Customer Experience News & Trends

7 things you should never, ever post online

You probably already know it’s a really bad idea to post photos of the CEO doing keggers on Facebook. But many organizations put their reputation at risk with some less-obvious blunders.

The reasons vary — from legal issues to bad publicity — but some not-so-obvious things are better left in the confines of company walls, not posted on Facebook or Twitter for the world to pass along.

This is what every customer experience pro who has access to company social media sites should never post, according to marketing expert Tim Parker:

1. Your opinion

It doesn’t matter if you add the legalese, “the opinions expressed are his own, and do not represent those of the company …”

If it’s on your site, customers will see it as the position of your company and everyone in it.

Stick to facts about your company, your products and your people. Remember that social media is supposed to be fun — and almost all opinions are based on strong inner feelings and don’t belong online where they’ll only spark debate.

2. Your world view

Most organizations are passionate about something beyond themselves. Example: They’ve adopted a philanthropic cause or are community-minded and active.

While it’s OK to let customers and viewers know how you’re involved, it’s not a good idea to post images that are hard-hitting — such as animal abuse and starvation in developing nations.

Images can create strong, negative emotions — even when the intent is for good. If you must, stick to softer images, such as your people selling baked goods to raise funds for charity.

3. A hard sell

People don’t go to social media to see advertisements. Again, they go for fun or information. So they’re turned off by a blunt call-to-action.

It’s OK to educate them with product images, new details and a little humor. But stop short of “Act now before it’s too late.”

4. Inside jokes

Avoid making the mistake of posting something that only your biggest or best customers will “get.” Many customers won’t get it, and some them will be turned off by an ambiguous post that seems to favor others.

But it’s a great idea to post an “inside joke” that’s all-inclusive. For instance, “Tell your service rep to wish the CEO a happy birthday today, and you’ll get a 10% discount.”

Of course, the CEO needs to be in on the joke.

5. Typos

Social media is informal, fast and probably the second most laid-back form of communication we have (behind text).

But in the business world, it’s still no place for misspelled words, poor grammar and typos. Poorly written posts make you look dumb.

That doesn’t mean you need to know about past participles, but the person who is writing on your social media sites needs to know where commas go and how to spell. Plus, everything should get a second look-over before being posted.

6. Unfinished facts

Rumors, half-truths and old wives’ tales don’t belong in social media (or anywhere else in your business communications). Anything you fail to verify that’s then proven wrong kills your company’s credibility.

If it’s not a proven fact, don’t post it. If you’re unsure of an answer, admit that, promise to follow up with the full truth and do it as quickly as possible.

7. Selfies

Customers aren’t all that interested in seeing the people who run your organization (sorry, CEOs), so don’t post every promo shot of them.

But customers are interested in seeing the people they deal with, but seldom see — say the customer service and technical professionals, the web chatters and the social media posters. That’s whose photos belong on posts from time to time.

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