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Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media

July 12, 2008

I recently had the opportunity to attend Ragan Communications’ “Social Media for Communicators” Conference in Las Vegas.  Ragan is one of the leading social media organizations out there and they also sponsor really informative conferences.  At this particular conference, Steve Crezcenzo gave a wonderful keynote address that I really enjoyed and that I believe is highly applicable to the participants of this conference as well.  (DISCLAIMER – this post originally appeared on my company’s internal blog directly following the conference)

In his presentation, he reviewed the “Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media,” and gave some real-life examples of each.  According to Steve, these are the “Seven Deadly Sins” –

1. Calling something a blog when it ain’t one – check out Lebron James’ MSN website, which may be one of the worst sites on the Internet today (I especially like how he poops out a basketball).  Also, check his “blog” – what’s the first post you see?  “LEBRON TO BLOG SOON!!!!”  How great!  Lebron is actually going to post to his own blog!!!  Who the hell has been posting to this alleged blog for the last five years then???  Here’s another example of a really bad “blog.”  I know – you’re shocked that no one has commented on it yet!

Dilbert

2. Not figuring out ways to open up the conversation – Here’s a hint….your readers get to comment or it’s not a blog!  As a communicator, your role is now to create great content, strategically steer the conversation, and then let the audience take over.  Take a look at this example from Food & Wine – go ahead and try to leave on a comment on their blog.  I dare you.

3. Talking Down to Your Audience
– According to Steve, this actually happens a lot more often than you think.  Take the Kleenex “Let it Out Blog” for example.  Read through a couple of their posts, and tell me if you feel like you’re a seven year-old kid being talked to by a parent.

4. Use every Gimmick and gadget except Social MediaARGHHHH!!! – Web Developers Gone MAD!!!!

5. Record really boring audio and call it a “podcast”
– how does Barack Obama sound like this when speaking live, but sound like this when recording a podcast???  Be engaging on a podcast.  Make people want to listen to you.

6. Fall in love with podcasting tricks and forget about the content – Take a listen to this.  They’ve obviously got some skilled sound effects/music people, but what the heck are they saying??

7. Hide your social media
Oh My GOD.  Try to find their blog….no, actually, just try to find out what they heck their product is.  Terrible…beyond terrible. [disclaimer – this site has since been fixed and is no longer applicable)

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