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 Facebook.com ( 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!