February 19, 2012

The Medium is the Message: Shout Outs on Facebook and Why They Don’t Work

As the admin for a number of local business with Facebook Pages, it is my job to monitor my clients’ wall multiple times a day, not only to respond and engage customers, but to delete any kind of pesky spam. Spam, as we know, is when someone posts something about their product on your wall in an attempt to get you to notice them. Tagging, when done properly, is a friendly way to cross-pollinate two pages and is usually done by companies/groups who have a mutually beneficial relationship, AND when there is something to be said. But much to my chagrin, there has been one company in particular that over the last few months has used the Twitter “shout out” on Facebook wall, and today, I see another company has followed suit. So I have put together some criteria that can help you to know the difference between “tagging” and “spam”.

Spam Looks like this:

I am busy making my dinner, I am so hungry! Evening shout outs to Acme Company ABC Diner Best Vegetable Store

The status has nothing to do with the company being tagged, there are more than one companies being tagged and they are simply listed at the end of the status, sometimes with the words “shout out” before the list. The company doing the shout out is persistent, providing a shout out to the same company weekly.

Tagging looks like this:

I am busy making my dinner with the most amazing arugula I found at Best Vegetable Store, it is going to be so great!

Tagging, while creating a link to that person/page, also makes perfect sense as a sentence, is very specific and incorporated within the sentence and won’t likely happen every week.

Personally, I don’t know why people do shout outs on Twitter. How many of you actually have the time to investigate those people mentioned, especially when the people who do shout outs seem to shout out for all their new followers, or offer up copious tweets amounting to one huge ongoing list of fine folks. Even on Twitter, less is best because it is time consuming and sophisticated users often only set their columns to view specific lists anyhow. But why are shout outs that are done on Twitter not considered spam? Because they run through timelines and don’t sit on the other person’s/company’s profile page.

What should you do if you get unwanted spam on your page? That’s dead easy: in the top-right corner of the post, hover there with your curser until a little “x” shows up. Click on the “x” to “report/mark as spam”. It’s funny, not so long ago, there used to be a second option to “remove post from wall”, some days I wish that option still existed.


  1. Thanks for keeping this article light. It totally makes sense and you’ve convinced me not to spend so much time doing these #ff shoutouts on twitter! It’s true… what is the point? It’s not real interaction and it rarely leads to that.
    I love your points about tagging on facebook too.

    • Thanks, Leslie! It’s good to get feedback :)

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