Tag Archives: social media advice

3 Silly Reasons To Quit Social Media

This is just so silly it’s fun: the 3 Reasons You Should Quit Social Media In 2013 are, according to a Forbes.com post over the weekend: 

3 silly reasons to quite social media

  1. It harms your self esteem.
  2. Your blood pressure will thank you.
  3. Online is no substitute for offline.

Two of these are just fun — bad research, obviously — and one just silly. 

Harms your self esteem, supposedly, because of research the post author cites…

… a UK study from the fall found that over 50% of social media users evaluated their participation in social networking as having an overall negative effect on their lives. Specifically, they singled out the blow to their self-esteem that comes from comparing themselves to peers on Facebook and Twitter as the biggest downfall. 

Now that’s obviously bad research. Poorly phrased questions, a non-random list, or some other flaw. And, by the way, proof that these days you can find research to prove any crazy assertion you want to make. 

And as for social media being bad for blood pressure, that’s because … 

Social media a hotbed of bad behavior – flame wars, bragging, bashing and crimes against grammar, among other misdeeds.

So if that’s a worry, then don’t drive a car, don’t talk to people, and, well, don’t get out of bed. Don’t read news. Don’t turn on the television. Sleep a lot.

As for the third reason, online being no substitute for offline, the post makes a good point.

Almost a quarter of Americans say that they’ve missed out on important life moments in their quest to capture and memorialize them for social media. Think about that the next time you’re Instagraming your anniversary dinner at P.F. Chang’s.

So there’s a good lesson in that, and a good reminder. We’ve all seen that happening, most of us have done that. But wait — is it really all or nothing? Either quit social media altogether or get lost in your phone when you’re with people? That’s not great logic. How about take the real nugget out of that one, and draw some borders. 

Final thought: that’s a good title, though: 3 reasons to quite social media. It got my attention. Contrarian titles work. 

Social Media Morality Tale: Truth, Authenticity, Revenge

It starts with this news item on the Chronicle of Higher Education. I agree with the post. It is ironic:

… social-media director quit her post on Monday after it was alleged that she had lied about graduating from college on her résumé—an assertion that, ironically, first bubbled up on social media.

The chronicle piece includes images from the person’s (I’m skilling her name) resume and output from National Student Clearing house proving she didn’t have the degree she claimed.  The news coverage included her name. And her apology.

resume-oops

So there’s transparency and authenticity in the new post-social-media landscape. We talk about it. We write about it. Lying is more likely than ever to come out.

And in this case, it came out via an anonymous post on the college Reddit (social media) community:

According to The Michigan Daily, a recent thread in the university’s Reddit community alleged that [she] had not graduated from Chicago’s Columbia College despite claiming a degree on her résumé and job application. The user making the allegations, who signed the message as a “Concerned Taxpayer,” posted [three] images as evidence, asserting that they had been obtained through public-records requests.

“Concerned taxpayer” indeed. This isn’t just about social media. This is also about people, revenge, and karma. The real story hidden here is the what-did-who-do-to-whom story behind the scenes. Clearly “concerned taxpayer” spent time and money on a quest. Why? Jealousy? Getting even for something? Relationships gone bad. There’s a story there. Right? What motivates a person to go exploring in the resume and job situation of another?

Live by authenticity, die (or lose a job) by authenticity. No way out. But damn! That’s a nasty piece of social media behavior. Was it justified? All for good? We’ll probably never know.

Old Chinese proverb: “He who seeks vengeance must dig two graves: one for his enemy and one for himself.”

10 Business Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

Everybody involved with business social media (or flirting with it) ought to read 10 Ways We’re Being Rude in Social Media and Don’t Even Know It by David Spark. Here’s his list (explanations are either mine, or in quotes):

  1. Friend collecting. David makes the point that friends and followers aren’t necessarily a measure of engagement or value. You can buy them. You can collect them with software-driven scripts and special tools. 
  2. Asking people to “like” your content-free Facebook page. What’s to like when there is nothing there? Put the content up first, then engage. 
  3. Requiring app installation to consume a message. For example, that greeting card that requires you install something. 
  4. Auto DMs on Twitter. He’s referring to the practice of setting your Twitter to automatically send a direct message to every new follower, thanking them, or — worse still — asking them to buy something from you. 
  5. Happy Birthdays on Facebook. David says: “Only typing ‘Happy Birthday’ is truly the least you could do outside of doing nothing.” And he adds that there is no extra credit for remembering when Facebook is reminding you. 
  6. Sharing without consumption. “We all have the ability to share any piece of content without looking past the headline.” Read it first. 
  7. Photo overdose of your kids and your wedding. “Your kid may be cute to you, but you’re the parent and that’s how you’re supposed to feel. The rest of us are not supposed to feel that way.” 
  8. Posting bad photos
  9. Follow Fridays. Hmmm. Honestly, I’ve been follow Fridayed and I’ve liked it. I thought of it as mutual back scratching. The #FF in a tweet followed by listing handles is a recommendation to your followers that they follow the people you list. But David points out that it’s really about getting the attention of the people you list. I think it’s kind of faded as a behavior anyway. 
  10. Automatically cross-posting contentless information across social networks. This should be higher on the list, in my opinion. Having foursquare post when you check in, or Spotify post what you’re listening to, for example: That’s just clutter. That stuff gets in the way. Don’t do that. 

Business Social Media is Inevitable

David Lacker reviews and summarizes Stanford research on business social media at the highest business levels.

Key findings: most companies are using social media, but it doesn’t get up to the board level. It’s new, interesting, but they’re waiting. Social media scares companies. But…

I think it is inevitable that [social media] is going to have an impact on companies.

If you don’t see the video here, click this link to see the original.

15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Bad

Whether you like it or not, silly or not, superficial or not, it’s sillier and more superficial to just ignore these obvious grammar goofs and think people who see them are just nitpicking. It’s about respecting your readers. That’s my opinion.

15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

This list and graphic is from CopyBlogger. You can click on the graphic to see the original.

5 Rules for Kindergarten Friends and Twitter

Not long ago I was driving a five-year-old grandson to kindergarten when he asked me how to make friends. That’s ironic because networking is hardly my strong suit, but he doesn’t know that. And I guess that’s what kids expect grandfathers to know, so I really wanted to help him. grandsonsI tried. It sounded like a lot of clichés to me, but then I’m not five years old.

I think it’s about Empathy. That’s too big a word for a kid, so I called it feeling what the other kids feel. You have to be a friend to have a friend; the golden rule; kindness. etc. My mother would have said “put yourself in the other kid’s place.” My mother-in-law called it “see yourself through the other kids’ eyes.”

Just a few hours later, in a group of mostly-baby-boomer types drawn together by interest in entrepreneurship and possible angel investment, Twitter came up. I like it and I said so. Somebody asked me for supposed secrets of success in Twitter.

Without actually thinking of that  moment with my grandson earlier that day, I gave them these five tips for success with Twitter. And as I did so, it struck me that it’s mostly the same thing: empathy.

  1. Offer something other people want. In Twitter specifically, nobody cares what you’re watching on television or eating for lunch. It’s publishing, not babbling. Use twitter to offer people quotes, humor, ideas, and – my favorite by far – useful links they can follow up on.
  2. When in doubt, treat others like you want them to treat you. Teasing, mocking, insulting, shouting (all caps) are not appreciated.
  3. When you don’t have anything to say, don’t say anything.
  4. When you’re angry, wait. Breathe. Think about it before you do it. Public arguments are ugly. And (when published on Twitter, at least) they live forever. Angry words are not biodegradable.
  5. Return favors. When somebody does you a favor, remember it, and do them a favor back. Thank you is nice but a favor in return is more effective. In twitter at least, too much thanking becomes clutter. Twitter involves a lot of passing other people’s tweets (posts) along, called re-tweeting, so when somebody likes what you’ve published (tweeted) there and passes it to others, find something of theirs to pass along (re-tweet).

The next time I was with my grandson, I gave him almost this same list, revised only slightly, for kindergarten use. And while I’d like to report that he took it to heart and he’s now the life of the proverbial kindergarten party… well, at least we’re both still trying.

(Image: My own photo. All rights reserved. © Timothy J. Berry)

5 Steps for Dealing with Social Media Malice

Let’s say you’re involved in social media for your business and you’re the victim of a social-media attack. Somebody you don’t really know singles War Gamesyou out because he’s mad at your company, or had a bad day, or whatever; and launches an attack out of the blue, mentions you and the company you work for, and claims you treated him badly. Ouch.

So you’re just doing your job, doing your best, dealing with a lot of people at once, and suddenly somebody targets you. They are messing with your business reputation. It happens a lot. People whose job involves dealing with a lot of people do become the target of personal anger that’s really directed at the company, the situation, or life itself (sometimes it’s one of those bad day things, a last straw situation) and it ends up feeling really rotten, like having an enemy for no good reason.

So let’s say that has happened. You’ve been blindsided by one of these attacks. What do you do now?

1. Stop, breathe, think.

Remind yourself that the meanness usually shows. Assume you’re dealing with an idiot. At least the smart people who encounter one of these attacks will see through it. They’ll click links to see where it started. They’ll see the malice if they look.

2.  Don’t take it personally.

I know this is hard. We talk about thick skin, but jeesh! People can be really mean sometimes. Why do they take their anger out on you? Remember that if part of your job is dealing with a lot of people, then these things come with the territory. You have to have thick skin about it because if it spoils your day then that’s bad for your health on the long term and it makes you unhappy. The idiot had the power to make you stop and think about a response. That’s all. Don’t give him the power to ruin your day, or even your hour. He ruined your moment. That’s all.

3. Decide whether or not to respond.

Sometimes the most eloquent response is silence. Be careful, though, because more often than not, silence gives the wrong impression. And it might even be bad for your health too.

Remind yourself that you can’t argue in social media. Like it or not, what you put in Twitter or Facebook is publishing, and it lives forever. Angry words are not biodegradable.  Like in the movie War Games, the only winning move is not to play (by the way, you can click the picture up above for the Youtube video, or just scroll down).

4.  Settle your anger and hurt first, then respond professionally.

If you should respond, take your time, be careful, clear your head first, and give a single response you can live with forever. Don’t argue, apologize. If an apology makes sense – don’t take it personally, this is business, you didn’t mean to offend, you didn’t realize, it was accidental, part of your job – make it a clear, clean apology that covers the whole issue. Make it one you can live with, without further comment, forever. Make it a response that shows the world that this was one-sided only.

Don’t get mad, get even. Expose the idiot by staying professional and not engaging.

5. Then forget about it. Let it go. Get on with your day.

If you like this job, and you like dealing with people, then of course this hurt your feelings, but you have to get over it or it continues to hurt your feelings. The idiot spoiled your moment, and that’s his fault; but if you brood over it or stay angry or hurt, then that’s your fault. Because what happens now is in your control. You can minimize the damage, or not.

And for extra credit…

Even though it’s been more than a year now since I wrote my 18-point Twitter Etiquette Primer, I believe all of it as much or more now. I did have “don’t argue with people in Twitter,” but I didn’t have “don’t use Twitter as a weapon, a threat for blackmail, or for venting.”

Have you seen that bumper sticker that says “mean people suck?” What do you think of people who blindside other people by broadcasting personal complaints on social media? Pie in the face might be funny when the Three Stooges do it in black and white film, but mud in the face in social media isn’t. It’s meanness multiplied by social media influence.

Now here’s that video: