Social media now has four detested words. They get a bad rap because of widespread overuse, but there are good examples, too.
1. News-jacking. Also called real-time marketing, this trend came of age during the 2013 Super Bowl when a power outage prompted a fabulous tweet about Oreo cookies. It said, “Power out? No problem,” under a graphic featuring a cookie next to the words: “You can still dunk in the dark.” This tweet set the standard for real-time marketing that many brands have tried and failed to emulate.
Top rule: Never advertise during a natural disaster. (We’re looking at you, Gap. Who goes clothes shopping in a hurricane?)
2. Clickbait. You can’t blame people for hating clickbait (Web content that is aimed at generating online advertising revenue). Because it has come to signify bait-and-switch, it is now despised. However, clickbait remains appealing. Buzzfeed and Upworthy are masters of attraction because they offer content that people want to see. The key to positive clickbait is not making false promises. If your content is real and entertaining, post it proudly.
3. Viral anything. “Going viral” entered the lexicon a few years ago and now is wildly overused—especially when a company is shilling its products or services. If you’d like something to “go viral,” ask yourself if there’s a compelling story you can tell that others might feel compelled to share.
4. Selfies. When they flood people’s feeds, they can be annoying. The problem is frequency. If all your business posts consist of people simply smiling at the camera, your customers will get bored. Try a little humor. Tell a little story.
— Adapted from “These Hated Social Media Tactics Can Benefit Your Business,” Hootsuite.