My company often posts really bad social media posts. It is not opinion based, these are objectively bad posts that consistently contain : typos, poorly cropped pictures and overall nonsense.

The problem is that I know exactly who writes these posts, it's a very nice person that has been here a long time and that everyone likes (myself included). Unfortunately, being a nice human doesn't make you a good community manager.

We are a fairly small company, so maybe management doesn't know how damaging this is to our image. I'm pretty sure they regularly check these posts, but apparently they are satisfied with them. Should I bluntly report what I think about it ?

Note that my role at the company has nothing to do with our social media handles, which is why I'm reluctant to give my opinion on something that has nothing to do with my field.

Edit - "overall nonsense" includes :

  • Grammatically incorrect sentences
  • Images that have nothing to do with the topic of the post
  • Random hashtags in the middle of the post
  • Report...to whom? – Sourav Ghosh Apr 11 '19 at 13:55
  • To this person's manager I suppose. – worried-worker Apr 11 '19 at 13:57
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    I've been in a similar position. Once we were asked to provide examples of marketing slogans but written up as though they were code from various programming languages (the campaign was targeted at people in the tech industry). We did this, and then the marketing guys "tweaked" them. The results made no sense as code. We flagged this and were told by management that they found it "more humanising" and preferred the incorrect versions They ended up getting ridiculed by the tech people who saw them, but that's incidental, the point is the management might want this more homely, human approach. – delinear Apr 11 '19 at 15:12
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    @JoeStrazzere I think you should expand this comment into an answer because, amazingly, there are no answers along the lines of "uhh.. no, obviously you shouldn't" which would be the only correct answer here – Alex M Apr 11 '19 at 21:10

There are two things to be mentioned here:

  1. Even though you are not directly in-charge or associated with the PR, obviously how the organization is pictured in public affects your stance as an employee. You have the rights to come up with any suggestions that can improve the company image, overall.

    So, there is nothing wrong in providing suggestions to improve. How much they will be useful, that only time can tell.

  2. Remember, the problem is with the content of those posts, not with the person posting them. Make sure that

    • You don't appear to be passing on a judgement or trying to do a quality-check. Be sure to emphasis the negative effects the faults will have, not try to zero-in on the faults.
    • Your approach does not sound like a complain against one person, but provide suggestions to improve.

And yes, please do not use words like "nonsense", "garbage" etc. Use more formal-sounding words like "hard to read", "difficult to understand", "conveys a wrong message" etc.

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The most effective person to raise them to would probably be the manager of the person writing the posts (since you said you're a small company this should be acceptable; I wouldn't advise this in a larger company). Don't raise it as "X isn't doing their job properly, you should discipline them!", but more as "You should probably take a look at our social media posts, because they have XYZ bad features (e.g. typos, badly cropped images, etc)". The manager is probably the best person to be in the position to train, mentor, or otherwise fix the problem.

Don't add your own opinion (e.g. "our social media posts are awful", etc.). First of all, your opinion isn't really important. Secondly, if you give an overly negative review, you could risk the job of the community manager, or even yourself (as coming off as overly critical of others). Just say the things that are unambiguously true and leave your opinion out.

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Note that my role at the company has nothing to do with our social media handles, which is why I'm reluctant to give my opinion on something that has nothing to do with my field.

You should be reluctant, you're on thin ice from the start because of this.

My suggestion is to ignore whatever "overall nonsense" means and mention only the objective stuff (typos + badly cropped pictures).

Who you report it to will depend on the dynamics of the company and the personality of the author of the posts.
Having no other info, I'd address him/her directly first with only typos and point out that Microsoft Word will flag those (both spelling and grammar).

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    What if "overall nonsense" literally means just that - that the contents of the post literally do not make sense? – 520 says Reinstate Monica Apr 11 '19 at 16:04
  • @520 Just because they don't make sense to the OP doesn't mean that they don't make sense to the author... when you address these issues it can become an, "Oh, I don't think people will take it that way. They'll know that I meant..." Spelling and grammar mistakes on the other hand are specific improvements that will help. This is a small company and we are talking about a generally liked employee, so it is best to tread carefully and stick to 'facts' – J. Chris Compton Apr 11 '19 at 16:31
  • Okay, but we haven't actually seen any output so we can't 'stick to facts' on what the output is like, we only have OP's word to go on. 'nonsensical' can mean that the OP didn't understand it but it could also mean that the writer is writing in completely broken sentences, self-contradicts, veers completely off-topic (TBF this can be perfectly fine if done well and with purpose - have you seen the Sonic the Hedgehog twitter page?), all sorts of things. – 520 says Reinstate Monica Apr 12 '19 at 8:17
  • @520 sorry for the late response, but "stick to facts" meant things that are objective instead of subjective. Grammar and spelling mistakes are not subjective, so I wrote stick to 'facts'. I do grant your point that intentional spelling and grammar mistakes in social media can be intentional and achieve a purpose. However, those are still objectively wrong, even if you (subjectively) feel that you should (intentionally) make those mistakes to achieve some specific purpose. – J. Chris Compton Jun 19 '19 at 16:11

Why do you wish to report this to management? If you want to improve the quality of the posts, it would be quickest to talk to the person who's creating them. Going by your description, this person is quite approachable.

When you do give feedback - offer up examples of others posts on a similar subject. This removes your own opinion from consideration, and makes it much easier for another person to accept your inputs. And based on how the conversation goes, offer to proof-read.

Reporting something of this nature will create more problems than solutions.

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If you want to help this person that writes the posts then speak directly to them regarding typos and grammatical errors. You can point out these errors to this person so that they can hopefully correct them. "Poorly cropped pictures" and "overall nonsense" are definitely not things that you should be bringing up to this person as those are judgement calls for their manager.

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You may give suggestions like, "This image seems more relevant to the subject" and go on to explain why it is relevant.

If the person has room for improvement he will take your suggestions in a positive way.

It is quite possible he may be in need of help with the posts but hesitant in asking. Your input in that case would be welcomed.

As mentioned in the other answers guard your choice of words so that you don't sound condemning.

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