Friday, 17 August 2012

The Facebook hotseat when it's best not to use a rhetorical title for your FB post

If you are using Facebook to promote your equestrian business (or indeed any business) you do sometimes have to be a little careful with you post titles read on to find out what happened to Dawn of the hugely successful blog Horse and Man when she titled a post rhetorically, it wasn't very nice:

I’m sitting here scratching my head…
The only reason I am relaying this information is as a warning – and perhaps some empathy -  in case any of you find yourself in the FB hotseat.
You see, I posted yesterday’s blog on the Horse and Man Facebook page, as I always do.  But this time, I titled it rhetorically.  The title of the FB post said:
(8/5/12) SHOULD I CALL THE VET? HMMMM… IT DOESN’T LOOK THAT BAD… (PS: Call the vet.) Click here:
And then it showed this photo of Wrigley’s wound from yesterday’s blogpost.

This is the photo that accompanied the rhetorical title of the FB post:; (8/5/12) SHOULD I CALL THE VET? HMMMM… IT DOESN’T LOOK THAT BAD… (PS: Call the vet.) Click here:


I had no idea that not only would no one click on the link and read the post… but they wouldn’t even read the entire title of the FB entry!
Most people just looked at the pic, saw my first sentence and reacted – badly.  They thought I was posting a photo of my horse’s injury and seriously asking FB readers if I should call the vet or not.
Understandably, many of the comments were not pleasant.
And I suppose, if I was actually taking the time to post a photo of my horse’s urgent wound and waiting for responses from strangers on FB to tell me what to do, I perhaps might deserve some backlash…
But I wasn’t… except the way I wrote it and that photo made a large percentage of people get the wrong first impression.
Lesson learned.
I even tried to defend myself as this was happening.   I wrote a few comments in the middle of all of the other comments saying that Wrigley was fine and that I did call the vet and ‘calling the vet’ was what the whole blog was about…!
But, no one read those comments either – or very few did.
So, learn from my error and use FB carefully.  Don’t mistake its power.  It can do great good… and it can also skew information and spread that false info far and wide.


Here are the first several comments.  You can see the pattern.
(I actually wrote back privately to the one woman who called me an IDIOT.  I wanted her to know that she had simply misread the title and probably not clicked through to the linked story…)









Keep is simple, short and easy to understand on FB.
FB is a GREAT communication device and it is a very useful venue – however – when speaking to the masses that only have time for glimpses, it is prudent to be very clearly written.
The other piece I learned is that if people don’t think they know you,  they can be really harsh.
But, more often than not, especially with the Bucket Fund, I’ve seen it go the other way…  the kindness of FaceBook strangers has touched the HORSE AND MAN blog very often and that makes me smile and forget the nasty of today!
Speaking of tomorrow – a new Bucket Fund story is coming!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!

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