The Seven Deadly Sins of Facebook

Have you ever spoken at a conference or run a meeting and been surprised by the content your audience responds to?

When I spoke at a radio conference last month, it was the Facebook No-No’s that made the audience feverishly take notes. And I was happy to see it, since I see these “sins” committed regularly- from the smallest markets to the largest ones, from both U.S. and international clients.

These sins could incite penalties from Facebook or Arbitron, or may stunt your social media success by alienating listeners. Either way, these seven sins are deadly:

1. Illegal Contesting
What is a Facebook promotion, anyway? It’s any campaign in which you award a prize or select a winner. Facebook’s rules are restricting, spelling out the fact that they don’t want much to do with your contests or promotions. To make sure you aren’t putting your station’s social media efforts in jeopardy, don’t:

  • Use any of Facebook’s features as a requirement for entry. This includes those “Caption this picture”, “Like this” or “Comment on this” contests talent love to post during their air shifts. It also includes station contests that ask listeners to “like our Facebook page” to enter, or giveaways that select Facebook fans at random.
  • Run a Facebook contest without a third party app. To remove the liability from Facebook, you must use an app from ( for example, Involver, Vitrue, WildFire, BuddyMedia) to create a page tab for the contest. This means your contest or promotion will need a budget.
  • Notify winners on Facebook. You can’t contact them using messages, chat or comments.

2. Talking About Ratings
Don’t talk about ratings in any way. It’s against Arbitron’s social media policy. Mentioning your ratings could entice a listener to admit they submitted a panel or diary, which removes their anonymity. This means those sweet “Thanks for making us #1 in the market” posts to listeners aren’t allowed. Know, too, that Arbitron monitors air talent social media accounts in addition to the official station account. Share this policy with your staff to ensure you aren’t penalized for a harmless ratings post.

3. Sounding Desperate
Don’t sound desperate. Studies show that calls to action (asking for likes and comments) produce results, but getting carried away can ruin your brand image and turn listeners off. Vary the copy in your Facebook posts so you aren’t tagging every post with “like this if you…”.

4. Linking Twitter to Facebook
There’s a reason Facebook and Twitter are both independently successful- they’re different! The language is different for each platform, and so is the ideal frequency of posts. If you have your Twitter account linked to Facebook, you may be alienating listeners with hashtags and abbreviations they don’t understand (or welcome- After all, it’s Facebook, not Twitter). You may also be sharing too often on Facebook, as the daily target frequency is more for Twitter than Facebook.

5. Using it as a One-Way Medium
It’s called ‘social’ media because social platforms are designed for two-way interaction. Make sure your team is connecting with listeners and creating conversations around topics. Posting engaging content is only half the battle; you must use that content to establish relationships.

6. Making It All About Likes
Likes are important, but there are other ways to measure your social media success. Track your progress using more than one metric to get a clear picture of your strategy’s results.

7. Making It All About You
Be more interested in engaging with your listeners than selling the station or show to them. Be authentic and focus on the relationship with your listeners. It’s what you can provide them, and not the other way around. Keep your priorities straight and you’ll create appealing content to gain the attention of new listeners, and strengthen relationships with P1s.


Want to make it eight deadly sins? Tell me what I’ve missed in the comments and I’ll add it!

Share this PostShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInEmail to someoneShare on StumbleUpon


  1. Pooky says

    Hi Stephanie, really glad to have found your blog. This is a really interesting post even though I have nothing to do with radio. Many of these points ring true for any type of business using social media.

    Thanks for heading to my blog today. Hope to see you there again soon. I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for your posts!



  2. Richard says

    I’d to make posts exclusive but connected. Make sure that if you are asking the audience to go online you make it worth their while, by offering bonus content etc. Equally, make sure that Facebook refers back to the on-air experience. Do you really want listeners only experiencing the show via social media?

  3. says

    Linking Twitter to Facebook is my weakness. It just makes it so easy to update everything at once. You don’t have to so swap apps or tabs on your computer. After reading this, however, I “unlinked” my accounts after years of them being twinsees. You are right about the two platforms not using the same lingo and it just makes more sense now to separate them. I’m working on creating content for each one. Thanks Steph!

    • says

      It is easier… but like everything else in life, the easiest way isn’t usually the right way. Glad I’ve convinced you to make the most of both platforms! Let me know how it goes.


  4. Bunty says

    Great points about FB, FP! I’ve found one of the biggest fails is the direct sell. ‘This week, tune in to…’ etc. As soon as I post that, I lose likes. I treat it like another on air show, and just entertain, interact and laugh with ‘likers’ . I’ll allude to on air activity as an interesting bit maybe, but the minute I use it to listen or buy, down we go. To me, FB is purely a relationship building tool.

    • says

      Smart that you’re watching the results of different types of posts.

      And you’re GREAT at relationship building! I treasure the friendship we’ve built since last year’s Morning Show Bootcamp.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>