The Not-So-Nice Side of Social Media, from Kodak

Anyone working to improve his/her social media strategy has heard the golden rules: be timely, have a team in place, etc., etc. But what is often missed is the way that one can make his/her company look bad through social media.

Jennifer Cisney, Chief Blogger and Senior Social Media Manager at Kodak highlighted not only the good social media strategies but the bad and the ugly at eTail West 2013. Screen shot 2013-03-04 at 10.25.54 AM

When it comes to bad use of social media, one of the first things Cisney mentioned was the improper use of trending topics. She shared the quote, “’Google before you Tweet’ is the new, ‘Think before you speak.’” It ended up being a highly re-tweeted Tweet at the event.

If you are not sure what the trending topic is referencing, make sure you do your research. You don’t want to come off as insensitive or unaware of what’s buzzing online. The last thing you want is to do is come off as spam-y, and using trending topics in the wrong way could make you look like you are hijacking the hashtag or topic.

Cisney also discussed deleting comments and posts off your social media pages. Ignoring a problem won’t make the situation go away, it only makes it worse, she said. Make sure you are addressing the problem and helping to fix it.

When it comes to the ugly side of social media, Cisney discussed spam: the “trolls” and hashtag campaigns gone wrong.

Her solution for spam posts was to have a social media policy in place. With the policy in place and posted on your sites, it lets users know what they can and cannot post.

The “trolls” of social media are the people who post negative comments on the site just because they can. They may not even be a customer of your company. Cisney’s advice when it comes to the “trolls” is to not get defensive. Stay calm and don’t take any such posts or comments personal.

In terms of hashtag campaigns, Cisney’s advice is to make sure you are very selective about your hashtag. Make sure you have done your research and you know if anyone has used the hashtag in the past. Also, be sure about whether a hashtag campaign is the right idea for you. If you are having customer issues, then that is not the time to start a hashtag. You want to make sure your hashtag won’t be hijacked or turned into a “bashtag.”

Social media should be fun and engaging and by avoiding the bad and knowing how to work with the ugly, it will only be positive for you and your company.