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When Sharing is not a Good Idea

by Randall Craig on July 19, 2013

Filed in: Blog, Blogging, Communication, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Social Media

Tagged as: , , ,

If you have spent any time on Facebook (and now, sadly, LinkedIn), you may have been the victim of over-sharing. You are subjected to pointless, and often narcissistic postings, often from people and organizations that should know better.

While the impact on you is wasted time, the posters often don’t consider the brand impact of their actions: Every posting, comment, picture, or video, tugs the brand in one direction or another.

How do you know if you should share (or post)? Before letting people know what you think, what you’re doing, or what you like, consider these guidelines:

  1. Is the post in line with your overall strategy, or is it an “outlier” that is in conflict with the brand.
  2. If you posted similar items 10 times more often, would you feel that the overall impact was still “in brand”? If not, then why even do the first post?
  3. Is your message a sales pitch? While this may be appropriate in some cases, it can devalue relationships from trust to price.
  4. Are you posting too often or not enough? By making this particular post, are you matching the timing expectations of your audience?
  5. Are you broadcasting, or do you seek engagement? No one likes being shouted at – but most are keen to be asked for their opinion.
  6. Are your posts generating likes, shares, and comments? If not, then your posts don’t resonate: either seek another audience, or say something different.
  7. Would you be embarrassed to see the post in the newspaper or on TV? If you’re a bit uneasy, then make a change to the post, or don’t share it at all.
  8. Are you losing friends or followers after your posts go live? If it is intentional because you’re aiming at a different audience – then not a problem. If it isn’t intentional, then losing friends/followers indicates a lost focus. (Read When users Defect, for more reasons why users may be declining.)

This week’s action plan: Stop wasting your time and unfollow, de-friend, and disconnect from anyone who posts time-wasting comments. Then look at your own – and make the changes necessary so you aren’t the one being dropped.

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Randall Craig

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Randall has been advising on Digital Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of eight books, including Digital Transformation for Associations, the Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business, and Social Media for Business. He speaks and advises on Digital Transformation, Digital Trust, and Social Media. More at

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