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The Unfortunate Burden of Poor Social Media Examples

by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief of Social Media Strategy at xynoMedia

I was speaking with my Aunt the other day and mentioned that she was reading a story in a newspaper - I think it may have been The New York Times - about how people exaggerate in their "speech" online. I do it and so do many others. The article gave an example of a young woman on Facebook who used the abbreviation "LOL", even though she wasn't really laughing out loud and the example of adding too many letters to the end of a word - like OKKKKKKKKK!

 As well, in my speaking travels (I'm speaking at BlogPaws in Denver next!), I've often heard from women that they don't want to use social media because they don't care to share what they had for lunch and they don't care what other people have had either. And, I can't say that I blame them.

OnebadappleI'm always quick to point out that these are the most inane uses of social media (some of which I do from time to time...I can't *always* be sane, can I?) and we shouldn't use these outside cases of how individuals use social media as the barometer of how businesses and business people should use social media. It's kinda like saying that how your teenager wears their hair is acceptable for an adult business woman who expects to be taken seriously in her work. The two don't jive. Definitely *not* apples to apples.

But, somehow, no matter how many positive media stories there are about how food trucks are using Twitter to bring in big business, the stories that stick in our heads are the ones that showcase the most ridiculous uses of social media.

These stories could, instead of being held up as spectacles to be scoffed about, be leveraged as deep learning examples of how NOT to use social media. What's the saying...a teachable moment?

Instead of saying, "I'll never use social media because I don't want to read about someone's ham sandwich." Say, "I'll never use social media like that for my business because I always want to be relevant, add value and keep the conversation moving."

There, isn't that better?


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Yes, relevancy is key. I also think, too, that people can be SO serious, they don't relax into the process of using social media and that's where the judgments about what people post come in.

It's interesting because I've never really seen a business tool where people feel they have to mimic exactly what other people are doing. Where did that "rule" come into play? Just because someone else is talking about ham sandwiches, who says *you* have to, ya know? :)

Anyway, thanks for reading and commenting!



You are absolutely right! We don't have to read anything anyone else writes - which is why I'm so glad you read this blog post and commented!

We do have a choice about what we read and what we post as well.

You're welcome and thank you for reading and commenting!

El Beye

Well, I used to be very opinionated of what folks would post but then I realized that it didn't have to be that way...we are not obligated to read or click on a tweet that we don't find interesting: that is the beauty of social media, it is a large menu in which you can pick and choose the rich content messages or information you find interesting.

There is something for everybody in the social media world. This helped me open my mind and not be so focused on myself.

Thanks for a great post (again!)

LeAnna Carey

Lena, I could not agree more with your comment about staying 'relevant', especially for women. Like the old anecdote says-it takes years to build up a customer base and minutes to loose it; resisting & being mindful of the temptation to be overly light (especially on a Friday or while sipping wine) will avoid regret about about being defined by one inane (or innocent) comment; once it's out there in print, it's out there..



I'm not really following how your comment tucks in with the topic of the post, but thanks for reading and writing anyway! :)

Jamie Favreau

I totally agree. I discovered a guy who rear ended me on Facebook because I knew there is 500 million people on Facebook.

When it comes to business you also need to generate leads. You need basic sales experience to do so. You can change the technology but if you can't persuade and move the people through the sales funnel. Just communicating is not going to be enough.

You need to combine real business situations with knowing how to communicate online to build a real business model. I think people forget that sometimes.



I agree. Yes, I agree.

What a great ease you have around your social media activities. Many people are new, don't have the experience or aren't comfortable being at ease with new social tools.

I'm like you - some days I don't want to be in "marketing" mode, I just want to connect...and even that can vary from moment to moment, so I use social media as a tool to help me "get there" - wherever "there" is at the time.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

caren gittleman

actually there are times I prefer my use of social media to be mindless and where I would relish (pun intended!) reading about someone's ham sandwich.
When I am having a particularly bad day I gravitate towards lighter posts.
I am not always in the mood to read about tales of woe, someone trying to sell me something, heavy news, etc., etc.
If one arms themselves with a variety of interests and friends and networking buddies who fulfill different needs at different times Social Media can be a truly fruitful and rewarding experience.
I wouldn't trade my Social Media connections for the world!
Sometimes we all need to lighten up and not take things so seriously.

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