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Category: theRants&Raves

Rant: Social Media Management is NOT for Interns

Mar/Thu | Category: theRants&Raves | 

First, let me say that I LOVE interns and have had the great privilege of working with some seriously brilliant interns over the years.  However, leaving them on their own to manage a social media program is not something I’m a fan of. 

To me this is a bit like leaving your teenage child home alone for a weekend and expecting to come home to anything but this:

Maybe a tad overly optimistic, you think?

You’re putting yourself in a potentially dangerous situation.  Think of what happens when a crisis erupts?  Will an intern be able to think on their feet and rely on years of experience dealing with delicate situations?  Are you confident an angry online mob will be disbanded by your $10/hour employee?

If you want to see how bad these situations can get, check out this look into a recent situation Nestle experienced with Greenpeace by Olivier Blanchard.  Unfortunately the situation wasn’t handled as well as it could have been and, thus, became an even larger issue for the company.

Still confident an intern can handle it?

Managers of social media programs, whether dedicated or performing the job in addition to another role, need to be someone you have complete confidence in to represent and speak on behalf of your company. 

Can interns play a role in your social media programs?  Absolutely!  Even a large role if you get a good one.  However, always ensure they have an experienced manager to help create your social strategy, provide solid guidance and help them through the difficult situations. 

RANT: Stop Tweeting Your Own Horn

Dec/Fri | Category: theRants&Raves | 

Maybe I just don’t get it, but seems strange to me to retweet when someone gives you a compliment.  I must have read 10+ tweets today alone that said things like:


RT @Complimentor:  @me you are so awesome.  Great meeting you tonight.

RT @Complimentor:  @me loved your blog post – it was so insightful.

RT @Complimentor:  @me Woohoo, you rock!


Seriously, am I just missing this?  It’s a real question.  Please tell me if I am.  However, it seems so odd to be retweeting things like this mostly because they violate two content rules we try to adhere to: add value & be real.  There is definitely no value to your twitter followers with this post.  And, it’s not “human” – if your boss complimented you, would you running around the entire office yelling, “boss lady says my copywriting is flawless” to all of the other copywriters? Yeah, probably not.


So why do it on Twitter?  Maybe you could just get a t-shirt instead and wear that at home so just your family is tortured by the overshare of how much you rock.



The ONLY way I could MAYBE see this type of retweeting working is to retweet and add value to the tweet.  Maybe something like more like these:


Made lots of connections and new friends at#tweetup RT @Complimentor:  @me you are so awesome.  Great meeting you tonight.

Thanks for reading my post on narcissism at  RT @Complimentor:  @me loved your blog post – it was so insightful.

Thanks, but it was your guidance in this post that got me going.  RT @Compleimentor:  @me Woohoo, you rock!


Now these deliver a bit of value to me – I can see what they are referring to and why it contains good info to retweet although a reply rather than a retweet would probably be more appropriate.  More subtle posts like this tend not to bother me as much either:


RT @Complimentor: @me Great blog post on tips for not being an arrogant jerk on Twitter


It adds value, telling me people (perhaps important people) have read and liked your post so I might want to as well. 


What do you think?  Am I missing something here or is this annoying to you too?

RAVE: A Great Use of Twitter Auto Direct Message

Nov/Thu | Category: theRants&Raves | 

Of course, as soon as we post a rant about all of those annoying “Thanks for the following.  I look forward to tweeting with you.” auto direct messages, we FINALLY get a Twitter Auto direct message that’s a good use of the feature.  So we just had to share how this person used it. 

After starting up our new company Twitter account for the Social Method, we added a contact we met earlier in the year, Rebekah King, owner of ReBiz Works, and when we followed her on Twitter (@Rebekah_King) we received an auto DM to let us know we were following her personal account and that if we were looking for her business account we could follow her @ReBizWorks.  Useful, smart and definitely appreciated! 

Thanks Rebekah for a great example of how you might be able to use the auto DM feature on Twitter effectively if you have multiple accounts. 

RANT: Turn off Your Twitter Auto Direct Message.

Nov/Wed | Category: theRants&Raves | 

We get it.  Generally it starts with a good intention like “I want to acknowledge all of the fine people that follow me on Twitter” but then a bad execution is born – the Auto Direct Message (DM).  Sure you appreciate your new followers, but since when is a canned response to anything professional or appreciative?  STOP IT!


Want to appreciate a new follower?  Go to their page, see what they’re about.  If you’re interested in them, follow them back and send them a PERSONAL note relevant to them. 

What?  That would actually take time and effort?  

HELLO!  You’re in SOCIAL media.  Being SOCIAL is the point.  

If someone approached you at a party, you wouldn’t say, “hello, nice to meet you.  I am Sam.  I work at Widgets Inc., here’s a card with a link to my video to learn more about me” to everyone you meet would you?  Then don’t do it online.

So how do you do it right?  Revisit the intent.  We recently had a new follower who’s profile said they love Philly sports teams so we asked if they were excited about the Phillies in the World Series (this was prior to them taking a Yankees beating).  It showed we took notice of them and started a conversation between us.  Objective achieved.  It took less than two minutes.

One word of caution here – don’t be fake.  If you’re really not all that interested in that person then no need to send them a note with feigned interest.  Simply wait until they post something interesting to you and respond to it.  Again, appreciation shown, objective achieved. 

Lesson:  just because the online tool is available, it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.  Think it through first.  If you MUST have an auto DM, don’t expect it to endear you to your new followers.  Our typical reaction is an eye roll and a quick delete. 

Got it?