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Commandments for Social Media Failure

Posted by Joe Clarkin on 9/16/14 11:00 PM
Topics: social media

Rather than giving you tips on what to do, this week we are doing a post about what not to do in regards to your social media responsibilities. In her article at, Tania Yuki gives her "10 Commandments for Social Media Failure." Be sure to read through all of them and make sure that these are things you are avoiding. Warning: this post will require a bit of sarcasm detection on the part of the reader.

Isolate your team

Everyone knows that corporate life can be fraught with politics, and that all other forms of marketing are dying. The best thing to do as a social media leader is to shelter your team from all other teams.

Encourage them all to exist inside a bubble, communicating only with you and perhaps your social agency. If you ever do need to communicate with other teams, be sure to speak only in terms of "likes," retweets, and repins. Never consider where social media could integrate into broader campaigns, or into the overall marketing mix.

Don't measure your results

Social media is so unique, why try to reduce the magic to numbers? You know in your heart that the engaging campaign you just ran truly moved the needle, so evaluate it in terms of feelings rather than math. Besides -- you're so busy doing, that it doesn't make sense to stop doing, in order to measure. That would take your eye off the prize.

Make social communications one-way only

The best way to make friends is to talk about yourself incessantly. So don't ask questions. Don't ask for customer opinion or feedback, and in the unfortunate event you get any, ignore it completely. And when it comes to negative feedback? Enforce a strict rule to delete any and all negative comments, flag them as "inappropriate," and definitely don't respond -- that would just be encouraging the bad customer behavior. Listening to feedback only leads to tragedies like this where feelings and egos get hurt.

Post to drive business value, not customer value

Also known as WIIFM (what's in it for me), this commandment ensures that all your social communications drive just your own agenda.

After all, people need to be told what to do and how to buy. So if they haven't responded to your five percent off promotion, keep reposting it until it works -- over, and over, and over. Who needs ads when you can post for free? Ads are for little girls.

Don't let data interfere with your ideas

Never let data interfere with what your gut or articles on the internet are telling you. You know how pesky data can be, particularly when it just won't support a theory that you like. So when data is inconveniencing you, ignore it at all costs. Call it "inconclusive," if you must call it anything, and then bury it.

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