Facebook Hoaxes – Tempting But Pointless

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/racingc2/public_html/selectivesocialmedia/wp-content/plugins/q-and-a/inc/functions.php on line 252

“A lie gets halfway around the world before
the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
– Winston Churchill

Let’s say one thing upfront: Facebook is not (and should not) be known for their interest in protecting your personal information. While it does offer a handful of tools, and finding the privacy setting you need is not the most intuitive.


facebook hoaxBut it’s that very confusion that makes us so receptive when a Friend voices a concern and gives you a specific set of instructions in order to overcome FB’s evil secret strategy to trick you into sharing details of your personal life with the public.

When your friend posts a warning about something, it’s most often something they diligently copy/pasted in a post, as they were instructed to do when they first viewed the warning from one of their friends.  Then you post it to your friends, and soon millions of FB users are aware of the issue, thanks in part to you – and you feel good about yourself. The problem is, the warning is bogus.


Most often, these posts don’t include links or promotion of a page, web site, or company, and no reference to Russian brides or Nigerian royalty. There’s nothing to indicate that the post is anything other than your friend conscientiously managing their privacy, and helping you to do the same.

But look again. Some signs that the post is bogus include:

  • The post is not written using the ‘normal’ language of your friend – this suggests they copy/pasted it (though likely not trying to be sneaky).
  • The post includes a warning – this urges us to read all the way through.
  • The post instructs us to somehow act upon the warning – this could be a prompt for a ‘like’ or repost, an adjustment to your settings, etc.
  • Instructions to ‘share this with as many people as possible’ – This one’s the real ‘gotcha’, and the biggest sign that the message is a hoax.

One more way to unveil a hoax is to copy a sentence of the post and do a search on Google (surround your snippet with quotes in order to find the exact phrase). Your results may lead you to a number of hoax-busting sites where you can discover the full story.

We will continue to be lured in by these tempting posts, and when we discover that we were tricked, we’ll kick ourselves for not knowing better.  And then we’ll get suckered again… Just try to find solace in the fact that you’re doing your best to be diligent AND that you’re not the only sucker!



Using Social Media To Date A Celebrity?

Football season is over, so there’s no reason to talk about Broncos quarterback, Tim Tebow, right?

WRONG! He’s now the subject of a social media exercise that we can all learn from. Airman Jamie Walden has taken to

YouTube to convince the Broncos quarterback to be her date for the 2012 military ball.

“Tim Tebow, will you be my date to the 2012 Military Ball, my first-ever military ball,” Walden says in the video.”I would be the luckiest and happiest girl if you were to say yes and be my date. So please say yes.”

After watching the video, take a look at the cues of this social media campaign, and see what really got traction for her.

  • Tebow Date Google ResultsCreating a simple campaign slogan that can be used as a tag. Say yes, Tim.
  •  Transparency. The public is a sucker for an honest story (especially a fairytale) that comes from the heart.
  • It leverages the celebrity factor (remember Obama Girl?)
  • In emphasizing the phrase, ‘Say yes Tim’ she’s created a simple tag or hash that lends itself to social media shares, retweets, etc.
  • Great leverage in the viral factor- thousands of shares in the internet and social media. Google returns 607,000 results for the phrase ‘Tebow military ball’ Now being discussed everywhere from Twitter (especially the ‘Say yes’ refrain) to ESPN, to Huffington Post, and even major news networks.
  • Social media can be used to get the attention of celebrities, politicians, or those who we would otherwise not have access to.
  • Being an attractive female never hurts (is that wrong to say out loud?)

As with many successful social media campaigns, Airman Walden’s message has extended extended beyond the boundaries of social media. For example, she was invited to appear on Fox News, where she could emphasize her full intent of the campaign, and promote the honor of the military members in her region.

Now we’re just waiting for Tim’s response. What do you think – Should he go?

Examples Of Jet Blue And Home Depot Engaging Market Via Social Media

People can and do use social media tools to say anything, regardless of truth.  This fact horrifies some companies, yet others embrace social media to engage any conversation about them or their products.

Here’s a link to an interesting article contrasting the style of social media engagement between two large corporations.   The discussions the article refers to took place on Facebook, but similar responses might have been made on Twitter.  Read the article here.

What types of social media conversations could you leverage to support your selective social media strategy?