There is a Wrong Way in Social Media

For a long time I have made the argument that there is no right way or wrong way to be involved with social media.  In fact, I believe we will all be “wrong” at least some of the time.  After all, this is an evolving field with an ever-changing rule book.  With new networks appearing weekly and changes to Facebook happening almost nightly, there is no way everyone can be doing it correctly 100% of the time.

Small business owners can find many articles about what not to do on social media.  And, just for convenience, I have outlined a few below (and include articles below):

1.  Don’t try the hard sell

2.  Don’t always be self-promoting

3.  Don’t make it all about you

4.  Don’t ignore your customers

But, after my trip to North Carolina this past week, it dawned on me.  What businesses are really doing wrong with social media is NOT THINKING!  That’s right.  They aren’t thinking about what they are doing, and how they are using these great new tools.

Case-in-point:  While driving home from North Carolina, along Interstate 95 (where the speed limit was 65 and I was traveling more than 65) we passed a semi-trailer, with a QR code on the back.

Really?  I’m supposed to scan that QR code at 65 miles per hour?  What good is paying to have the QR code on the truck if no-one can ever use it?

Each tool has its uses and different audiences.  Just like a screwdriver and hammer don’t work the same, you can’t expect each social media tool to work the same.  If you are trying to drive people to your website through printed materials, maybe a QR code is the way to do it (just not on a moving truck, or train platform, or skywriter…).  When making this choice, be sure that the QR code leads to a mobile version of your website.  It is not easy to navigate a desktop website from an iPhone or Android device.  You are making your customers work too hard.

If you are posting to Twitter, don’t send those tweets to Facebook.  People using Facebook have no interest in hashtags (#) and “@” mentions.  The two don’t go together.  And, don’t send your posts from Facebook directly to Twitter.  They have two different audiences (and two different character counts).

As you begin to move your marketing towards social media, you need to take into account the tools you will use, the audience you hope to reach, and the outcome you desire.  Only then can you effectively use social media to grow your business.

And, please promise me you won’t put a QR code on your car.

Have you seen some other great uses of social media that made you “face-palm”?  Let me know in the comments, below.


About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .


  1. Great post, Craig. Good tips too. Don’t make it about you. Don’t do the hard sell. And for heaven’s sake, see the world through the eyes of the buyer. Just slapping a QR code on a truck, without thinking of how people might use it, is a big mistake.

    • CraigEYaris says:

      Thanks for the comment, Jeff. I agree completely. People need to think about how they are using the technology, and not using it for technologies sake.

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