How To Avoid An Offensive Social Media Campaign
What’s that? Last night you made a sandwich and went to bed? Stop it! You knitted a round of knit, purl, purl and then you brushed your teeth? Wow! Your soufflé turned out to be fluffier than you ever thought possible? YOU ARE KIDDING.
You’ve all got people in your list of friends who wholeheartedly believe that the events that they share on social media are the most fascinating pieces of information ever written, even if they’re about something as riveting as drying a damp teatowel. Presumably they also watch Big Brother and get untold amounts of pleasure from watching somebody boil an egg.
What amazes me is the number of companies who decide they need to use social media and boldly go forth without considering what their strategy is or the content that they’ll put on the page. Online marketer Judith Lewis talks about how social media, with its low barriers to entry and relative ease of use, can be deceptively enticing, adding that getting it wrong can result in serious brand damage. The Internet is littered with stories of social media disasters, including last year’s top tales of Netflix’s costly Qwikster fiasco, Blackberry’s Twitter debacle and Weinergate.
Some companies have seriously had the fear of social media put into them and this results in weak, wishy-washy content that is specifically designed not to offend anyone. Of course, it doesn’t do much for the brand, either.
So how do you determine what to put on your social media page?
Here’s a tip: what do you like to read? What makes you sit up and pay attention? Promoting discussion is good, inciting outrage is bad, and it’s a fine line to tread. As a business, you don’t need to tiptoe around controversial topics, but you do need to be mindful of potential PR issues because what you say can have a huge effect. The same rules that govern social interaction apply in social media, so racist, sexist remarks will not find you many fans. If you set out to generate controversy, be very sure that at aligns with your brand’s direction and make sure you can handle it when it hits – social media is a two-way conversation and people will talk back.
Otherwise, strive to be interesting and helpful. Arguably, your social media account exists to promote your business and so you will need to link to your content, but be wise about which pieces you choose and vary links with other material. To an affiliate, this means posting betting tips and poker strategies or gambling news in addition to your latest blog and reviews. If you’re not proud of it, don’t post it.
If your social media output smacks of a company so fearful of upsetting the public that your posts are the business equivalent of ‘what I had for dinner last night’– stop, I beg of you. Have a think about what you’re trying to achieve and start again.
About The Author
Hailing from Australia, Kahmen Lai worked as an executive for broadcast network The Seven Media Group. She has been the Director of Content and Social Media at online casino, Big Gains No Pains, since the company’s inception in 2011.