2013: A Year to not be annoying as a social business

This whole social media thing is finally not “new.”  The big social business boom of 2008 was several years ago.  If that was the business world’s freshman year; it has now graduated.  If you are a business that’s been around for a while and just starting or trying to figure social out – you are behind.  The businesses that have been doing it for years have been able to try and fail, try and succeed, and figure out what the goals are for their brand(s) with social media.   Many have gotten it right.  And, many are still looking for a map.

Luckily for you, if you are new to social business, there are a gagillion blogs and articles and “best practices” out there to learn from.  I still completely think that first hand experience with social media is the way to learn, but if you want to dive into a bunch of articles and claim you know it all…go for it.   You’re not alone.

Now back to this whole 2013 thing…Happy New Year!  I promise that wasn’t sarcastic.  Seriously, happy newest of years.  It’s a new beginning.  A start over for some.  And in the world of social media for business- the year to not be annoying.

It’s been long enough now.  Brands should know the following things below to avoid being annoying in 2013.  And I don’t just mean a little nuisance, but the ‘you will get “unliked” or “hidden” at a rapid rate in 2013 if you keep doing these things.’  People are generally not idiots.  People don’t feel the need to tell a retail brand what they’re doing for their Saturday any longer.  The same things that might have worked in 2010 or 2011 won’t work now.  So, to the community managers and social strategists out there….avoid these things:

1) Trying to sneak the word “LIKE” into your post with a goal of your fans subliminally seeing it and thinking, “Hey, I like this sentence.  I will click “like” so the brand feels good about themselves, and because they capitalized the word LIKE, they are clever and I’ve never seen that before.  Amazing.”

2) Hashtagging until the cows come home.  I don’t know when the cows are coming home, but it’s not anytime soon apparently.  The cows needs Google Maps.  If you are using a hashtag, or maybe two, use it with purpose – as part of a strategy or theme.  Just throwing in 7 hashtags in hopes that a trending tag will pick it up looks like your keyboard puked all over your tweet.

3) Auto-posting your tweets directly to Facebook, especially when they include Twitter-only functionality like @ mentions and hashtags.  This one should’ve died off in 2010 but I still see it.  And when I do I give off an evil laugh.

4) Asking your fans things that they could care less about talking about with your brand, in hopes of getting some quick engagement.  Engagement just to get engagement is pointless engagement.  That means you’re just in it for the numbers with no weight or meaning behind them.  Random questions worked really well a few years ago.  But I’ve seen first hand from my experience as well as with many other big brands – people are just getting plain bored with this type of content.  Social media and content is evolving and getting bigger and better than ever.  You’re not surfing around on Facebook to tell a paper towel brand what your New Year’s resolutions are (no offense to any paper towel brand).  “What are you guys up to today?”  This opened-ended, off-brand question still gets engagement if you have tons of fans, as some people are simply destined to jump at an opportunity to partake, but it’s so annoying.   And if you have tons and tons of fans you probably aren’t even responding to most of the comments, so if you say “relationship building” you can just go hang out somewhere with those cows.

5) Trying to run a Facebook contest on your wall.  This hasn’t been allowed now, in very straight-forward writing, for over a year now.  Although it really has never been allowed – it was just cracked on hardcore just over a year ago.  Smaller brands still get away with it.  Others get warnings, and the really bad rule-breakers get their pages shut down, apparently.  As a community manager, just know better.  There is a right way to do these things.

There are more, but these are what stick out in my mind as something I keep seeing brands doing that I would classify as annoying.  Something to look for in 2013.  Again, Happy New Year!

-Jeff

 

All thoughts and opinions above are mine and mine only.

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