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Copy, Content, and Customs to be Left Behind in 2017

So.  Over.  These.

It’s that time of the season.  We reflect.  We remember.  We embrace the coming of a fresh new year filled with an uncharted plethora of trendy idioms launched by our globe’s young sub culture, each catapulting a wave of usage across platforms, generations, and even continents, all spreading faster than word of George Michael’s Christmas Day passing (RIP the singing Greek).

And as we embrace the new, I hope you’ll please join me in saying an official sayonara to some current trends where time in the spotlight has most certainly come and gone.

Why screw up a perfectly effective noun/verb/adjective/adverb by adding “As”??

Well played.
Overused., overplayed, and overhyped – down with it.

If it’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that there is typically little truth in whatever this hashtag is referencing.

One.  Word.  Sentences.
We already had this expression in speech.  It’s called the em dash.  Just–Google–it.

“__________ got me like…”
No person or thing “got you”.  So please, just stop with the “got”.

The struggle is real.
Is it real?  If it is, by all means carry on.  But if not…

I can’t even.
Yes, you probably can if you put your mind to it.  So go out, do it, and make the world a better place.

Fleek [on, off, in, whatevs]
Fleek simply is not a word.

Q: Was a 21st century abbreviation of baby or babe really necessary?  A: No, it wasn’t.

Are you delivering a sermon or religious address to a congregation?   If not, no need to be preachy and for sure no need to hashtag it.  Leave the preaching to the preachers, Judgy McJudgerson.

This ___________ [guy, kid, girl, boy, iguana].
This guy what?  We don’t know what you’re thinking.  And for sure, what we’re thinking and what you’re thinking are likely not the same.  So do everyone a favor and finish that thought.  This guy is amazing.  This kid is the best ever.  This iguana is the my favorite pet ever.

That ________ though…
See above.  Finish your thought and the clause.

Mad props.
99% of people over age 18 sound entirely ridiculous using this term.  A simple thank you is sufficient.  No need to go mad about it and make it overly complicated.

Hashtags are search tools designed to group posts of like topics.  Using them as random addendums to thoughts is both abusive and unnecessary.

#FOMO (the official #YOLO of 2015)…
Word to all.  You may in fact miss out on a few things.  It’s going to happen.  Never fear, you will be okay.

Criticism of those who are on the straight and narrow is preachy and we’ve already addressed that the only ones who should be preachy are preachers.

Similar to #truth, it’s also been determined that most items deemed extra are indeed lacking and could be considered even lesser than basic. I mean, if we were still using the term basic.

No comment.

Thanks to Taylor Swift, young mothers of suburbia everywhere and inner city gangs now have something in common.

#Blessed = #Bragging.  You know it’s true.  😉

Five Undisputed Signs of Lazy Social Media Management

No one likes lazy, except cats. Take note and avoid each of the following signs of lazy social media management for optimal social success.  And remember above all else, stay social not stagnant.

1. Duplicating Content Across Channels
No no, and no. Here’s the thing: no savvy or novice social media user wants to scoot through channels and see the same photo with the same caption via FB, Instagram, FB, etc. As a general rule, duplicating identical content from one channel to another is strongly discouraged. Some times, in rare cases, particular content is important enough that it should in fact be cross promoted. To do so, mix things up. Use different images and different copy to convey the same message. If additional images aren’t available use different crop and filter formats to give the illusion of different captures. Keep it unique and interesting for your audience.

2. Never Taking a Risk
Because no one wants boring. No one wants stagnant. And no one wants redundant. Be creative. Mix in a new idea. Get unique with your posts and above all, take risks. Doing the same thing the same way, will always yield the same results. So to improve, one must dive in a take a risk from time to time.

3. Recycling Old Content
Similar to sharing content across platforms, there’s nothing worse than digging into the deep dark bowels of your old posts and recycling. Stay fresh! Remember you’re having a dialogue with your users. You’re speaking to them. You’re engaging with them. Picture yourself at a cocktail party circulating the room and telling those in attendance the same story you just told 30 minutes ago. You wouldn’t do it in person and you shouldn’t do it online.

4. A High Curate to Create Ratio In Content
Sharing is great. It’s a foundation of social media. However too much sharing, without enough unique original content again, looks lazy. A 1-4 minimum curate to create ratio is recommended so for every one post curated from another channel, plan to make four original posts.  Your voice and your message should be unique to your brand.

5. Using Stock Images
Stock images were great back in the day of film where a brand needed to have a photographer shoot a subject, have film developed, reviewed, and photos properly edited for commercial use. But those days are long gone and so is the constant need for stock imagery. Grab your phone and go original. Keep it unique to your brand and share original images. With a bevy of editing apps available, nearly anyone can capture share worthy images to be used in your social posts.

Worst Practice: February 2017

Please stop doing these.  Asap.  Below I break down my three greatest social media pet peeves for February 2017.

1. Ignoring Scheduled Post Comments
So here lies one problem with automation.: automation.  While the idea of scheduling posts or tweets all hours of the day may be tempting, failure to respond to engagements with those posts is really, really bad news.  It fails to validate your user’s interest in your brand, harms your reputation, and makes you look just plain disinterested.  You don’t want to be the person at the cocktail party who walks up to a group and announces your new business opportunity and then walks away before people can ask questions, right?  So don’t do it on social, either.

Best practice alternative: Always remember to have a member of your social team on hand, monitoring your channels, whenever scheduled content is posted.

2.  Deleting Negative Comments and Reviews
A common mistake made by brands, particularly those in a service industry is the deleting of negative comments and reviews.  Nip this practice in the bud, immediately.  Feedback is feedback, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and it’s all comparably beneficial as any business moves to continually improve.  Deleting negative feedback on your brand doesn’t mean you’ve magically erased that feedback from the universe, it means you’re simply ignoring it.

Best practice alternative: Respond to it appropriately.  Use tact, grace, and and sincere appreciation for the feedback.  Watch for an upcoming blog post here detailing in depth advice on responding to negative feedback, but in the meantime, kindly smile, thank users for their feedback, posts, etc. and then use that feedback to better yourself as a brand.

3.  Using Inappropriate Humor
Humor is critical to any successful social presence.  Humor makes people laugh and laughter makes the world a better place.  However inappropriate humor can backfire, causing a wave of negative feelings that ultimately hurt your reputation.

Best practice alternative:  Know your voice, know your tone and stick to it.  Keep it simple and light.  Use tact and common sense and above all, if you question whether something is or is not funny, go with your gut and assume that it most likely will not be read the way you intended.

A Social Team’s Role

As a consultant working independently, I have the privilege of offering hands on services to my clients.  I work solo, acting as the account team, the creative backbone, the business support, and ultimately the executor pressing the “go” buttons on over 40 social media channels across 7 platforms for clients ranging from small rural sole proprietorships, to the largest hotelier in the world.

That being said, my responsibilities are at times, unintentionally minimized with questions like, “So basically you post on Facebook all day?”

Hmmm.  Insert laugh emoji.

The short answer: No.  That isn’t what I do all day.  I also watch panda videos on YouTube, silly.

The long answer: No, the role of a social team/consultant is complex.  The responsibilities, objectives, and processes are constantly changing.  Assuming that posting content is the end game, is a common mistake made not only by personal users, but also by businesses choosing to go DIY with their social presence.

Look for an additional blog post January 31 when I’ll be prioritizing the most important components of a successful social presence.  But in the meantime, let me offer this teaser: posting content is at the bottom of my list.

Items on a social team’s ever growing list of responsibilities often include, but are not limited to:

  • Researching industry trends.
  • Researching client industry news.
  • Reviewing competition presence.
  • Managing brand assets used in social posts (i.e. photos, video, testimonials).
  • Constantly reviewing social strategy and assuring its success.
  • Assuring brand consistency in tone and voice across channels.
  • Cross promoting of channels.
  • Managing a successful paid campaign targeting specific clients/customers.
  • Managing user engagements, offering prompt and consistent responses to all user communications, i.e. FB and IG messaging, Twitter DMs, mentions, comments, and reviews.
  • Collecting and reviewing social analytics and ROI.
  • Creating and curating applicable content.
  • Cultivating influencer relationships.
  • Preparing for crisis management situations.
  • Managing the client’s online reputation.
  • Communicating withe various stakeholders and departments on their needs.
  • Promoting specials/packages/promotions.
  • Assuring consistent link-back scenarios.
  • Researching critical dates.
  • Creating social promotions and contests.

In summary, the role of your social team, whether it be a large agency or a single consultant is massive and the end result of specific posts on various channels, are a tiny slice of a very large pie.  Hopefully this  break-down offers a small bit of insight into the back side of any great social presence.  There’s essential work being performed behind the scenes, contributing to your overall success nearly every hour of every day.

Thanks for reading my 60 Second Social post.

The Import In Responding

People often ask me what I believe to be the most critical element of social media. That isn’t a tough question for me. While several integral elements combine to form a successful social media launch, at the absolute top of my list is the response – your response. How quickly, accurately, and consistently you respond to user engagement.

Why? Because at the end of the day, SM is really about relationships. It’s you building a relationship with those who are interested in your brand.

You throw out a post, a special, a promotion, an announcement, whatever. Great. Look at you, your team is getting your information out to your followers! But here’s the thing, when Susie McCustomer in Clientsville Arkansas reads your post and comments on it, your response to her is exceptionally critical! It’s actually more critical than the original post on which she commented.

Let’s use an analogy because I tend to love analogies. Consider social media the new telephone.

Would you ignore a call from a customer or client? No. You’d answer or call back. SM is your new telephone and the only difference is that now, when you “answer the phone”, it’s public for the entire world to see, hear, and critique your response. So be on track, be concise, be genuine, be consistent, and most of all be timely with your responses to user comments, reviews, posts, etc.

After all, it’s called social media. Not one way media. Or even push media. It’s social, so be social and be responsive.

Thanks for reading my 60 Second Social post.