kasey schumacher | social cues | dec. 2017
Simply having a wonderful Christmastime, right? I am so excited it's December. The LMBF Christmas show is always a treat, I love picking out the perfect gifts for my family and friends and there's something refreshing about turning the calendar to an entirely new year of possibilities soon. In the spirit of Christmas, I thought I would make a “naughty or nice" social media list. But unlike Santa, I'm not writing down names of individuals, but rather what makes a brand's social media presence “naughty" or “nice" — in my eyes (this is my column so totally just my opinion).
1. Where'd you go? — It drives me crazy when organizations post without giving a second thought to timeliness and chuck a bunch of content on the proverbial wall just to see if it sticks. Oh, so you had a big end-of-the-season sale and decided to post 12 pictures to Instagram in 12 hours to entice me to buy your stuff, but hadn't posted before that in two months? Pretty sure I'm going to unfollow you really quickly. Providing audiences with timely and consistent information is an absolute must to be successful in the social media game.
2. 2011 called and it wants your info back — Another thing I can't stand is when information on a page/profile is super inaccurate. I've tried looking at Facebook pages for telephone numbers of businesses (because their website was atrocious) only to find the number is no longer active or the ownership is completely different. It doesn't take that much time to update information and it makes a HUGE difference to the standard social media user.
3. Quality control — From copyrighted pictures you clearly have no business legally sharing, to using such low-quality photos that the image becomes pixelated beyond belief — it blows my mind when such little thought is put into how something looks on social media from an organization. It's very evident when someone is posting for the sake of posting and didn't really care how their audience was going to perceive the intended message or point of the post. A little effort goes a LONG way for social media and it makes me cringe when social media content creators/managers don't seem to realize this.
1. It's not me, it's you — I LOVE when pages and channels post information that goes beyond simply selling their product/brand. One of my favorite examples of this is Denny's. Yes, the diner near the Oneida exit of 41 (and about a billion other locations in the world). Denny's has the most creative, compelling and sometimes straight up weird content. They want you to like their pages/profiles and give you a reason to come back because the content is interesting. They aren't just a constant commercial trying to get you to come to a restaurant location and buy a Grand Slam. Their content often has nothing to do with the food their selling, but the brand their cultivating. It's brilliant.
2. I hear you!! — When profiles/pages respond to messages/comments quickly! I don't even care what they say, but if I write a message/tweet to an organization and they respond in a very timely fashion, I'm always a happy camper. Social media is different than other forms of media like print, television or radio because the feedback is so instantaneous. The best profiles understand this and make sure someone is consistently monitoring messages/comments and responding accordingly. I can't even tell you how many times I've responded almost immediately with, “I don't know the exact answer to your question off the top of my head, but I will find the answer for you!" in my day job. Making people feel heard is so crucial on social media.
3. Keep 'em guessing (kind of) — This may sound contradictory, but repetition and consistency only gets you so far in social media. Oftentimes I see pages/profiles that found one post did significantly well so they try to copy its format repeatedly. So a post with a single photo and one line of text reached a lot of people and got great engagement? Awesome. But don't do it again and again and again until it becomes so expected that it backfires. Sometimes I see Instagram posts from companies that are so eerily similar to something they posted before that I have to double-check it wasn't a double post mistake. The best pages and profiles have a large toolkit of techniques to use when it comes to posting content.
Kasey Schumacher is a Social Media Director for Lawrence University by day and a member of Let Me Be Frank Productions by night. When she isn't updating Facebook or singing a 1970s classic, she enjoys running, cooking, questioning final rose picks on “The Bachelor" and planning overly extravagant trips to Disney.