12 Most Simple Social Media Mistakes We All Make

12 Most Simple Social Media Mistakes We All Make

 
 
The lightning pace at which information moves across the social web lends itself to the eventual mistake. So does human nature.

Take the opportunity to put these unpleasant, wish-you-never-made-them, social media mistakes behind you for good.

1. Putting quantity over quality

Content matters. Quality matters. Conversation matters. Make quality your focus, not the quantity of content you put out.

2. Being reactive instead of “active”

While it is important to reply to inquiries and thank people for mentions, it is a mistake if it is all that you do. Strive to actively seek out others and create conversation in and around their content. Show that you care by paying attention to where they are and what they are talking about.

3. Posting without a strategy or plan

Posting without a social media strategy is similar to tossing content at a wall and hoping it sticks. It is a waste of time and will find you throwing away valuable time, resources and money. Take the time to write down your goals, integrate those goals into your overall marketing plan and create daily tasks that move you towards those goals.

4. Using automated direct messages

Whether you manage an active business account or a personal account with the occasional mention, being “on” at all times is a challenge. This makes automating certain tasks very tempting. One of these tasks is thanking new followers. We have all received that auto direct message encouraging us to “find them on Facebook, download their latest e-book or buy their latest product on Amazon.” Not only are these messages spammy, but they also discourage people from interacting with you going forward. Bottom line: thank whom you can, as often as you can and do it genuinely.

5. Posting without proofreading

Have you fallen victim to the hastily posted message riddled with misspellings? Blame auto-correct all you want, but it’s your reputation that fails in the end. Take two extra minutes to proof your message before hitting “send” and immortalizing those words online forever.

6. Posting while tired or inebriated

Anytime your thought process is impaired, posting should be avoided. Take a step back and think before you post or better yet — put your computer or mobile device away and avoid a potentially disastrous moment altogether.

7. Asking for a RT every time

At the beginning of Twitter’s history it was common practice to end a tweet by asking for a retweet. The landscape and usage of Twitter has vastly changed since then and asking for a retweet in every tweet is a mistake. If users find your content interesting, they will retweet it.

8. Stretching yourself too thin

This one is for anyone who just can’t say no. Whether it’s to the latest and greatest tool or a pet project, taking on too much can leave anyone worn out and weary. As nice as it would be to be everywhere at all times, it is an impossible objective. Streamline your focus and simplify your social media. Take on only what pushes you closer to your goals.

9. Spamming your fans and followers

Creating conversation and engaging with your fans and followers is what social media is all about. Sending spammy messages that take advantage of the trust placed in you is not. Blasting promotional links will only alienate you and your business from the very consumers you are attempting to reach. Just don’t do it.

10. Letting fear hold you back

Don’t be afraid to take a stand and find your voice on social media. Fear can be debilitating as you over-think what to post, when to post and how it should or should not be said. While you should pay close attention to how your message is received, it’s difficult to create your own unique voice if your posts feel generic and stale. This is not to say that you have to throw caution to the wind, only to say that trying out a new approach or tactic every once in a while won’t hurt. You might be pleasantly surprised how those around you respond.

11. Writing a novel with every post

We all have verbose friends. You know who they are — the ones with posts that say “click here to read more.” If you happen to be one of those “friends,” know that not every post needs to win a Pulitzer and not every tweet needs to max out the character limit. Sometimes the best posts are short and sweet. Make an extra effort to condense down your thoughts and share in a clear and concise way.

12. Diluting the power of #FollowFriday

The practice of Follow Friday is a great way to show appreciation to those who have either been following you, or you yourself have been following. The mistake often made is using the #FollowFriday hashtag to randomly tweet out hundreds of names without any apparent connection or forethought whatsoever.

Instead, choose to use #FF as a way to showcase specific people that have made an impact on you both personally and professionally. Share their traits and strengths with your followers in a way that encourages others to then follow.

Which simple social media mistake have you made? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Featured image courtesy of CarbonNYC licensed via Creative Commons.

Rebekah Radice

http://rebekahradice.com/

Rebekah is the CEO of Rebekah Radice LLC, a digital marketing agency assisting business owners in the creation and execution of an integrated online strategy. Rebekah has been actively involved in the marketing industry for over 17 years and is eager to put her experience, innovative ideas and keen sense of "what works," to work for you!

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28 comments
Wade Harman
Wade Harman

Another great post Rebekah!  I don't comment that often but I thought I would pop in and say that I love the one about spamming your followers.  We've got to find other people's stuff to share as well as our own.  There is always someone out there that has a better viewpoint on your topic.  The only thing I don't do that a lot of "high profile" social users do is post those pretty pictures.  Lol, instead I just curate content from people like you.

lisabuben290
lisabuben290

Love this Rebekah! I tweeted once very tired (as your #6 mentions) and it was not pretty with errors. At least we can delete but still not a good thing to do. I can also be guilty of #8. It's hard to say NO. #5 I learned too many times and use a spellcheck now each time. Even after updating. Awesome tips to share! 

wheremegclaire
wheremegclaire

This was a really great list and I indentify with the majority of them, however I have been finding my way over the last few months after just recently launching my travel blog from a private to public one :) 

I do however still send out autotweets to say thankyou for following me, and I've actually had a lot of success with them - the majority of people following me at the moment have been doing so beacuse I've followed them first and have been able to write a DM straight back and we have connected in that way.  I've been having the debate with a few people about it, because I know that people have very strong feelings about it but I figure I will keep it going until it's not working for me personally anymore.

Really great post - I'll be sure to RT tonight :D

Meg

http://whereintheworldismeganclaire.tumblr.com/

DLowbridge
DLowbridge

Number 12 is a particularly good point. I am not someone who likes the #ff and the long lists of people with no reason. If you want to showcase someone make a point of it. Each week I choose 1 person to tell people to follow and always explain why.

Lola Garcia
Lola Garcia

My name is Lola García, I would like to know if you would let me translate into Spanish this post for our blog, naming the source and with a link to this page, of course.  Thanks for this fantastic post.

Elaine_Fogel
Elaine_Fogel

Here's one more, Rebekah...not responding to those who comment on your blog. BTW, I noticed how well you do this. :)

Jenny Sawyer
Jenny Sawyer

Mistake #13 (or is is it Newbie Mistake #1?):  Limiting your social media engagement to Facebook and Twitter!

BradShorr
BradShorr

These are all excellent points, Rebekah. Automated messages are my SM pet peeve -- they are completely contradictory to the spirit of social media communication, in addition to being incredibly annoying. One of my problems is spreading myself too thin. Recently I deleted my Facebook account and that has helped a great deal. 

TLBurriss
TLBurriss

Thanks for the reminders of failures we could do, if we did not pay attention.

funkygoddessirl
funkygoddessirl

Great tips, I hate getting automated dms saying thanks! I usually don't click on link sent with it lol

kulls2
kulls2

Really true things you have noted down here. Specially the points 6,7,9 and 10. Spamming and writing a novel is the best thing people do to irritate friends on social media

I loved it.

www.letsnurture.com

GhostbloggerMarie
GhostbloggerMarie

7, 9 and 11 are also pet peeves for me.  12 shared new information and that is always a great thing to have happen! 8 is a subject I've blogged about myself.  This is the second time I've come across one of your posts, Rebekah, and I've really enjoyed them!  Thanks for sharing.

biggreenpen
biggreenpen

This was a great list (and as much as I joked around about dreading it b/c I was afraid I would recognize myself, it left me feeling a little more confident in the choices I am making, actually!). I would add that a mistake I have made is not seeking out a face-to-face connection with one of my social media contacts when it would have benefited both of us --- there are some things that are just better said in person; there are some connections that are worth the time it takes to seek out a coffee, a lunch, or a handshake. Great post!

susansilver
susansilver

#6 is one that I remember every day. When I see typos or realize that my thinking is impaired, I put away the computer candy. Lack of consistency is a small price to pay for a stupid PR mistake. Don't stir up trouble. 

PaulBiedermann
PaulBiedermann moderator

Great post as usual, Rebekah! All important points — I think #10 is what holds a lot of people back when beginning in social media but then gives them new life once they loosen up a bit and simply “relate” to people. 

I think many of us have a little teacher’s voice in the backs of our heads that says “do this” and “don’t do that” which leads to grammatically correct but stilted writing — the key is writing “correctly” but loosening up enough to speak like a human and let people in.

jenjarratt
jenjarratt

Thank you, Rebekah. It's good to be reminded of how we ought to behave even if we don't always live up to these standards.

It's strange, and I never thought of it before, but being on in? social media is rather like being at a continuous party where new people are continually getting their first impressions of you and you have to try and live up to your own ideals of yourself.

Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice

@BradShorr Wow - you completely dumped Facebook? Impressive! If its not working towards a greater goal and contributing to your bottom line then I say more power to you!

Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice

@kulls2 Writing a novel is definitely a deterrent, especially in today's world where everyone is moving at such a rapid pace. People want to be able to scan and move on.

Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice

@biggreenpen Excellent point about getting face-to-face. It's just as important to build relationships online as it is to take those offline. I'm always amazed at how one meeting can completely shift a relationship from good to great!

Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice

@susansilver I agree 110% Susan! When I notice I'm making too many misspellings, I know it's time to close up the computer for the night!

Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice

@PaulBiedermann So well said Paul! Stilted is exactly how many people feel when it comes to social media conversation. I love the thought of a teacher sitting on our shoulder telling us what we should and should not say. It definitely holds many of us back and keeps us from finding that comfortable groove. Opening up and loosening up as you said are key!

Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice

@jenjarratt That's so true Jen! It's a never-ending networking party and what we say and how we say is a direct reflection of our personal brand. No one is perfect and we'll never live up to all of these all of the time, but we can aspire to be a better "social" version of ourselves every day! :)

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