Dear Me... At Twenty-Two
What Maya Angelou and Ann Davis Taught Me About Marketing

10 Instances NOT Use Social Media

Mom, are you done tweeting yet?

by Yvonne DiVita

Social media isn't the be-all, end-all marketing tool it's often depicted as. Most professionals today realize that. Most professionals today treat social media channels with the proper respect and consideration. This means being careful what you post and when you post. It means checking yourself at the door - never click publish without careful thought about how that message will be received. 

At a recent conference where I spoke on 'voice' - sharing the belief I have that voice is everything - I got the feeling most of those in the audience are still so wary of social media, they prefer silence. It's protective. If you don't say anything, you can't be held accountable. Which is far from reality. Because if you don't say anything, you're broadcasting your fear of me - your customer. How does that make you feel? The 'voice' I get from you is one of mistrust, fear, ignorance, and down right unfriendliness. Wow. Bet you didn't want me to feel that way about you!

It got me to thinking. Are there ever any times when you shouldn't use social media, in business? Maybe. Here are some...

10. When you have nothing to say. PLEASE don't go round posting useless chatter. That's for folks who are related or connected personally, not in a business setting. 

9. When you're angry. OKAY, ranting has become a popular social media activity. But, it's reserved for people who are thoughtless and foolish. You can complain on social media, but only politely. IF you are the business professional, save your rants and complaining for a well thought out email.

8. When your favorite politician is getting slammed with bad press. DO NOT fall into this trap. Politics is best left at home...or with close friends and family. And, even then, there are likely rages against one party or another. Using social media, via your business, to support a politician or party is risky. Be careful...if you choose to do this, accept the backlash that comes with it. 

7. When you're tired. SERIOUSLY, do not write in social media when you're tired. You'll make spelling errors, syntax errors, other errors. You can always go back and explain that you were tired, but really... even if you delete the post (and 'post' refers to any channel, not just a blog), people saw it. It will live in infamy, as they say. If you have a schedule and you missed posting, but now it's midnight and you can barely keep your eyes open, say so. "We missed our posting today. Sorry about that. We'll be back on track tomorrow." 

6. When you really, really, really don't believe in it. YES, WE CAN TELL when you're doing it just to 'do it'. Authenticity is the foundation of all social media. That means, you must be yourself and if you're not... I can smell it. I can taste it. I will know you're pandering to me. Don't do it.

5. When you cannot devote the time to it. TIME is everything. It takes time to write a post, share a Tweet, reply to a comment. Time that should include thoughtful repose. If you have 10 minutes a week, forget it. If you have half hour a week, forget it. There is no consistency in half an hour a week on one or more social channels. You might be able to manage ONE channel in half an hour a week, but your audience will be looking for you when you're not there and over time, they will abandon you because your half hour isn't their half hour. Either find the time, or don't do it.

4. When you're hung up on ROI and numbers. OH BOY! Did that hit a nerve? We all want a return on our 'investment'. But, when we don't understand the VALUE of that return, how can we measure it? What's the ROI on your new business suit? It helps you look more professional, right? It MAKES you feel more professional, right? It shows a measure of success...that you care about your appearance and you invest in it to make the right impression. How do you quantify that? Same with social media. It gives you connections to people you wouldn't otherwise meet. It opens doors to relationships you otherwise wouldn't make. It gives people the impression you care about them. It provides a way to have a conversation that can be the start of a beautiful beginning. Don't get hung up on the numbers. They are important but they are not the ONLY reason to do social media and if your numbers aren't as good as you'd like, don't give up. Figure out why and keep at it. It WILL work.

3. When your regular social media team is 'out' or unavailable and you think you should step in. THIS could work, if you understand the personal way social media works. But, if you have a team, or even one person, handling your channels, a sudden change in 'voice' could disrupt things badly. The best way to handle this is to become part of the team. Participate on a regular basis. Add your 'voice' so you can step in, in an emergency. 

2. When you just don't have anything to say. IT HAPPENS. You run out of content. Your brain isn't working. There it is...your Facebook page, Twitter, your blog... Instagram... Pinterest... and your audience is expecting content but you're blanking on what to put there. Move on. Wait for inspiration. Don't post any little thing. A good way to head this off at the pass is to have a folder with great content you can use in instances like this. Keeping content fresh and original can be challenging, I know. That's why you should spend a little extra time on an editorial calendar so you know what needs posting where, and when. In to keep things on schedule, you amass content that works. It will save you time and again, I promise.

1. When you haven't mastered the first rule of social media: it's not about you. THIS is a deal breaker. Your social channels should be 'social'...they should invite engagement. Ask questions. Reply to comments. Show interest in the audience. Constant broadcast messaging is a complete turn off for most people. We are happy to see your latest product or campaign, and comment on it. But, if all you're doing is sharing you, you, you... it gets tedious for us, us, us. Think outward, not inward. IF you do not have enough content to share that is inspiring and educational for us, about you and your industry, get it. Then, slip in some mentions of what's happening at your end. Show personality - pictures of real people do wonders. Allow more than one voice on your channels. Let the world get to know you and respond to you. And then, when you say, "Hey, our latest and greatest just launched!" we'll be eager to check it out.

In the end, social media is a tool to help build relationships. The marketing value is what YOU make of it. The business value and ROI is out of this world, when you put the time, energy, focus, and effort into it. 



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Joan DeMartin

Wise recommendations, all! It's crucial for companies, large and small to realize that authenticity in marketing, particularly social media, is the key to that "emotional connection" they're trying to establish with their customers.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)