How NOT to Succeed at Social Media

Turtle on its backFirst off, I’m not an expert on Social Media. I have a lot of experience, have observed a lot, and keep tabs on the ‘best practices’. I have never run a corporate social media strategy or spent too much time analyzing how different strategies impact my effectiveness, though I have consulted on both.

I simply share what I want to share and talk to people. That is the point after all, isn’t it?

Even so, I can see when someone is doing it wrong, even without a critical article being written to clue me in to the problem. Recently I have been watching a company try to get their social media engine running and they are flailing.


I want to share the what they are doing poorly.

No Worthwhile Content

Every tweet I see is sharing something, but nothing interesting. A press release announcing what is really normal business operations isn’t that interesting. Telling me about an upcoming event is nice, but why should I care?

Why not create Content around each of those announcements. Talk about what makes it special and unique. Interview people and have them share why people should be excited by the news.

As for an event, start telling people what they can learn there. What problems will they learn to address? Get testimonials from attendees of similar events. Share that information. Make people care about the event.

If some of these pieces of Content told a good story, I might share it. As it is, I have not.

The Echo Chamber

Another mistake I see is having people tweet the news, retweet colleagues who have shared the news, and not share anything else. No engagement. No personality. No reason for anyone to care about their opinion. When people do that on Twitter, do you know what happens?

They are tuned out.

If you are just going to share things about the company you work for, using tweets that were written as ‘example’ tweets, then don’t bother. That is what a corporate account does all day, everyday. Having 5-10 people tweeting the same tweets over the same 24 hour window kills authenticity.

As for the Pictures

Actually, there aren’t any being used. That hurts engagement. On the bright side, at least they aren’t using bad ones.

It Takes Time

A successful Social Media strategy takes time to execute. Not everyone can have that viral piece of Content that launches their brand awareness into the stratosphere. It takes work.A chandelier

If I was running that strategy, I’d do the following.

  • Identify employees who are either active on Twitter or are willing to take the time to be more active.
  • Give them a list of 30-50 accounts that they should follow as both examples and as people in the industry who engage others.
  • Tell them to go forth and spend 10 minutes, 3-4 times a day, on Twitter engaging with people in their feed.

Then, while they are out there turning themselves into real people in the world of Social Media, I’d create a Content Marketing strategy and quickly start creating Content. Then, timed with the release of Content:

  • Ask people to share links to the new Content. The links should be built in such a way to track the effectiveness of the tweets. Having them all tweet the same link won’t allow for good metrics.
  • Do NOT provide sample tweets for people. Make them read the Content and create their own 140 character tweet. If they don’t understand it, they can’t engage around it.
  • Instruct them to NOT retweet every related tweet from their colleagues. If one is well written, no problem. Just don’t tweet them all the time.
  • Have them tweet it more than once with different tweets each time. They should target different times of the day.

Just some highlights. There would need to be more support and education about basic ‘dos and don’ts’ taught to the staff. A lot depends on the organizations goals around the use of Social Media. Details also vary between the various social media platforms.

If your organization is trying to figure things out, research on the web. Ask questions. Consider bringing in someone like myself to help get you started. When you start really making progress and want to take it to the next level, then shell out big money for the experts.

Until then, just be yourself at all times out there. We are watching. We will know.

Joining the Practitioners at the Information Governance Conference

The Information Governance Conference LogoLast week I talked about my upcoming visit to the Information Governance Exchange, which is an event filled with business owners and decision makers. The next week in September, the 8th through the 10th, I will be winging my way up to Hartford, CT for the Information Governance Conference (InfoGovCon).

The InfoGovCon will be filled with practitioners participating in an agenda filled with different perspectives on Information Governance from multiple industries. There are also training sessions from ARMA, the Information Governance Initiative, and many others.

While there, I am presenting on Removing the “Work” from Information Governance. Sounds interesting but what does that mean?

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Repeating Past Mistakes Won’t Make ECM Work

Stitch banging his head against the wallEvery now and then I read a post that makes me wonder if the older Enterprise Content Management (ECM) vendors are intentionally trying to keep the industry stagnant. They make a fair penny selling to people who tried their competitor’s solution and failed. Whey not keep it up for another decade?

That was my response when I read How Free Puppy Syndrome Can Ruin Your ECM Strategy. My first thought that this was going to be a generic attack on open source. While I no longer work for an open source vendor, I am still a fan and think that open source solutions provide strong value.

It wasn’t that simple. The article attacked everyone who is trying to take the industry from one of failure to one of universal adoption. I am going to address all the bullet points.

The author meant for each point to be an indicator for failure.

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Heading to the Information Governance Exchange

Recently I’ve begun filling my Fall conference calendar. I always enjoy attending conferences because it is a great way to test my ideas and to hear new ones. The best conferences leave me with fresh perspectives and concepts that I want to try out immediately.

I always enjoy returning to some conferences, like AIIM and Monktoberfest, because I know that I will get value from my fellow attendees. New conferences are different experience. They provide an opportunity to meet and interact with a new community. The first week of September, I am trying one such conference located here in Washington, DC, the Information Governance Exchange.

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Information Governance and eDiscovery

Back in May, Julia Colgan wrote a great post breaking down the latest version of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM). She outlined the changes in her post but the most significant change is the use of Information Governance instead of Information Management.

Version 3 of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model

Before I dive into the model, I want to make one thing clear. The purpose of this model is to show how all these concepts work together for the purpose of eDiscovery. It is meant to drive understanding.

Which is why I am not happy with the model.

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Ethics, Facebook, and Medium

Ghostbusters ExperimentI recently published an article on Medium on The Tech World’s Ethical Crisis. I wanted to try Medium out as a possible option for my broader topics, allowing the Word to stay a touch more focused on the industry and truly random acts of writing. It seems to have worked fairly well so it is something I will repeat.

I do want to take a moment to share why I wrote the article (which you should read before reading further). I have been reading about Facebook’s study and I saw a lot of mixed reactions. While some people were aghast, others wondered why it was a big deal at all.

That is the issue at stake here, ignorance. When unethical behavior is not recognized as such, we need to take a step back and evaluate what we hold dear in our society. When conducting human research, informed consent is such an important requirement that there are laws to enforce it. If research has a chance to cause potential harm, people need to be given a chance to say no.

I don’t believe Facebook was trying to be evil. They were ignorant of the ethics involved in what they were doing. That ignorance is a problem. They must have considered it a potential problem as they added research to the Terms of Service a few months later.

Ignorance is not an excuse and we need to start thinking about teaching people more about ethics. It has been suggested that the Venture Capitalists (VCs) should make sure that the firms they fund have training in ethics.

They should throw in a little training about sexual harassment and discrimination while you are at it.

We are all responsible for the ethics of the world in which we live. We need to take time to educate ourselves and others. We needs to talk about this at events. It needs to be part of everything we do.

Because ignorance is not an excuse for risking harm to others.

You Will Never Have One Place for All Your Content

Dr Who in the rainYou read the title correctly. No matter how hard the industry works between now and the time you die, or are simply drooling in a wheelchair, you will never have one place for all of your content. I’m not simply talking the difference between work and personal pieces of information. Whether you are at work or home; on your computer, tablet, or phone; or any combination of those, you will always have content you need to access in multiple systems.

A little depressing isn’t it?

That doesn’t make it less true. If it makes you feel any better, it will not be entirely your fault. The problem is that you and your company do not own all of the content that you use. There is content out there that originates, and lives, in other places.

And there is nothing you can do about it.

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