5 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid
I love articles and blog posts telling me what NOT to do. I always read them with a little trepidation, hoping I’m not making the mistakes the writers are warning me about. But it’s also a good way to learn.
I’d much rather learn from someone else’s mistakes than my own!
Avoid the Self-Congratulatory Tweet
Self-promotion isn’t a bad thing—in moderation. You probably know someone who only talks about themselves or their kids, no matter what the conversation is about. The more times this person raves about how wonderful they are or their child is, the less likely you are to listen (and to believe them). The same thing goes for your online marketing.
If you just won a great award, or your story was published on the front page of the New York Times, by all means, shout it from the rooftops! Good news is fun to share. Just be sure you aren’t saturating your social media outlets with your good news. It’s always nice to let others speak for you.
If someone tweets about something you do or why they think you’re great, make sure that you thank them in a retweet with comment, but avoid retweeting without any humbling context or word of gratitude. —FastCompany.com
Avoid Bad Tweet Timing
About a year ago Kenneth Cole pushed “send” on an unfortunate tweet that caused a digital uproar. The fashion designer said ”Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online.” Ouch. Timing was everything (wrong) with this message, which was sent during the dawn of the Arab Spring; it came off as crass rather than triumphant. —FastCompany.com
Yikes! I’m very happy to learn this lesson from Kenneth Cole than from my own mistake. You never want to fall prey to the hashtag #toosoon. Staying sensitive to others, especially in a time of national or international crisis, is important—especially if your followers and clients are going through the turmoil. Forgetting your filter is an easy way to make enemies.
Avoid Too Much Automation
There are a few people I follow on Twitter and I notice that every one of the tweets comes from HootSuite. These people are scheduling their tweets—and they’re continuous! Before I even knew what HootSuite was I was thinking “How in the world are these people tweeting so much!?” Then I wised up.
Scheduling your Tweets means you are constantly showing up on peoples’ twitter feeds. Which is what they want. But when I see the HootSuite logo show up, I know that person isn’t present. We can’t all be tweeting all the time, but don’t underestimate the power of an unscheduled tweet!
Avoid Offensive Comments
You can’t undo anything you do on the Internet, and with one offensive remark or comment, you can lose many, many followers and friends.
According to a December 2011 Nielsen McKinsey survey, the number one reason Facebook users, for example, remove friends is due to offensive comments. While the digital space welcomes healthy debate, it’s not so kind to rudeness. —FastCompany
I recently unfriended someone who kept leaving inappropriate (read: dirty and insensitive) comments on my Facebook page. I remember in one instance I posted that I was going to a board meeting for a nonprofit I am involved with. She wrote something that offended me and I didn’t want the other board members to see, since I had tagged the organization. I felt this person was making me look bad to others, and I was ashamed. So I unfriended her and never looked back.
In another instance, I saw that one of my small business friends was complaining about one of her clients on Twitter. I quickly shot her a message. NEVER complain about your clients on social media sites! It is so easy for them to see it and you will most certainly lose their business.
Avoid the Silent Treatment
I do not follow people on Twitter who are not active, especially if they fail to reply to tweets.
Unless you’re the Dalai Lama (he follows no one, which somehow seems apropos), chances are that your followers will expect more engagement. —FastCompany
Do you have any social media mistakes we should all avoid? By all means, share them in the comments below.