12 Most Annoying Social Media Habits

12 Most Annoying Social Media Habits

Of course, the greatest social media sin is to be uninteresting; here are some things you can do to be downright annoying.

1. Posting too often

This is defined as “more than anybody wants” and that can vary, depending on the relevance of your posts to your audience. Not sure if you’re posting too often? Ask some trusted friends and colleagues offline.

2. Posting too close together

Not the same as the above. You may have very interesting posts but if they all come at once, you clog up the feed. Don’t tweet every 10 seconds. Space them out.

3. Being cryptic

Posts like “This bites” with no explanation are a waste of everyone’s time. No guessing games, please.

4. Using the wrong voice

Who’s speaking? Is it you personally? Is it the character of the brand?  A post from Universal Widget Corporation like “I have some great advice for you” next to the company logo confuses the reader. Who the heck is “I?”

5. Mixing business and personal

If you’re posting on your company’s Facebook page, don’t put pictures of your kids or your dog, and certainly don’t use them as your company’s profile picture even if you own the company. You’re at work now; leave home at home.

6. Posting long, messy URLs

Don’t post links like http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/17/dining/ice-cream-favorites-grow-up-a-good-appetite.html?_r=1&ref=dining   It’s like leaving your laundry on the couch when company comes over; nobody wants to look at all that clutter. Use a URL shortener like bit.ly; the URL above could have been http://nyti.ms/rpeMLh … much neater.

7. Begging for friends and fans

Posts like “please like us!” and “c’mon, we need 500 fans!” and “please retweet” are self-serving. Post things that are useful to readers and they will like you.

8. Not putting your profile picture out there

Nobody’s going to talk to someone with a bag over his head.

9. Guilting people into posting

“Make this your status for the next hour: find a cure for cancer now; bet you won’t do it” is tiresome. Of course people want to find a cure for cancer, but they won’t do it on Facebook.

10. Being wrong

Check your facts before posting, especially if you’re not an expert in the field you’re posting about.

11. Being inane

“Chocolate cake is good.” Okaaaay…

12. Being a bully

Your political views are your business, and a lively discussion can be enjoyable. But don’t call people idiots or think that the only valid viewpoint is the one you hold.
In short, think before you post, and understand what your audience is looking for. If not, it will go away and you may not even know it.

Featured image courtesy of the Italian voice licensed via creative commons.

Kim Phillips


Kim Phillips is the founder of Lucid Marketing and author of the Lucid at Random blog.  With over 30 years of experience in corporate advertising for a major financial institution, sales and marketing, Kim provides clients with marketing communication strategies, branding, content management and creative services.  She is a teacher and speaker, and she finds time for musings and the occasional rant on her personal blog. 

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@12most I've been guilty of a couple lately, need to change that! Thx for sharing the post :-)


Good stuff, Kim! I can't stand #9. Newsflash, when your status goes viral and people start seeing it all over the place, it diminishes the authenticity of your message! Also, #7 grates on my nerves for a similar reason. If you want "Liked," be likable! Ice never "liked," "shared," "retweeted." or "+1'd" anything because someone asked me to. I do it because I find value in it! Thanks for the post!


Cryptic posts are good if done well.

The thing I unfollow for most often is too much self-promotion, 'buy my book' or 'visit my blog'. Once in a while is fine but several times a day? No thanks!

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

and... tweeting from two accounts, asking me to follow each, then tweeting the exact. same. thing. from each.

stab me in the eyes right now.


Kim i love your post and my favorite is #12 - bully, i have better name for them "TROLL", hurts them the most! Anyhow i would add one more, i think is time people stop doing auto DM on twitter coz really nobody reads or react to them, waste of time only gift that i give them straight when I see auto DM starting with "thanks for following pls like my facebook page and download my free ebook that was just publish in november 2009" is a click on unfollow button. Well if someone really needs to use AUTO DM which is really MUST NOT DO IT, then at least let them change 2009 in 2011 :)

Great Post!

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Being inane.. or overly random? Cake is good so I don't mind that, unless that's all I see along with cryptic poems and platitudes that are gibberish, please 'follow me here' begging and linkbait pandering and weather reports that have little to do with me. And #5 - moderation. We want to deal with humans right, not brands; we want people, not logos as avatars. People have personal lives so limit it; believe me I keep personal and professional separate but still find ways to act human, be 'social' once in a while too. FWIW.


I guess if you wonder if you're posting too often, you probably are, huh? I bet I am guilty of that one. No. 2 can be solved with the Buffer extension on Chrome. I don't know if you've used it, but it spreads out your posts. It works well for someone like me who tends to jump online, read a bunch of posts, comment on and/or share a bunch of posts, and then jump back offline. In other words, I use social media in spurts, so I needed something to help spread out my Tweets. I think it works well. I don't know. I guess I should be asking you guys!


Just great information - more delicious than cake! Cryptic posts just KILL me. Why post your inner monologue? If your posts are harder than Sudoku to understand, I pause to wonder, "Why?" - - and then I go looking for some other nonsense. Thanks for the great advice!

PaulBiedermann moderator

Lots of terrific stuff here, Kim! Your #7 is becoming a pet peeve of mine — too many businesses ask to follow, like and RT, as if they are the center of our universe and we should care.

It all begins with great content and engagement, the rest will follow.


Aw, c'mon, Kim. Don't you need reminders sometimes that cake is good? I know I do...I got up from my desk today and couldn't remember what I was doing by the time I got out of my office! :)

Your pointers are very good - the long URL thing is a good one to point out. I'd also advise people to make sure the links you post to Twitter are live. Right now the bit.ly shortener does not include an http: at the beginning, which means the link will not work. I learned that one the hard way. I have also learned the hard way that people like it if the link you preview is the same one you link them to!

Great post! :)