Friday, 22 March 2013

What we can learn from The Onion about the fickle nature of social media…

One day they love you, the next day they leave (ahem), unfollow you.

Seeing as this is a blog about social media slip-ups, it is impossible not to talk about The Oscars Onion debacle on Twitter this week. Everyone else is talking about it, so why not add more rubber to the tire fire?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read this and get yourself caught up...

Yes, despite what Miley Cyrus believes, “can’t” is in fact not the real "C" word.

Firstly, I’d like to point out what most media outlets have neglected to mention: The Onion’s twitter account has not only retained its over 4.5 million followers but has added some 6,000 new followers since the fiasco was first picked up by major media outlets.

I’m not going to play the sage and say whether The Onion has acted right or wrong throughout the course of this perceived public relations crisis. However, I will make a couple of surface level observations, in the form of a Top 2 List (just because Top “__” Lists seem to the be all the rage these days):

1. We all must learn to exercise prudence in the real-time world that is social media.
Everyone’s had a status update or tweet (sometimes done in haste, sometimes crafted in a state of drunken rapture) that they would love to take back.

There must be some vetting process in any good social media strategy –whether it be in regards to professional or personal accounts. I don’t want to hear about every single initiative that a company is involved with, nor do I want to know that you are going to the gym and your max weight is 400 lbs, bro.

2. Sometimes controversy in the world of social media is not necessarily a bad thing.
Since Sunday, overall mentions of The Onion have spiked according to social media analyzers NetBase, suggesting that new communications methods are blurring the line between notoriety and fame in the digital realm.

Perhaps we are harkening back to a time where any publicity is good publicity, or as Oscar Wilde famously said, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”

Maybe we should ask young Quvenzhané for her opinion on that.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Let's all stamp out posts of poor length…

This week we’re going to discuss length... and no not that length, get your mind out of the gutter. I’m talking about post-length. 

Post-length can sometimes be like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears; some posts seem two long, some posts seem too short and some posts are juuust riight.

Check out this Facebook update:

Apart from some harebrained proposition about re-posting this status to create a “positive intention avalanche,” this post is far too long. The only avalanche I experienced when coming across it on my phone was an avalanche of bother.

But too short can also be equally frustrating at times. A tweet or Facebook update that is one word or an acronym, can similarly annoy people:

...Tbh? Really? To be honest, I think it’s time to sever my social media ties with you, because as social guru Jefferson Lebowski once put it, “the dude does not abide.” 

That being said, if your one word post is this:

...the one word is completely appropriate, because it is in the running for best word in the history of the English language.

The fact of the matter is, apart from Twitter, there are no hard and fast rules for post-length on Facebook and other social media. Too long or too short? The matter will always be up for debate.

At the very least, we all must be aware of the length of our posts. No one would read this blog if each post was 1,500 words long. Nor would they read it if each post was 15 words. Come to think of it, no one reads it anyway. 

That’s all folks!