Social media is great. No, it’s rubbish. This week, in the light of being found guilty of libel, Sally Bercow has had her enthusiasm for Twitter somewhat diminished. Small business doesn’t appear to doing well either, and Facebook is getting criticism on all sides despite their apparent good intentions. Meanwhile, Jeremy Waite gives us 80 Rules of Social Media and we learn about a young man’s attempt to make a giant Kinder Surprise egg for his girlfriend. Not all bad news then…
Social Media doesn’t work. Social media just doesn’t work for the majority of small businesses, says USA Today. And worse – small businesses are spending more time with social media. “How can this seemingly contradictory situation exist?” wail several thousand social media gurus and mavens. Mitch Joel reckons this failure is as a result of a mismatch between what social media can do and what small business expect it can do. Here he argues convincingly about the need for education first then a realistic alignment of business goals to social tools. One to bookmark for both business owners and social media strategists. Or skip straight to Jeremy Waite’s punchy 80 Rules of Social Media:
37. The majority of people use social media to waste time. Brands need to be respectful of this. Remember that not everyone on Facebook is ready to click on an ad to help them discover new products that they didn’t know they wanted.
“[T]here is an entire industry working non-stop creating low quality, emotionally appealing content that gets ‘likes’ from gullible users”, he writes. “It can’t be fixed; it’s over.” Read the whole piece.
Social Media is out of control. Not if the UK courts have anything to do with it. Despite her protestations, Sally Bercow was found guilty of libel for that infamous tweet about Lord McAlpine. The McAlpine judgment should ‘serve as a reminder to people that posting on Twitter can be just as libellous as writing anywhere else’ writes Nick Armstrong. Meanwhile Michelle Carvill discusses the implications of us all being ‘publishers’ now. Listen below.
Are you in crisis? Did you know that the Samaritans have an arrangement with Facebook to reach out to users who may be at risk? Neither did Irish Times journalist Ciara O’Brien until she received an email to the address she had used to register with Facebook. Since 2011, users can alert Facebook to the status updates of those potentially at risk. Facebook assesses the risk and sends the details on to the Samaritans. A sensible service or a data protection worry?
App Alert: Bandsintown (Free, iOS/Android). Despite being hardwired to the net, I missed the news that the Postal Service were coming to town to celebrate 10 years since their sole album, Give Up. Luckily, my pal Nat had a spare ticket and I went to the ball after all. Bandsintown aims to ensure that you’ll never miss your favourite acts again. The app scans your Facebook account, last.fm, Spotify and more so that it can alert you when your faves come visiting. Very handy indeed.
How Not To: Make a Kinder Surprise. This attempt to impress a girlfriend is glorious.
Enda Guinan is a consultant and trainer offering advice on social media strategy and product delivery for individuals and small businesses. Get in touch to see how you can make the best use of your time and energy as you put together your social media plans.