earlier this year I created a parallel company Twitter account to test whether or not “bought” followers was worth it or not. For $10 I added 2000 followers to the profile. I compared these bought followers to the organic followers of the main account made any difference in metrics or results. Surprisingly these bought followers generated a surge or organic followers who were active. This important test
Using Hootsuite To Post The Same Message Across Multiple Networks
True: Yes, your content may perform better if you adjust message length to conform to the optimal size for each network. It can look odd to use Twitter-like messaging on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. It wouldn’t work to Tweet a 500 word blog post any more than it would benefit you to post 140 characters on Facebook. This Buffer article will help you get your posts in order.
False: Don’t sweat the small stuff, and its all small stuff. If you’re reading this article perhaps you’re starting out in social media. Each network has limits on post length so you can’t fail by writing content that’s too long, at least from a technical perspective. That said, you should be analyzing the performance of your content so that you can refine, adjust and optimize your work.
Sending LinkedIn Invites Without Personalizing
True: Personalizing your social messaging just makes sense. Even if you’re inviting a former co-worker that you’ve known for years, it can help to be more personal if you send a custom tailored invite.
False: This tip should be of little concern. If you’re inviting people you know, they probably won’t sweat this detail and will gladly accept your invite. If you’re sending random invites to people that you don’t know, you may be in deeper trouble. One of LinkedIn’s terms of service says that you should only connect with people you know.
Auto-Posting Your Tweets To Facebook
True: A Tweet MAY look out of place on Facebook.
False: This isn’t a hard and fast rule. Short messages on Facebook can make sense and can work. A short quote along with an image may be equally effective on Facebook and Twitter.
Don’t Automatically Feed Your Blog Content To Social Media
True: If a post is too log for a network, it simply won’t post.
False: Though your tone may not be tailored with a single syndicated post, the downside is small. Again, you should be analyzing your own effectiveness and post performance. My advice or that of any other social media professional should be second to your own analysis.
Using A Simple Password For Your Social Logins
True: Good advice. Whether or not you’re a major brand or a popular personality, a social media hacker can wreak havoc on your day and potentially harm your reputation.
False: To me this is more of a “duh”. Not only should you use complex passwords for social, but for each of your other logins.
Retweeting Is Your Primary Engagement Method on Twitter
True: If this is all you’re doing, you may need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new strategy.
False: Retweeting is great. If you’re not retweeting the great tweets of important people on Twitter, you’re missing out on a big opportunity. Retweeting is social. When you retweet someone, you acknowledge them. Acknowledgement is highly social.
Inviting EVERY Friend To Like Your Fan Page
True: Not only may all of our friends NOT suit your target demographic needs, but random page like requests are annoying.
False: Friends and family are a valuable resource for any entrepreneur. Often it is the love and support of friends and family that help a business get the traction it needs to generate a buzz. If you invite all of your friends, don’t be too upset when many ignore your request.
Tagging Irrelevant People In Updates To Get More Reach
True: Remember, this is “social” media. If you wouldn’t call someone into a conversation in an offline conversation, don’t do it on social media. It is tacky at best and annoying at worst.
False: If you don’t mind being a bit guerrilla, go for it. There’s something to be said about the phrase that goes something like, “It is easier to beg for forgiveness, than ask for permission.” This isn’t my style, but if its yours, try it. However, don’t ignore complaints or negative feedback.
So, draw your own conclusions. Nearly any advice related to social media is going to have two or more sides. Though analytics drives great digital and social marketing, much of what is in practice in small business marketing is a result of trial and error. Take advice in bits from me and others and you’ll see what works best for you.