Social Media Users Beware
I love social media. I love using social media. I love helping businesses incorporate social media into their marketing strategy. However, I am very careful with social media.
Well, because there are all these so-called social media experts and gurus running around practicing bad social media.
You may be asking, “what is bad social media?” so first, let’s define it. My definition, since there’s no entry in Webster’s Dictionary, is social media done incorrectly or not by the rules; cheating the system.
Examples of bad social media are…
Running contest against Facebook’s Terms of Service –
Contests violating rules can be those such as “share and like to win!”, “tag and share to win!”, “photo with most likes wins!”. If Facebook catches you, then you might end up like this company from New Zealand who had their page deleted without notice. 20,000 fans gone.
Putting contact info on your Facebook Page’s Cover Photo –
This is just asking to be reported. Per Facebook’s Terms of Service, “Cover photos must be at least 399 pixels wide and may not contain: Price or purchase information, such as “40% off,” “Download it at our website,” or “Free Sunglasses All Summer Long.”, Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section., References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or other Facebook site features.,Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”
There was an article posted by Mashable shedding some light that Facebook was starting to get serious about this particular violation.
SEO Gaming on Social Media Sites (aka Keyword Stuffing) –
This is a relatively new one. This sample was taken from a social media “expert”‘s LinkedIn profile. People have started to do this so search engines will pick up on the keywords. Well, Google and LinkedIn are cracking down on this and will blacklist anyone practicing this. It’s spamming for pete’s sake!
You are probably wondering what SEO gaming/keyword stuffing looks likes? Here’s an example from an actual LinkedIn profile:
“Social Media Strategist, Social Media Consultant, Social Media Training, Social Media Manager, Social Media Marketer, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Branding, Social Media Services, Social Media Expert, Social Media Coach, Social Media Speaker, Social Media Strategist, Social Media Consultant, Social Media Training, Social Media Manager, Social Media Marketer, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Branding, Social Media Services, Social Media Expert, Social Media Coach, Social Media Speaker, Social Media Strategist, Social Media Consultant, Social Media Training, Social Media Manager, Social Media Marketer, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Branding, Social Media Services, Social Media Expert, Social Media Coach, Social Media Speaker”
Side note: anyone who calls themselves a guru or expert is walking on ice. See my blog post why.
Some reference articles fo keyword stuffing:
18 SEO Killers You Must Clean Up and Avoid for 2013 and Beyond
Super Savvy Business Identifies Top 5 Common SEO Myths of 2012 That Should Be Avoided in 2013Social Search & Influence Games: Why Did You Do It LinkedIn?
Now that we’ve defined “bad social media” and seen some examples – why beware? Well, unfortunately some of these “experts” are teaching these things and doing these. New people and businesses to social media honestly do not know better and are putting their trust in their social media managers and strategists, however there are a large amount who are doing it wrong!
I would not for one instance trust my social media stuff to someone who practices bad social media. If you are a business and are looking into hiring someone to handle it, please ask for links to other accounts they are handling and their own accounts too. Look at what they are doing. Your business’ online presence depends on it. If you are a social media professional, please do not practice bad social media and if you are – STOP! It’s hard for those of us doing it right to go in and clean up the mess made by those who are doing it wrong.
Now you may be asking, so now what? Where do I go to find someone doing it right? Not every social media professional is doing it wrong. I know a lot of guys and gals who are doing it right. One example is the Social Solutions Collective. This is a group of ladies who are dedicated to doing social media right. I will be upfront and tell you that I am very proud to be a part of this group so it may be like a shameless plug, however our mantra is “Social media and social business solutions collective intent on doing social right.” If you would like other suggestions, please comment below or email me. I would be more than happy to point you to some other great people to follow.
I don’t want to see any business get their social media accounts deleted or blacklisted. We’re all businesses who are in this to succeed no matter what country you are in or language you speak.
Now it’s your turn – what are some bad social media practices you see that you would like stopped?