Receivable/Accounts - Information for Credit and Collection Issues

Friday, May 10, 2019

Collections & Social Media – Part I – What Not To Do

So, I’m going to be speaking at the National Credit Institute of Canada Conference in June about social media and collections (  This is as good a time as any to have a preliminary discussion leading up to my presentation.

So here’s what not to do …

Don’t Think Writing Content Is Easy

Looking back on my first few blog articles, they were horrible.  Like, really horrible.  They didn’t contain any content of value, links to cited sources or authorities, useful take-away data, or a call to action for readers who liked what they saw.  They were too short, and didn’t have images.

As well, my early blog articles were ‘sales-y’ trying to promote my company, which wasn’t necessary.  If you are an authority (not ‘the’ authority, that’s arrogant), people will come back to read subsequent articles later, and build trust for you as an individual, and maybe if there is a need for you as a brand.

Early blog articles, while horrible, took me hours to write.  I agonized over them.  But writing is like exercising, once you get the hang of it and work out your writing muscles, the articles will come faster and be of better quality.

Read other blogs for inspiration, style ideas, subjects, and length.  Have someone who knows nothing of your work subject critique your articles for style.  Be open to criticism, and you will get better.

Know Your Forum

When I first started engaging on social media, I jumped on some consumer help forums to offer the collection agency’s viewpoint – huge mistake.  Pictures of vultures eating carcasses, violent and threatening private messages, and insults assailed me … even though I was offering helpful advise on how consumers could protect themselves.  Clearly not the forum to engage in.

Remember the readership of Linkedin is wildly different than Facebook.  Remember that in some forums or sites, commentary isn’t moderated or controlled, and understand that your clients, competitors, consumers and employees all can see and comment on your social media content, so be prepared to walk a fine line and address your posts to the audience that will see it.

Don’t’ Forget To Write With Consistency and Frequency

When I first started writing, my first blog post had 12 views (I’m betting 8 were from friends and my mother).  To date, my first blog article only has 240 views after 8 years.  It takes time to build up readership or momentum on who comes and sees your blog.  The best thing you can do to build that is write frequently (I’m currently writing every other week, whether I like it or not, but at one point I was posting twice a week), and write consistent content because your readership expects a certain style and quality from you.

Don’t Write Formally

Sometimes I get on a rant.  I sit at my keyboard and fiercely bang out an article, all the while thinking I sound in my head like the comedian Lewis Black, with spluttering, and yelling and finger pointing (‘you kids don’t know nothing!  Nothing!  In my day …’).  These are often my best received articles.  Because I sound like myself.  Don’t write in a stilted manner, don’t worry about perfect paragraph structure.  Don’t spend too much time polishing and re-writing.  Your best articles are honest articles.

Let’s face it, credit and collections isn’t racing cars or sports casting.  It’s a dry subject most of the time, filled with math and statistics and accounting – don’t add to it by having a dry tone.  Liven it up.  Make it human.  Give an opinion, even if it might be a little unpopular.  Speak like you would to someone at a social gathering who asks ‘what do you do for a living?’.


I could go on further, but I think you get the idea.  Social media is a constantly flowing and changing landscape, and you will make mistakes as you wade into it … just make sure you are prepared to learn, adapt and grow.

If anyone has questions about engaging in social media, especially in the world of credit and collections, by all means drop me a line or an email.

Next blog article, Part II, will be about how the internet is really, really big…

Thanks kindly,

Blair DeMarco-Wettlaufer
KINGSTON Data & Credit
Cambridge, Ontario

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