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54 Social Media Mistakes

Author's avatar By Marie Page 07 Dec, 2011
Essential Essential topic

How NOT to use social media to communicate

It's confession time. At some stage or other I have probably committed most of these crimes while posting to social media. Some I still do on a nearly daily basis, although am trying to unlearn them. How do you score?

1. Using social media as a one-way broadcast communication medium. Not listening, engaging or responding.

2. Endlessly discussing what you had for breakfast and other minutiae. It gives social media a bad name.

3. Not having a profile pic. Signals newbie, spammer or Grandad.

4. Not thinking twice before you post/tweet. It's there forever. Ditto posting when drunk.

5. Jumping into conversations where you're unknown rather than listening first. Especially if your first contribution is to recommend your own product.

6. Blatant selling.

7. Emoticons. How old are you?

8. Posting a link with no explanatory text. Do you really want people to click on it or are you a spammer?

9. Either not completing profile information or using it to blatantly sell.

10. Requesting a contact on LinkedIn and failing to properly introduce yourself (we met at blah blah blah) using instead the standard LinkedIn “I'd like to add you to my professional network” text.

11. Only posting identical content on every social network without tailoring it to the specific audience or differentiating in any way.

12. Failing to thank people for RTs. I think this is common courtesy with business/professional RTs.

13. Retweeting content that you haven't actually read.

14. Only ever promoting yourself/your brand. Never retweeting.

15. Tweeting broken links. Always check them first.

16. Flaming people in comment boxes – if you wouldn’t say it to their face, why are you saying it online?

17. Failing to reply to comments and questions.

18. Using a ghost writer.

19. Linking Tumblr with Twitter, and reblogging every other post your friends make so that it will show up on your Twitter, too.

20. Not writing descriptive text on your Tumbler photo links. When people view the message on Twitter they have no clue what the pic is of without opening it.

21. Overwhelming numbers of Foursquare check-ins posted to other social media sites. You do have the option not to share on Facebook and Twitter you know.

22. Forgetting to spell check your blog posts. Ditto using apostrophes in the wrong place.

23. Accidently tweeting “That was a really drunken party. LOL” under your company login by mistake. Ditto “I hate my boss. He’s a stupid XXX” when his wife follows you on Facebook.

24. Asking a question on a website or forum, getting an answer from a real expert and not having the courtesy to reply.

25. “The Blahblahblah Daily is out. Top stories today by blahblahblah” tweets (does anyone actually read that stuff unless they are mentioned in it?)

26. Only auto tweeting content e.g. News or blog posts and never engaging in any conversation.

27. Following people simply to get them to follow you (artificially boosting followers) then unfollowing.

28. Using Twitter as a chat room

29. Random #ff (Follow Fridays) without explaining why this person is helpful to follow.

30. Hash tagging every word in a Tweet for shameless self promotion.

31. Finding a good link in a tweet, re-working it and then posting without crediting the original source or checking the validity of the source.

32. Following someone when they ask to DM you, then unfollowing immediately afterwards.

33. One for celebrities on Twitter – RTing people who beg for an RT because “its my birthday/anniversary/*insert random Hallmark holiday here” Or in Theo Paphitis' case, RT for anyone with a small biz. Better to @reply then they & all your mutual followers see it. After all its only really about the kudos.

34. Actually asking a celebrity on Twitter for a retweet because its your birthday, anniversary, doing a sponsored walk, helping a friend who has cancer, starting a new job.

35. Clicking on links in @mentions from people you don't know.

36. Retweeting the same person all the time. If your followers like @Queen_UK that much they will follow her themselves.

37. Retweeting without editing the text to ensure it fits in the 140 character limit.

38. Speaking so “street” in your updates, half your followers don’t understand you.

39. Meaning to @reply or DM and realising you have told the world about something highly inappropriate.
Facebook Crime

40. Gushy updates to your spouse – get a room and get off Facebook! Likewise anything that mentions “My hot wife”. This moniker seems to be peculiarly limited to North Americans.

41. Overwhelming numbers of status updates, especially when you link your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Leave that for the teenagers.

42. Using all of Facebook’s new 5,000 character limit to bore your friends because you can’t be bothered to write more succinctly.

43. Stalking, frape and other “hilarious” pranks.

44. Asking business colleagues and contacts for Facebook friend requests.

45. Liking virtually every status update you receive.

46. Posting chain statuses on Facebook with accompanying guilt trip i.e. Post this status if you have ever known anyone who has had the hiccups. I bet 95% of you won’t post this.

47. Sending friend requests to people you have never met, or are mere passing acquaintances.

48. Using hashtags and @names on Facebook where no one understands what they are.

49. Plastering your Facebook wall with photos. Of yourself. Grinning inanely at the camera.

50. Complaining vociferously every time Facebook changes its layout.

51. Having a picture of your babyscan as your profile pic when half your friends are still single, childless and feeling it. Even worse when you are a man. That’s just plain weird.

52. Commenting on someone’s status to ask how they/their family are. Send a message instead. It makes everyone
else commenting feel like they are intruding.

53. Using Facebook to provide realtime TV commentary. Ditto broadcasting the results of sports that other people are still to watch on Sky +. I hate this unless its me that’s doing it and watching live in which case of course I love it.

54. Poking. Seriously? Does anyone still do this?

Have you anything to add? Anything you violently disagree with?

Thanks to my friends @CarltonJefferis, Alina Kaempf and various other long suffering followers/friends for help in compiling this list.

Which do you think is the worst crime? Do you have others?

Author's avatar

By Marie Page

Marie Page @marie_page is one of the UK’s leading Facebook marketing experts. She is a founding partner of digital marketing consultancy The Digiterati and the Digiterati Academy, an e-learning portal for marketers and entrepreneurs. She recently published a book and online course “Winning at Facebook Marketing with Zero Budget”.

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