Save Social: Walk The Talk

Many of us have been following along, reading the rash of articles being published and shared, all dealing with how to best “do” social. One of these articles, an op-ed piece on Mashable, got a lot of shares across the social media sphere this morning. The author compares the unknown, hopefully waiting in the wings, good guy to Jerry Maguire, which is a nice comparison, but it leads to the impression that there isn’t a force already mobilized to “take back” and save social business. Steamfeed, in fact, is a bastion of strength and ideas for social “done right”, as the bulk of the posts focus and target the very topics that seem to bring out the social naysayers.

social Publishing

photo credit: william couch via photopin cc

My own November theme was “Walk the Talk” and within that theme I posted about and hosted discussion on the variety of ways some “big names” and “popular experts” were being less than socially correct with some of their behaviors and actions. These topics and discussions ranged from Terms of Service violations to buying and trading likes. I thought it fitting to share some of the most “talked about” topics here.

They’ll Never Notice | Those Rules Don’t Apply to Me: Though I probably shouldn’t be, I am still shocked to see how many social solutions “names”, be they big or small, feel that there’s nothing wrong with blatantly ignoring Terms of Service (ToS), especially on Facebook. Contact information in their cover images, no big deal…it’s not like Facebook is really searching it out, so who cares? Right? Wrong. Those pages lost my like. Did that impact them much? Probably not. But I share A LOT of information, from a variety of sources, and those pages shall no more share in my sharing proclivity.

And some of the ways these folks try to get around the rules? Priceless. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a company owner post a side view of their car, complete with door panel graphics so they can get that phone number front and center. Nice try, still in violation. And how is that a cover image that represents your business in the best light? And, please, don’t get me started on the QR codes in cover photos. I’m not pulling out my phone to scan my computer screen, SERIOUSLY. Plus, yeah… kind of contact info and a call to action all rolled into one.

I’m A Little Guy So It Won’t Hurt Anyone: Back to Facebook and TOS, sorry, but a wide variety of infractions take place on the biggie platform. This time we’re talking contests and giveaways. Although it has been blogged and shared and promoted and shared and broadcast and shared time and time again, folks just can’t seem to grasp that they can’t run a contest directly on their page. But, it’s a random drawing, so that’s okay, right? Wrong. That’s a giveaway which falls under the same ToS rules and regulations.

Follower Fixation | Failure to Follow: How often do we see big name experts with tens of thousands of followers who only follow a minuscule 2-300? I see it all the time. What do I “see” when I see this? I see someone who doesn’t see much value in keeping abreast of the thoughts of others. I see someone who is interested in broadcasting their own content and ideas rather than sharing the best content and ideas with their followers. I see someone engaged in a one-way broadcast rather than taking part in a conversation, someone interested in shouting rather than listening.

Love for Sale: Also known as Back Scratch Fever. Likes, follows and the act of circling aren’t commodities to trade like baseball cards or beanie babies. I can’t tell you how many times a day I see something resembling this statement showing up on walls or in private messages:

I have liked your page as myself and as my page, and I would really appreciate it if you would return the favor.

Yeah, ummmmmmm, your business and, thus, your page is ALL about parakeet grooming in Redwood City, CA. I have three cats and I live in Tucker, GA. Where’s the draw, the value, the impetus for me to like your page? And if I was even slightly intrigued, that message, which is basically begging, would quickly change my mind.

The One Way Highway: Also known as Me Me Me Me Me! This behavior shows up on every platform, so there’s really no hiding from it. It showcases itself in a variety of ways, including:

  • Blast Posting | Feed Takeovers | Digital Diarrhea – you know, 15 tweets within 15 seconds, etc.
  • Inspirational Quotes with no “introduction” or follow up from the poster as to why they find them important. So, why should I?
  •  Caption this photos trying to take advantage of the extra engagement that photos are prone to get, except the photo is lame and has nothing to do, whatsoever, with your business or your audience.
  • Fill in the blanks of the same type in order to get the most “reach”.

My little list barely skims the surface. So come on, help me “fill in the blanks” a bit. What gets your goat when it comes to the “names” that seem more intent on remaining a name than in actually working within the proper social circles. Everyone loves an opportunity to clear the air and even get a little rant on, so have at it!

In closing, I removed the “Like” from a lot of Facebook pages, unfollowed a lot of Twitter accounts and even disconnected from a handful of Linkedin accounts. Did my own numbers plunge? Nope. On the contrary, they rose! People like seeing someone take a stand, even a small one. If we each take these small stands, we will “save” social. We all walk the talk, every day…it’s going to get us to a valuable and viable destination.

Mallie Hart
After a long career as a graphic artist, web designer and ghost writer, Mallie found her true calling when personal social media embarked on the path leading to social business. While she still gets busy with graphics, most of her creative energy is now directed to unique social media content creation, curation and cultivation. Her dual love of graphic design and social media requires her to research, write about and promote a wide variety of topics while staying true to brand integrity. A research junkie - she majored in medieval history, Mallie enjoys the opportunity to find an interesting angle on just about any type of business or industry niche. When she’s not busy with The Media Barista, Mallie has been known to devour books (several per week), careen over rocks and roots on her bicycle and seek out the newest, edgiest music; all while drinking a lot of coffee.
Mallie Hart

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  1. Mallie, this post makes me feel like I better get straight or a Nun is going to whack me …. wait, I think she just did!…Well done and on target! I think it is good for us to self check and occasionally remind others the intent of "SM," a continual evolving channel of connectivity. I am one that is still learning everyday and believe in "walking the talk." GoodJob

  2. Mallie Hart says:

    Thanks Randy! I think we can all get caught up with making new connections and sometimes forget we need to monitor and maintain the old – to see if they're still worth their salt.

  3. b2brookeballard says:

    When I was first learning about social media and tactics, I'll admit I bought into the fill in the blanks, memes and caption this stuff. I saw other social media "professionals" conducting business this way and thought it was the 'norm' or okay to do it. I'm happy to say I've learned the error in my ways!
    I think a big part of the problem is that new marketers or Pages that are new to SMM run out and start copying what the "professionals" are doing or what is popular, never thinking once about differentiation and setting themselves apart or creating their own brand strategy. And now we have mass amounts of "marketers" using these lazy tactics. (I feel I can bash these people openly because I was once one of them!) Here's to hoping they too learn the error of their ways and start reforming their bad habits. Social rehab, anyone??
    GREAT post!

    • Mallie Hart says:

      Thanks, Brooke! Glad you're one of the converted. And I'm not saying that memes and fill-in-the blanks NEVER work. They work quite well when they are creative and have some "tie" to your overall message.

    • Jeff Howell says:

      I'll be joining the social rehab group, Brooke.

      Mallie, all of your content really makes me second guess my activity. I'm so fortunate to be following you… Thanks!

      • Mallie Hart says:

        I certainly don't think you need to second guess your activity, Jeff. You seem to walk the talk. I think we all need a "jolt" from time to time to remind us we need to do what's in our best interest and our client's best interest – even when it's not easy!

  4. Nice post, as I see it, Facebook has 3,000 employees trying to monitor 1 billion accounts, impossible to do. No wonder stuff flies under the radar. I especially like your comment about Digital Diarrhea… I wrote a post for Steam Feed on the same subject, Blitz Posting is not an Effective Social Media Practice
    I think my biggest pet peeve is people who buy followers or seeds, I had a SoMe professional try and sell me that buying seeds was not a black hat practice. Huh?
    In the end I have learned to let some of these issues go, as it was bothering me more than those that were practicing LOL.
    Nicely done as always Mallie, always a pleasure to read and share…

    • Mallie Hart says:

      Thenks, Gerry. I remember the post your referenced quite well. Each of us that writes up (blogging version of speaks up) is making a difference.

  5. Mandy Edwards says:

    Okay, I'm guilty of the "fill in the blanks" posts. I like them though! I'm glad though, that I don't do 90% of what you listed and it makes me sick to see those "experts" doing them! Like Brooke, when I first started I bought into a lot of that and then I saw the light.

    • Mallie Hart says:

      Mandy! You know my favorite phrase, "if we all liked the exact same things the world would be a very boring place"! Again, I"m not ANTI-fill-in-the-blanks! I just choose to use them sparingly. If they work for you and your audience, then they must be adding to your message.

  6. Paul Cooley says:

    Nicely done Mallie! Way to lay it down! :)

  7. Good stuff. All pet peeves of mine too. Your one about Follower Fixation made me laugh as it reminded me of a convo I had with a big name in digital, whom I had asked a number of years ago why she didn't follow back people on Twitter (her ratio of following to followers was something like 208 / 10,000).

    She looked at me, genuinely perplexed, and said, "Why would I follow them back? They're nobodies."

    And all I could think was, "Oh honey. Twitter may have bought you some fame, but it sure didn't buy you any class."

    • Mallie Hart says:

      Classy! Great share. Maybe we need to create the battle of the Social Media Stars, so these folks can duke it out to REALLY feel superior!

  8. kevinimills says:

    Great article makes me want to go back and read terms of service just to make sure I don't mess up.

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