5 Social Media “Don’ts” – How to be a Better Member of the Social Media Society

Published on December 30, 2013

We are in a time where Tweets, Likes, Comments, and Shares are a common way to express ourselves, to connect remotely with our friends and family, and to give our businesses an online presence and identity.

Many businesses have a grasp on the basics of social media (if you don't, here's a good place to start), but unfortunately many businesses often commit these acts of social media don'ts.

Our social media rules fall under an umbrella of these 3 concepts:

  • Conversation generation
  • Authenticity
  • Portraying your business in a good light

Social media, when used effectively, is more than about tooting your own horn.  Creating a conversation with those around you, whether by asking questions or giving advice, is the ultimate goal.

Here's what you shouldn't do:

1. Don't ask for shares, retweets, or likes

One of the least tactful (and quite honestly, most annoying) things you can do on any social media site is to post on other's pages asking them to like your page or share your content.  While you may get a share or a like here and there, you don't want to display your business in a needy light.  Instead, focus your efforts on posting valuable and interesting content, and the shares and likes will happen organically.

2. Don't constantly blow up social media feeds with updates

Sure, it is important to make your presence known on social media websites, but there is such a thing as overkill.  Being too present on social media sites give the impression that you're trying to hold the spotlight - and who wants to be perceived that way?  Instead, tastefully post varied content anywhere from 2-4 times a day.  You can also use social media scheduling tools, like Hootsuite or Buffer, to ensure you've scheduled out your updates.

3. Don't use auto-messaging

Nothing says "we're impersonal" like using a formed auto-message on a social media website.  It is much better to take a little extra effort and personally respond to a comment.

4. Don't be a social media snob

A friend is a friend.  Just because Joe Bloggs doesn't have as many followers as your famous friends doesn't mean you should poo-poo his comments on your posts.  Go ahead and generate direct conversations with friends who show interest in the content you are posting.  You might be surprised how effective this can be.

5. Don't start arguments

The social media world is a little like... the Thanksgiving dinner table and the high school social scene.  Even if you don't like what someone posts, you'll cause more negative energy than positive karma with an online argument. The best thing to do is either a) ignore it and let your other followers fight it out (often they'll be on your side anyway) or b) delete it.  If you have a snarky comeback of any kind, remember that social media world conversations aren't limited to just you and the person you're conversing with.  I personally like to adhere to the "Thumper" rule (you know, Bambi?):  If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all!

The bottom line?

Keep your interactions on social media websites authentic, non-spammy, and just plain nice.  Your social media presence should be an extension of the kind of company that you are, and we sure hope you're a considerate and helpful one!

If you need any help getting your social media presence on track, don't hesitate to send us an email or give us a call - we'll be happy to help.