Social Media Don’ts

We all start somewhere. And since I learn something new every single day, especially in the social space, it stands to reason that after six years of blogging, tweeting and posting I may have learned a thing or two from my own mistakes.

Here are four Social Media Don’ts I happened upon recently:

1. The Professional (LinkedIn) Pick UPHEYGIRL2

This happened. I can not fathom why there are still people out there who think that this is even remotely okay. There are countless dating websites out there, folks. But there are very few social platforms (and only one this big) dedicated solely to business networking. Please, please don’t muddy it by trying to pick up a professional during working hours with a connection request and a cheesy pick up line. Please. Just. Don’t.

2. The Social Media Pro… who isn’t

Whose only tweets are check ins from Foursquare. Yep, came across this one last Wednesday. From a user who has been “giving social media presentations for years.” The only tweets going back for months on his business (not personal) profile are weekly check-ins at airports, bars, restaurants and baseball parks. What does this tell me about his social media presentations? That they’re not worth the price of admission. And please don’t give me that “I don’t have time to do it right with my own small start-up, I’m busy making sure the company I work for is doing it right.” Bullshit. There – I called it. If you are out there speaking about social media in front of audiences filled with people and your own small business has a Twitter profile, then you’d better be active. And by active, I don’t mean tweeting your location, or a picture of the subway sandwich you had for lunch. That, or take it down.

3. Those “The Latest XYZ Social News Is Out!” Tweets

Maybe I’m the only person left on Twitter who doesn’t “get” it, but back in the day I created one of those accounts. It automatically pulled in topics from people I followed. The problem was, it only pulled info. from about three “thought leaders.” So my “newspaper” was filled with 15-20 articles, from the same three people. Lots of great blogs and articles were left out. Maybe I just couldn’t figure out how to build it correctly, but it felt to me like the easy – or lazy – way out. It also auto tweets for you, including twitter handles of these few “thought leaders.” Great. The first few times I was included in one of these, I immediately retweeted it. Then, I started paying more attention. I clicked the link and searched for the article. Here’s what I found: Two or three times out of 10, the article was someone else’s, and the only reason I was listed was because I happened to be the person who retweeted it. The rest of the time? I couldn’t even find the article. I’d spend five minutes digging and then just give up. What a waste of my time! My advice? If you’re going to include an article I’ve written in your newsletter, fantastic! Don’t get me wrong, I’m honored to be included. But, when you do mention me in a tweet, please let me know where to find the article.

Does anyone else feel this way, or is it just me? Maybe I’m on my own with this one. I’d love to hear your take. If I’m wrong, please educate me!

4. cricketsThe Sound of Silence

The purpose of Retweeting other people’s tweets/links is to share great content. That said, one of the things I love about the social space is that it’s so polite. Pleases, Thank Yous and You’re Welcomes are par for the course around here. So it goes without saying (or it should) that when someone takes the time to share your content, you, in turn, should take the time to thank them. When you don’t, it gets noticed. I don’t care if you have 600,000 followers or 600.

 Those two little words go a long way. It’s also extremely important to respond to your followers when they pose a question or leave a relevant comment. When I get nothin’ but crickets from a twitter account I have to wonder who – if anyone – is on the other side. This does not bode well for you or your business.

What Social Media Don’ts drive you crazy? Any that happen to you on a regular basis? Remember that while you may have been tweeting for years, there are always those who are new to a social space. Follow the Do’s and learn from the Don’ts so that others can learn from you.

Navigating the Do’s and Don’ts of social media can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to your small business. Having some help might not be a bad idea. Let’s connect and create something fantastic!






About Beth M. Wood

Beth M. Wood is a marketing and writing professional. She's been working in the marketing industry since the early 90s, and feeding her shopping habit with copywriting gigs since 2004. On August 1, 2013, she made the jump to full-time freelance writer, marketer, and social media manager. Beth is highly adept at creating and managing integrated marketing programs that get brands noticed. She's also well known for creating and maintaing a strong brand voice across all channels. She is a word geek, a grammar snob and a boot camp junkie. Which means she believes in giving 100% to every project she takes on - large or small. She earned her BA in writing from Webster University and serves as Senior Content Strategist at Scorch.
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