Home > PR and social media > Don’t be a Social Media Stooge

Don’t be a Social Media Stooge


Growing up watching the Three Stooges (in reruns of course, I’m not that old) there was one plot that always confused me. Where the Stooges need to behave like gentlemen for one evening. The  episode always invariably ends in an all out food fight.

While it made me laugh every time, I always wondered why it was so hard to simply not be a Stooge for one short period of time.

Moe, Larry and Curly had already done the hard part, they learned which fork to use at the fancy dinner – something I’m still unsure of – they dressed up in the right clothes, they greeted the men and women properly. They are almost home free, but then…well, you know how it ends.

All they had to avoid was the huge mistake. They could have made a dozen small mistakes and no one would have blamed them. But, they just couldn’t avoid making the big and obvious Stooge-like error.

In social media there are already countless examples of people that have done the hard part, in this case, committing to establishing an online personality, targeting the right people to follow, building a following, But, then often in less than 140 characters they throw that pie across the table and it’s all over.

The pie throw can come in many forms.

  •  A company ignores criticism from a special interest group and tries to manage the feedback by deleting posts etc. STOOGES.
  • An employee calls in sick to work and posts that they are playing hooky. MOE-like.
  • Posting that you are going away on vacation and that your alarm system is broken. LARRY’ish.
  • Too much. Revealing too much information…posting too much…self-promoting too much…complaining too much…too much of anything is too much like SHEMP
  • Posting a video on your private blog that you don’t want your professional network to see. Very CURLY

But in every case it was avoidable and Stooge-like. Most people can overlook a number of small mistakes, but just don’t make the big mistake.

There are countless, blogs, articles, books, presentations etc. regarding the rules of social media. The point, like many topics on this blog, is that social media isn’t hard, so keep the guidelines simple. Any one of the following will do:

  • Post like your mother is going to see it
  • Don’t say anything via social media that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face
  • Think before you Tweet
  • Tweet onto others as you would have them Tweet onto you
  • And, finally, don’t be a Social Media Stooge; Don’t throw the pie
If you still have any questions regarding what to do and what not to do on social media see 30 Things You Should Not Share on Social Media by Jeff Bullas.

Photo from here
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  1. May 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Great post, Paul– plenty of food for thought in the digital age! It’s sad but true that less and less of our lives can be considered “private” on social media. However, much can be said about using common sense and avoiding being a Stooge to your point.

  2. May 23, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Got post. I like the Stooges angle and the shout out to Shemp.

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