Nightmare? No, Just Social Media Convulsions

by PR Coach on March 16, 2011

Are your social media messages just noise?

I love new technology as much or more than the next PR pro. But, what I hate is that terrible way  technology can be misused or abused.

Case in point. Recent Twitter messages by Kenneth Cole, the Red Cross and Bing. Each getting themselves and their organizations into PR and reputation trouble.

We all suffer from email spammers, comment coneheads, blogging bores, Facebook phonies, LinkedIn Luddites and Twitter twaddle.

No wonder some days you want to scream and unplug from the internet!

The recent SXSW conference spurred a whole tsunami of social media drivel from SM “gurus” who know better. Perhaps, they were too much into the pitchers of beer or margaritas?

I don’t care who you had lunch with. I’m not interested in who was in the washroom with you. Nor do I want to hear about what you had for appies at some VIP reception. Doesn’t this sound like the trouble with social media in our daily lives?

A small sample from the #SXSW Twitterstream to illustrate my point with the senders’ names eliminated to protect the guilty “gurus”:

About to leave (@ Lustre Pearl Bar w/ @bud_caddell @lenkendall @danielstein @awolk)

Though if you are going to try Shiner Bock, I recommend from the tap first or bottle second – avoid the can. #sxsw

2.5 hours till #allhat3 kicks off. #sxsw

just ate way too much at kerbey lane cafe, heading over to #sxsw now :)

Blogger lounge. (@ Austin Convention Center w/ @lindsaymanfredi @thetimhayden @katmandelstein @scottschablow)

If you do a talk at #sxsw and nobody tweets, do you care?

Note to self, check out Oreo’s page.

RT @markgr: RT @JoselinMane: We are all one tweet away from getting fired #futurepr #SXSWi #sxsw

For many #SXSW attendees, that last Tweet may be prophetic.

Haven’t these “experts” heard of direct messaging, texting or instant messaging? This was worse than a convention of Shriners or Republicans. At least they couldn’t reach the innocent through social media… yet.

Did any of those tweets add value or share real insight? I don’t mind if  want to tweet their own personal peccadilloes to their followers. I can ignore those. I just wish they wouldn’t jam up a conference, chat or topic channel with inanity. And hopefully they’ll still be my friend or “like” me even after calling them out for poor practices.

There, I’ve said it. The convulsions have eased up for now. I feel way better getting that off my chest.

Ironically, there was lots of great information about #SXSW on many social media channels. It’s too bad the good stuff gets overwhelmed by the dross.

Let’s remember the fundamentals of social media: listen carefully, engage appropriately, share wisely, and most important, add value to the conversation.

Some day, some very smart geek is going to invent a filter for inane social media conversations. And he or she is going to be very rich!

How about you? Tired of Twitter twaddle and social media misbehavior too?

You can find many more PR and social media resources at The PR Coach website. Check out our PR Library with 7000 free resources and our PR Bookstore too.

Photo credit: Harvey Dogson via Flickr

Author:  Jeff Domansky is Editor, The PR Coach

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