Monday, October 07, 2013

Are you sure that's a good social media idea?

There's an avalanche of social media advice dished out every day on the web. Some of it is helpful, some neither here nor there, and some is, in my view, just plain wrong. Yes, I'm aware I'm setting my self up by offering advice here, but I've never been one to duck controversy. 

Here are three bits of advice that I think are very questionable. 

1) Automate your posts There are all sorts of tools for posting messages when you're offline or doing something else. It can be a good way of reaching people in different time zones. Alas, some people take things too far and automate everything. It soon becomes obvious that someone is sending and not receiving, because they never become part of the conversation. Even if you do automate some of your posts, be prepared to deal with the responses, even if it's a few hours later.

2) The more "likes" the better On the face of it, this seems pretty good advice, since if people are liking your Facebook page, it must be a good thing. That's why companies use competitions where the entry requires you to like their page. The trouble is, people are liking it just to win something, and they couldn't care less about your business. OK, so they have to visit your page, but the real prize for you is to get them engaged and talking about you. That's a much better metric.

3) Delete negative comments Again, this is something that appears to be a good idea. It isn't. Removing criticism is guaranteed to set off a storm of protest. Instead, respond to any criticism so that your point of view is also seen widely. Remain respectful and deal with the issues raised. If you're seen to be handling a problem with care and concern, your reputation will be enhanced.

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