The Top 4 Social Media Penalties

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By Julia Prior

With the Super Bowl this afternoon, don’t find yourself committing a social media penalty. Here are the top four.

Illegal Formation: A tweet that has more than 140 characters, more than 3 hashtags or is too vague for the average person to comprehend.

Messaging is key on social media platform, but so is execution. It takes skill and strategy to communicate and contextualize your message in a quick, engaging and thoughtful manner.

Offsides: Retweeting a story you haven’t fully read. Always do your research and get the back story, and don’t just share things because the people you follow are sharing it.

What if there’s a point in the story that your company doesn’t fundamentally agree with? Read, research and strategize before sharing or posting anything. I cannot stress this enough.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Also known as trolling. Purposely commenting, posting or tweeting in a way to elicit a negative reaction from others and either de-rail a current discussion topic or to bring attention to your own brand by hijacking your competitor’s community. This can also be exhibited by brands who use hashtags and topics in their tweets to show up in trending searches.

Just don’t. It’s poor form, and frankly it’s very rude. You wouldn’t drop into a conversation in real life and immediately change the subject to yourself, so don’t do it online.

Helmet – to – Helmet Collision: Attempting to address and resolve a customer complaint directly in a public forum. If a customer takes to social media with a complaint, offer to contact them privately to discuss, either through a Twitter direct message, email, or even better, a phone call. Always offer your information first. Example:


Morton’s addresses the customer directly, in a timely manner (this replay was time stamped only 3 hours after the original comment was made) and offered another medium to hear additional grievances, with the promise to look into the issue.



Power Outage: Going dark and not posting for an extended period of time.

Social media is a relationship tool. You wouldn’t neglect any of your other relationships for an extended period of time, would you?


What do you think the biggest social media penalties are?


What Are Professional Manners?

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By: Neli Tokleh (Account Coordinator)

The term “Professional Manners” is thrown around a lot in office culture, but many people overlook every day taboos that are anything but professional. Employers strive to set a good example of professionalism for their staff, but how can one position these traits? Sarah Doyle Lynch, corporate coach and consultant, visited our office recently to share some concrete guidelines for establishing a professional atmosphere. Here are some tips she shared with us that could work for any office environment:

  • Be social. Have lunch with a co-worker to get to know the other person better and perhaps learn some new insight. Instead of sitting at your desk scratching your head, speak up and ask for help on assignments. It’s also important to provide continual updates to your boss and other team members.
  • Stay positive. Monday mornings may be a drag, but check your negative attitude at the office door. Keep up a positive attitude. Who knows: If you find ways to stay happy at work, others might just follow your lead! Also, keep office gossip and ranting out of your conversations with clients and bosses.
  • Personal versus professional relationships. Sometimes we have a tendency to get too buddy-buddy with our co-workers. How can you not overstep the professional boundary? Set the rules. You want to be there for your team at all times when it comes to business, but don’t feel obligated if you pass up a happy hour invite with them.
  • Think before you speak. If you have something serious to tell someone, ask them to come into your office to talk privately. Keep those comments out of the social scene where others may accidentally eavesdrop.
  • Consider your hygiene and personal appearance. Like it or not, your appearance at work will be judged by others in the office. There’s no such thing as being too professionally dressed. Consider small factors such as neatly pressed clothes, clean shoes and clothing that fits your body type. Your personal health should not be overlooked either. If you are truly sick and contagious, stay home. No one wants to catch your cold.
  • Be respectful. Whether you are talking to an intern or the CEO, they all deserve the same level respect. 

What does professionalism mean to you?

Connect with Sarah on Linked In.