I love social media. It’s a great connector of people and a fab way to find new leads for your business. I’ve been an avid fan of LinkedIn and Twitter for the past few years and have learned enough to use the platforms to promote my technical copywriting services.
Unfortunately, it’s all too common to see some bad social media behaviours.
I’m not talking about the obvious stuff such as being racist, sexist or generally loathsome. (You don’t need a blog post to tell you that these are bad things. Behind every profile photo is a real human being. Act accordingly.)
No, this post is more of a mini rant about the logistics of your interactions with your followers and connections.
Here are 8 examples of things you should avoid doing on social media.
- Automated direct messages
- Automated replies in public
- Following, unfollowing then refollowing
- Not replying to messages
- Hashtag hijacking
- Tagging lots of people in posts
- Not tagging the author of content you share
- Sending generic LinkedIn invitations
- Requesting endorsements from people you don’t know
- Adding email addresses to distribution lists
❌ Automated direct messages
Send a personalised note or don’t bother.
It's 2018: let's stop sending automated 'thanks for following me' replies and DMs.#TwitterTips
— John Espirian ☕️ (@espirian) January 30, 2018
I’ve seen cases where some automated messages contain deliberate spelling mistakes, so that a subsequent automated message can be used to apologise for and correct the mistake.
That’s a pretty feeble attempt at making these messages seem real – no one’s buying that rubbish.
Also, there are already enough real text errors out there without people adding deliberate fake typos.
❌ Automated replies in public
This sucks. Anyone who looks at your feed won’t get a good impression.
Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please:
Do not send automated thank-you tweets.
— John Espirian ☕️ (@espirian) May 11, 2017
Also, automated tweets about ‘top engaged followers’ add no value. If you’ve set up anything like that, turn it off.
A solid smackdown on two Twitter behaviours I hate:
🔴 Automated DMs
🔴 Automated tweets ('thanks to top interactors this week')
Listen up. https://t.co/c8zE30L0p4
— John Espirian ☕️ (@espirian) November 7, 2016
❌ Following, unfollowing then refollowing
Don’t try to game the system to get someone to follow you. There’s someone doing this to me a lot right now. No way am I following her back.
❌ Not replying to messages
OK, emails often go into spam, but we’re talking about social media here. Messages do tend to be delivered successfully and often you can see that they’ve been read. Don’t let them go unanswered – unless the sender is a spammer or a troll.
❌ Hashtag hijacking
Don’t use a hashtag to share unrelated/spam content.
❌ Tagging lots of people in posts
It’s OK to ask for opinions but don’t make your posts a wall of tags. I often mute people who do this, which means I probably won’t hear from them again. Don’t be that person.
❌ Not tagging the author of content you share
It’s good to give credit – and it’ll probably improve the reach of your post.
LinkedIn tagging is a bit flaky. Be patient and remember to use the @ symbol before writing their name.
❌ Sending generic LinkedIn invitations
That’s like putting your business card in someone’s pocket and walking away. Come on – send a note.
Here’s how to personalise invitations on the LinkedIn mobile app.
❌ Requesting endorsements from people you don’t know
Don’t connect with someone, exchange a couple of messages and assume that’s enough to ask them for an endorsement or a recommendation.
It takes a while to get to know people to the extent that you can be truly confident in recommending them. This is especially true in the online world.
Giving recommendations is great and people should do it more often – but only to those they know well.
❌ Adding email addresses to distribution lists
It’s happened to us all. We connect with someone, they get access to our email address and then – boom – we’re added to their spammy mailing list.
Does anyone get business from this? It’s an awful practice and I hope the GDPR means it becomes less common.
Let’s wrap up
These are just a handful of practices to avoid on social media.
Remember that everything you do online has the potential to make a positive or negative impression about you and your business.
End with a positive, right?
✅ Be nice.
✅ Be concise.
✅ Be precise.
— John Espirian ☕️ (@espirian) February 3, 2018
Does your business create shareable content that helps and delights your customers? No? Drop me a line at support *at* espirian.co.uk and let’s have a chat.