There are some things that companies and organizations do with their social networking presence that make me batty. Perhaps a few of these things annoy you too? Here are my rules for managing an organization’s social media presence–just in case any of those types care what I think. They should–I may have money to spend some day.

Content Management

Social networking sites are not to be used as a substitute for your company’s website.

If I see that your website is four months out if date, then I tend to think that something might be wrong with your company. Is it still in existence? Is everyone too busy? Do they not care? Suggestion: Facebook can pull in feeds from blogs. Post official news to your company’s blog and Facebook will automatically add that post to your company’s wall. Going a step further, Facebook can be set up to cross-post to Twitter. Much of the dissemination of your company’s official news can be automated.

Content managers: it’s good to keep in mind that your company will always own the content that is posted on the company’s server. Sure, it’s easy for people to loot content appearing on your website but at least you aren’t legally surrendering your rights to your company’s videos by posting them on Facebook. Post the videos on your site and then post a link to the relevant webpage onto Facebook. Always consult the terms of service of a social networking site and understand what that site does with your content. Track changes to terms of service here.

Push unique content to each of your company’s social networking sites.

Some redundancy of information across a company’s website, blog, Facebook wall, and Twitter feed is inevitable. Be sure to give consumers a reason to subscribe to the your blog’s RSS feed AND like your company’s Facebook page AND follow you on Twitter by offering a unique experience in each arena. Example: here in Bloomington, Scholars Inn Bakehouse (@ScholarsInnBake) has daily specials that are only advertised on Twitter. Another example: every morning, Bloomington Bagel Company (@BBCBagel) Tweets the soup selection at each of their locations, while BBC’s Facebook page seems to be used for more general news.

Quality interaction

Interact with individuals who reach out to your company online.

Don’t be THAT company, you know, the one that posts information to its Facebook page or Twitter feed and then ignores any subsequent comments or replies. You CAN respond to people who comment on your company’s wall posts. This is not merely good web marketing, it is good manners. Since most people have instant access to Facebook and Twitter, they will often leave a complaint (or a compliment!) on these networks, rather than search out your homepage, find out how to contact you (far too often, this is a difficult feat!), and write up a formal letter/make a phone call. Respond to replies in timely fashion. Check your social networking sites’ notification settings and make sure that someone can be on hand most of the time to manage these consumer interactions.

Don’t spam your audience.

If you have to post the same event to everyone’s feeds four times in one week, please find four unique ways to do it.  Or better–only post twice in a week. I’ve witnessed the number of “likes” go down on a company’s Facebook page after a really aggressive week of in-your-face promotion. It’s easy to overwhelm a person’s Facebook feed. Example: I blocked the Library of Congress on Facebook because they routinely posted fifteen times a day, completely monopolizing my Facebook feed. These were fifteen unique posts, mind you but still, they were off-putting. This brings me to my next point:

Learn the difference between how people use Facebook and Twitter.

In the previous example, if the Library of Congress had made the same fifteen updates to Twitter, I wouldn’t have batted an eye. Why? Because these networks are different beasts and people do not use them the same way. Think about it, have you ever tried to catch up on a couple days worth of Facebook posts? It’s obnoxious! Twitter is super easy to scan quickly.

In addition to frequency, be aware of immediacy. Don’t tweet those photos you snapped at least week’s film fest. It’s already ancient history (sometimes two hours ago seems like ancient history in Twitterverse). Instead, post those photos in an album on Facebook. Tweet at conferences, cons, etc. in the moment–and be sure to find out the correct hashtag to use in your Tweets so that others at the event can find you too. Facebook is a mix of immediacy (announcing the launch date of a new product) as well as legacy (a photo album of a recent event).

Am I the only one with these business social media pet peeves? I’m sure I’ve missed some.

Yesterday, I posted about a tool that lets you pull content from your blog, rearrange the content, add chapters, sections, etc. and publish the whole thing in an ePUB, PDF or TEI format. Too cool! Sure, you end up with duplicated content but people love choices. I don’t want to read your short story collection online on my phone. I want to read it on my iPad. If given the choice, I’d grab the PDF file and plunk it on my iPad rather than visit your site and clicking through your endless pages on your blog–an activity that is dependent upon having a wifi connection.

I happened upon another tool that represents information from a feed in a different, interesting and useful way. pulls in content you specify from Twitter and outputs the results as a newspaper. To see examples of how organizations have used, check out implementations by GOOD and the Indiana University Bloomington Archives (on Twitter as @IUBArchives).

Hitchcock's The Birds Meets TwitterIt’s brilliant. As a user, I like the quick, easy-to-read Twitter feeds when I’m on the go but the newspaper layout certainly plays up to my inner news junkie. This tool also has a harmonizing affect upon the Twitterverse. Often, scrolling through Twitter updates is much akin to a standing in a crowd people who are shouting out you in 140 characters. The experience is customizable, typically built around a theme.  In this way, adds a little cohesion to the cacophony.

More can be found on’s blog.

Great Big Music

Great Big Sea at Bluebird, Bloomington, Ind. March 4, 2009Meant to post about the Great Big Sea concert a week ago but er, life. To sum up: awesome. The boys were well-rested and were just starting to tour again. The music was excellent but the balance was bad at certain points. Sean was drowned out a few times. From our vantage point, Bob was blocked by a tower of speakers but we could see him about half of the time. Nonetheless, they played a good mix of old and new music. A few of the new songs I appreciated more live. For instance “Oh Yeah” (off their new album Fortune’s Favour) didn’t thrill me at first listen but it was better live (and looks like it’d be fun to play). The photo is courtesy of Tim because my phone took terrible pictures.

I would be completely remiss if I didn’t laud Scythian too. These D.C. lads are a blast. Here’s a terrible-quality photo. I hope to see more of them in the future (they’re playing the Troc in Philly on St Patrick’s Day for those following along at home). They’ll also be at the Dublin Irish Festival this year (not sure we’ll be making this).

**Just in** GBS frontman, Alan was recently cast in Ridley Scott’s untitled Robin Hood film (Universal Studios) starring Alan’s buddy Russell Crowe. For more info, see my Twitter feed for the news links.

More RSS

An addendum to my previous post on RSS… I just saw this post “Google Reader for Beginners.” These folks posted a few videos on YouTube to get your Reader started quickly.

I recently started sharing items that I found interesting. I can make a note on a piece of news and those who’ve been granted access can see these items with my comments (if they are also using GoogleReader). Commenting on and sharing news items is much faster than blogging or even Tweeting…

Books and Plays and Things

I chose to work this MLK Jr Day. I am one of two people present in my unit  and maybe one of ten present in the entire cataloging division. I’m rather enjoying the quiet though.

I am desperately trying to get through Sense and Sensibility before I watch the movie (1995 with Kate Winslet, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman), which is now being held for me at the library (and there are more holds so I only have it for a week). I’ve never read it before. In fact, I think Pride and Prejudice is the only Jane Austen novel I’ve read cover to cover. I can’t remember why I put down Emma. I think I get distracted too easily, hence my determination to finish S&S.

I’ve already Tweeted about joining DailyLit, a service in which you receive chunks of the book of your choosing either by email or RSS. I’m reading An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde in hopes of finishing it before seeing the productions staged at IU. More time-sensitive reading.

I’m looking forward to the inauguration tomorrow. I feel as though I ought to do something to celebrate…