16 Ways to Avoid Self Destruction in Social Media

self desctruction in social mediaSocial media has opened the doors to engaging and interacting with people from around the world. This engagement is powerful but yet unnerving as we try to enter a space that so many are talking about and where we would fit in. Social media acceptance can be self defined as you determine what you want to accomplish. Answering why you are there and what you hope to achieve and not jumping in because it is the cool thing to do leads to acceptance as despite all the attention given to spammers in pleas to stop, they are not welcomed.

16 Ways to Avoid Self Destruction in Social Media

There are  not necessarily any rules in social media. It is your platform and you shall use it in a manner that is conducive achieving to your goals and objectives. However, in order to establish and achieve these goals and be not only a valuable but a welcomed part of the community there are things to avoid.

1. Twitter Auto DM. The auto dm is a cockroach. No-one who wants them but yet they seem to spread and never go away. Is this the first impression that you want to have upon someone? A automated response where you interrupt them and more than likely pitch them? You have sent the message that are there to direct sell and you only do the talking.

2. Auto Publishing to LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a business networking site and not a publishing recipient. Status updates of what you had for lunch or the picture of your dog (albeit adorable) chasing its tail while it is showing a personal side is not going to increase your chances of connecting with business minded professionals. Use LinkedIn effectively as outlined by Chris Brogan by being selective to what you post to your status updates as when you auto publish every tweet, the “hide” button becomes inviting if not necessary.

3. Auto Repeat Tweet. The auto posting of tweets in and of itself is not necessarily frowned upon but the repeat of tweets at around the same time every day does not go unnoticed nor unfollowed. This is not referencing a tweet about a blog article that we promote 3-4x a day (which of course we change the tweet and attach the link) no, it is about the Tweeter who schedules the same tweet for the same time of day for what seems like forever. Sure they may have a few new followers who have not seen it a gazillion times but after a few days they will.  Adopt a new way of thinking – if you do not have anything new to say tomorrow, do not say it at all.

4. Keyword Auto Tweet. Ever say a word and then get a ridiculous set of new followers or a responsive tweet? We all have … and, if you have not, stick around, you will. Having keyword laden searches that you respond to when you see the context in which the keyword was used is listening effectively. Auto tweeting and following because someone said “sleep” does not mean they need a new mattress, tips on how deal with children who are bed wetters, etc.

5. Inability to Listen. Listening is crucial in social media. It is not short term where we listen for a few days and then run off and talk to anyone and everyone. Listening is ongoing as there are conversations that need to be monitored to see where are can engage. In social media, people are eager to hear you when you have something valuable to say but when you stop listening you are giving the green light for people to stop hearing you.

6. Failing to Respond. Positive or negative, a comment of this nature needs to be addressed – even those that are indifferent/neutral. This is not to say that everyone who writes “great post”  on a blog, LI discussions or creepily sends a tweet to us has to be addressed however the ones that have an impact need to be addressed and in a timely manner. We have seen where a failure to respond leads to a barrage of tweets and FB updates that seem to multiply with each minute of silence.

7. Publishing without Interaction. We all publish. No doubt about that. Our blog posts are proudly displayed on various platforms for people to read, comment upon and share. When we only publish and do not interact with others we are putting up a perceived barrier that we do not wish to be spoken to as we do all the speaking … at you and to you.

8.  Being Self Absorbed. The self absorbed networker is similar to the publishing without interaction but takes it a step further. They attempt to engage with a response that never is without a self promotion.  They ask how you are just to be able to get in that they are busy with meeting with a new client to discuss their excitement over a product or service. You have an entire website to talk about you – learn off site to talk about others.

9. Failing to Define Purpose. Why do you want to engage in social media? What do you wish to get out of it? Establish goals and measurable objective and tactics to have something to attain. Social media is a gigantic party of sorts but be sure you are dressed before showing up.

10. Seeking Popularity through Negativity. We all have seen where an a-lister or a big brand is chewed up and spit out for no apparent reason other than to have the name in the headline. Big name in headline associated with negativity is sure to get a lot of attention as it will bring in large amounts of traffic and everyone will agree and they will be taken down. Really? We all do not agree with everything that everyone has to say but using a name associated with a negative that does not support your position with concrete information is not going to engender trust or high marks.

11. Flooding. Flooding your profile with 10 tweets over and over junks up our stream. We know that we are all pretty much pressed for time but flooding your profiles with 10 updates one after another shows not only that you are automated but also a publishing pusher to all profiles.

12. Flipper. Agreeing on a position is one thing but agreeing on every position is contradictory. This is a tactic used in an attempt to get noticed and while it is noticed, it is not viewed in a positive light. Taking a stand is encouraged as it provokes thought to a different point of view and changing your mind is not discouraged but flipping your agreement/disagreement to go with the crowd or try to rub elbows with the author for personal gain is sending out the message that you agree to just to be there as a cheerleader with a megaphone.

13. Link Seeker. The “great post” commenter whom we see on all the popular blogs. Link seekers. They are there to get that link and move on to get another one. Albeit the post may be a great one but sharing a bit more than great post lets the author and all those that read and comment know that you are truly there to be a part of the community that has been created around the blog or even the discussions within a forum.

14. Link Pusher. Adding a link to a comment that supports the comment, a position or adds to the post is welcomed. When it is a link to something completely off base and self promotional it is unwelcomed. Spammer! We loathe spam as it is not only annoying in all aspects but it is intrusive.

15. Inability to Ask for Help. We were/are all new to these platforms and if you are unsure how to use them, ask. Simply ask. There are many willing to help as exemplified with the growing popularity of #blogchat. The “I do it my way” arrogance only goes so far.

16. Self Proclaimed Title. Guru, expert, ninja, swami, etc. We have all seen them and while these are entertaining they are a poor attempt at being someone. Call me old fashioned but the boring title as David Armano speaks of is much more enticing than a title that is a telling of nothing. If you have to tell us you are a guru or ninja chances are that you are not and are looking to capitalize on a few words that somewhere along the lines you thought equated to success.

Thoughts? Anything to add?

photo credit: Christian Mantovani

  • Hi Josh, very good, well thought out and well-presented article. I'm sure we are all guilty of at least some of these transgressions – good to be reminded of right and wrong! 🙂
    I have also written an article about good and bad Facebook and Twitter usage – please visit it here: http://aztecinternetmarketing.com/2010/06/01/fa
    Thanks again,
    Kathryn Wilson

  • Kathryn,

    This article was written by Suzanne, not myself. I agree with your point that this article was really well constructed. 🙂

  • Helpful reminders about making sure your social media relationships aren't one-sided. There's nothing more irritating than a company that never posts anything but plugs for their content alone without ever responding to feedback about that content or providing other interesting/useful content even if it wasn't developed by them. [and 100% agree with the points about auto DM and RT, yes it's helpful but loses personal touch]
    Thanks for posting 🙂

  • Emily

    There is a big brand/company right now that is doing exactly what you are saying here. Apparently Target has endorsed a political candidate and customers are outraged. The FB page has hundreds of customers asking why they would endorse this person and even outrage that they will not shop there. Last check, no response. They use is as a publishing site and a place where people can respond to the posted item but there is NO interaction. Not to just the political endorsement but everything on the wall.

    Publishing without interaction is a traditional advertising ad of sorts. I talk at you and never to you.

    Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts Emily.

  • Wow, just visited the Target FB site. That is ridiculous! Would think at least they would address it in some way at all rather than complete lack of response. Although I understand they want to avoid the wall turning into a war zone between consumers and the company, it still seems like their non-reaction is a terrible way to be dealing with negative feedback.
    Thanks for sharing, great example!

  • Emily

    I agree that it could turn into an all out war zone but like you said … to say nothing at all is a problem. It is a publishing site and not an interactive site. The good news for those companies that do not respond to issues, is that there will be something else that comes out in a few days that makes us forget about them.

  • oh no! I have a self-proclaimed title in the url of my site. I really hope that it doesn't put prospective readers off. I am in love with the title and I think of it as a fun title……

    Great read that has very valid points, and now I am worried about my own URL….

  • Nicole

    It could be looked at as a negative. Do you think that it has helped or hurt as it relates to business? Look at the business and not the blog traffic. Think of what diva means to the target market and see if it your audience speaks that way and if they do, no problem but if they do not then you would want to consider changing it. Your target market is is where it matters.

    • I am really not sure if it has helped or if it has hurt business since I am just beginning to get started. I have only heard positive comments when people hear my domain name, and have been told its easy to remember. Most of my target audience wants ‘experts’ cause credit and finance is not something to be toyed with lightly. That’s why I haven’t offered services before and have helped family/friends for free. My ‘field’ is full of scam artists and has multiple laws in place to protect consumers, unfortunately the consumers have to enforce the laws.