Last week, when my colleague posted to one of her groups on LinkedIn, the comment disappeared. Then she noticed that when she posted anything to any of her groups, nothing published. When she clicked on “Your Activity” under her picture in one of her groups, she found that her posts to that group were in “moderation.” After doing a little investigating she discovered that when a moderator feels that someone has posted something that breaks the group’s rules, that moderator can put the member into “moderation.” That wouldn’t be so bad, except that once one moderator does this, nothing that member posts to any of her groups will be published until that group’s moderator allows it. Because so few moderators go through posts marked for moderation. In essence, the member becomes invisible to all of her groups. If my colleague was spamming, this treatment would be deserved. However, her infraction was to put up an interesting article (not written by her) without a “discussion question.” The group requires a “discussion question.” Not a huge infraction, but one that apparently earned the wrath of the moderator.
During that same week, one of my staff posted to one of our client’s walls. We were running a contest (perfectly legal) but the post was worded in such a way that it appeared to have broken the rules. The Facebook Police immediately pounced.
Because these platforms seem so easy to use, we may not always pay a lot of attention to rules. However, since we don’t own the platform, we are bound by the rules – and those rules can change – and can change often.
Even some self-proclaimed “experts” are getting it wrong. I was recently at a seminar given by a “Marketing Guru,” who told the 60-odd people in the room to do something on Facebook that is clearly against Facebook’s recently published rules. The expert was apparently getting away with this tactic – hopefully his audience will too.
There may be remedies for some of these problems. In fact, when my colleague wrote to the moderator of the group that had dinged her, and assured her that she would be more careful to follow the rules, the moderator graciously removed her from “moderation” and her posts are now appearing. Lesson learned. She now carefully reads the rules of the groups she belongs to. As for Facebook, my staff member had to read the regulations and sign that she understood before her account was reactivated.
Because the social networks have become such an integral part of marketing for most of us, keeping out of trouble is very important – especially when you realize that you could be just a few keystrokes away from a life sentence in LinkedIn Jail.