Recycling Social Media Content is Getting Out of Hand

Tweet from 2013

I get it. I understand the need for more content to serve to an ever-growing flow of content consumers. The art of recycling content is important, particularly on sites like Twitter where a piece of content can and should be used multiple times in order to get the message out to everyone. It’s a chronological feed, after all, and posting it once will only get it seen by an extremely small portion of your audience.

With that said, it’s getting out of hand. I have been finding posts that are months old and no longer relevant hitting my feed from car dealers around the country. There’s a limit. Old news is old news. In the case of the Tweet above, the article posted on Twitter by a Toyota dealer on March 30, 2014, is a link to an article from July 4, 2013. That’s too long for this type of news.

When recycling posts on Twitter, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Is it relevant? Old posts are find if there’s context that makes it work today. For example, posting an article about Tesla’s early days in trying to launch with dealerships would make sense to post considering their current stance.
  • Is it timeless? Some posts, particularly advice posts that give the reader information they can use today, can be posted up until the point that they’re obsolete. An example of this would be a video that demonstrates how to change the batteries in a key fob. Until they change the way you open the key fob, it still makes sense to post for months, even years after the original.
  • Is it nostalgic? There are times when old posts are even better than new ones. A picture of an old Honda ad from the 70s would play well to show how far the company has come over the years.
  • Has it been posted very recently? This is one of my biggest pet peeves. If a post comes through today that is just a different wording on something posted yesterday, than it’s not acceptable. The exception: timely events. If you have a big sale or charity event this weekend, then posting a different variation of the same thing over and over again is acceptable and demonstrates focus on the event.

As more companies use content libraries to keep the feeds flowing, it’s important to keep in mind that the libraries must be refreshed. They must be pruned. In the case of the post above, it’s simply not acceptable. That was news for about a month. There is plenty of content out there in the form of current news about every manufacturer and the local area. Don’t get stuck beating a dead horse with your posts.

The Social Media Resolution

Social Media Resolution

Let’s keep this one short and sweet. If you run a business, you fall into one of four categories:

  1. Those who are using social media and seeing mixed or minimal results
  2. Those who have used social media in the past and stopped because they saw mixed or minimal results
  3. Those who have never really bought into social media
  4. Those who are killing it on social media

It’s easy for me to say that the last option is the one that just about every business should be striving towards, but the reality is that if everyone was in category four, it would actually mean that everyone was in category one. Despite the vast nature of social media, there is still a finite amount of room on news feeds, Twitter streams, and other visible portions of social media for businesses. It’s for this reason that I am glad most fall into the first three categories – it makes my job for clients much easier.

With that said, there definitely needs to be more in the last category and the likely reason that there aren’t is because so many fall into the second category. Whether on your own or through a vendor/guru hack, you’ve lost faith in social media. That was actually okay in 2012. It became less okay in 2013. In 2014, successful businesses will make it into category four or they’ll find it harder to keep their status as a “successful business”. Everything is migrating to include social as a major component. If you rely on organic search to drive traffic to your site, for example, you may will soon find that your traffic is dropping if it isn’t already. Google and Bing are betting high on social and they’re leaning towards social signals and page/profile quality as major components of their algorithm.

Search is just the start. This is the part that amazes me the most. There are local businesses that are spending thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars on digital advertising every month but they can’t seem to justify a couple thousand dollars to dedicate to a killer social media presence and integrated search engine optimization components. It’s the most trackable, tangible form of digital advertising and marketing – the smoke and mirrors required to try to prove value are gone (at least for some vendors/gurus). Make it real or go home – that’s what we’re faced with today.

In 2014, make it a priority to re-evaluate your position. Take a pitch or two. Read some blog posts. This isn’t about buying into a trend, though that alone should be pretty obvious. It’s about reading the writing on the wall – I see so many individuals who are active on social media, yet are unable to see the value of social media for their business. It’s not your fault. You simply haven’t been shown the real deal.

Find the real deal about social media. Your business success may depend on it.

To This Day, Digg Still Makes Me a Little Sad

Digg pages

Time heals wounds, right? Unfortunately, the time since Digg was at its peak in mid-2010 until now has not been enough time for me to really let it go. They had something wonderful growing in social media and I was a part of it. The demise of the site still stings today.

I put together a piece that spilled my social media heart out on the table. While I wanted to post it here, this is a venue for positive growth in social media today and tomorrow, so reminiscing about what might (should) have been doesn’t go here. Still, it had to be written, so I put it on Medium. If you want to check it out, here’s a snippet:

There has never been a social media site that acted more like a meritocracy than the old Digg.com. It required true talent at both finding the content and “gaming the system” to become a power user. Only a few hundred people in the world mastered it.

Read More: Medium

The Biggest Problem with @Yelp – They Don’t Reply Even After Four Months

Fake Yelp Reviews

A few months ago I ate at a restaurant and wrote a review. It wasn’t a bad review – I believe I either gave the restaurant three or four stars out of five – but it wasn’t a triumphant, best-gyro-ever review, either.

A few days later I received an email from Yelp saying that the review had been removed “because it lacks a firsthand customer experience.” Now, considering I ate there, wrote about my first hand experience, and even posted a picture on yelp of the Indian statue at the front door, I’m not sure how first hand one needs to get.

That’s not a big deal, actually. When a company is that big, it’s understandable that mistakes will happen. In fact, I was pleased that they’re being diligent about making sure that the reviews are as authentic as possible. The problem was that there is nobody to talk to, no way to communicate, and no chance of correcting the mistake.

I emailed several times. I Tweeted at them several times. I searched the site for a way to correct such errors. Nothing.

One might think, “what’s the big deal?”

It’s just an online review, right? Well, yes and no. It’s important from the perspective that a voice of the public trying to express an opinion about a local business for their peers to see and use for guidance was removed and given zero chance of making things right. My review was not important. The fact that this can happen is scary.

The worst case scenario is that reviews become untrustworthy and they no longer bring the value that they promise to the users. Yelp is striving to fix that. The other end of the spectrum – the ability to correct improper filters – is a huge mess. I’ve seen clients find this to be challenging. I’ve had friends who have found this to be challenging.

It’s their site and they can do whatever they want with it. However, when legitimate reviews are tossed out and given no chance of being recovered, it’s no longer simply a mistake. It’s blatant censorship. Some might say that the word is too harsh for such a situation, but there’s no other way to put it. If there was a way to challenge the filter and prove that the review was real, then it would be nothing to worry about at all. It’s a countermeasure to falsified reviews and that’s definitely necessary. Unfortunately, the fact that they have no method to correct improper deletions IS censorship.

Until they figure out how to correct this by allowing users to contest their filtering, the service cannot be trusted. It is simply incapable of painting an accurate picture as long as this is a problem.

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Old Advice Won’t Help the Younger Generations

Job Hunting

I am 24 years old. I have a BA in Public Relations/Communications. I am one hard working SOB. And I am vastly underpaid in a job I really don’t even enjoy. Ladies and gentleman, I am a hefty majority of college 20-something year olds in this country. Remember when we were told our whole lives that if you stay in school and get an education, you will someday get the job you want and make great money? The problem with the advice is…It is outdated, and I mean waaaay outdated. I know when my parents were my age a college degree was something that made you stand out and placed you on a higher level, but these days it just seems like earning a degree just keeps you up to speed with the rest of the young adults out there.

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4 Reasons that Social Media Services should Offer People, Not Software

Facebook Homepage

When I was asked last year to develop a social media marketing service, the first question they asked was whether I already had software in mind or if it needed to be built. I told them that the software had already been developed and it was free. This didn’t go over well at first; they’d always used premium social media software in the past.

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The Rise of Webimercials – Webinars that are Only Mildly Educational

Sleazy Salesperson

This is a rant so I’m going to keep it short and not so sweet. There’s a trend in the automotive industry towards putting out really, really bad webinars. It hits really close to home because I absolutely love them, have been doing them for three years now, and get really annoyed when other professionals in the industry use them as pitch sessions.

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If It Ain’t Working, Fix It or Make a Change

Change Things

They say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Grammatical challenges aside, it’s a quote that has indirectly driven many lives in many different aspects. We often get comfortable, complacent, and we start harnessing an attitude of safety over adventure.

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I Agree with PETA and Not Mashable About Grumpy Cat. The World Must Be Ending Soon.

Grumpy Cat Mashable

It isn’t just the fact that I detest waiting in lines and the one that led to the infamous Grumpy Cat was long. It’s the sheer fact that there is absolutely no reason why an animal should have been at SXSW in the first place. Shame on Mashable for allowing (encouraging?) this sort of PR display using an animal. Hurray to PETA for…

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The Wonderful (and sad) Truth About Inspiring Through Social Media

Inspiring on social media

There was a new promise the internet gave us when social media started popping up a few years ago. Sites like Twitter and Facebook have delivered on the first promise of breaking down many of the walls of communication that kept the world separated for thousands of years. Now, there’s another promise that is being fulfilled…

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