So much of what we do to help our clients succeed with their social media marketing revolves around all the correct things to do. Rightfully, a lot of focus should be placed on social media best practices, and steadily honing your craft with each new post published. However, it’s entirely possible that while doing a lot of the right things on your small business social media channels, you are somewhat sabotaging those efforts with a couple (or more) social media no-nos.

Bad Social Media Practices to Avoid

Let’s take a look at social media behaviors you need to stop. In no particular order…

13 Social Media Tactics to Stop Right Now

  • Sending LinkedIn Connection requests to strangers, with no context LinkedIn at its core is a professional network. LinkedIn Connections are useful for networking purposes, and I’ve been asked on more than 1 occasion if I could vouch for one of my Connections for a job. There are 2 main camps when it comes to whether or not it’s recommended to send someone you don’t know a LinkedIn Connection request. Without getting into that debate right now, let me say that if you don’t provide me with a reason as to why we should connect in your Connection request, being connected to me isn’t going to offer you any actual value.
  • Notifying your G+ Circles when it’s NOT noteworthy Google+ makes it easy to notify those in your Circles of a new update when you post it. It’s a box that you can check before publishing your post. However, this handy dandy notification option shouldn’t be used for just any (or every) post you publish. In fact, doing so will likely get you muted and those people you’ve been spamming with your constant notifications now won’t see your content at all.
  • Privatizing your Twitter account This “no” is specific to businesses, and not the case for your average personal user. Keeping your tweets locked up unless and until someone clicks to follow you (and you choose to allow it), means that you’ll have far fewer people who bother to try to follow you at all on Twitter. It also means that those you do allow into your Twitter world won’t be able to retweet your content for a broader appeal.
  • Being All Promotional all the time No one likes to be sold to all of the time. And they especially don’t like it when they are happily looking at their friends’ baby pictures, or live-tweeting about their favorite TV show. Yes, you should discuss your business on your social media accounts, but it needs to be well-balanced with other relevant, complementary, and engaging content.
  • Buying Followers The only people you impress with your huge followers count are the people who don’t understand social media. Everyone else shakes their head at you while thinking less of your brand. Plus, buying followers violates the terms of service of social media platforms, so it’s a terrible idea all the way around.
  • Using too many auto-posting tools Automation can make social media easier to keep up with. However, you absolutely can go too far with it. Not only are there those occasional “egg on your face” moments that undoubtedly happen with an automation tool from time to time, but the savviest of customers can usually tell when your feeds are on auto-pilot.
  • Playing the Followers Game on Twitter There are a couple variations of this game, but the root goal in all of them is to amass a ton of Followers in the hope of looking like a VIP. Even though that VIP status is basically all smoke and mirrors.
  • Following several hundred more users than who follow you Starting out, it’s inevitable that you’ll be following a bunch more people than who follow you back. But once you are past that initial start-up period, it’s important to get your ratios in check. It actually hurts you more than helps you if you are, for example, following 1,000 people and only have 150 who follow you back. It portrays an image that you are boring or uninteresting, and you are less likely to earn follow-backs as a result.
  • Signing up for every social media platform under the sun There are only so many hours in the day! Plain and simple, you are better off working 1 or 2 social media profiles very well instead of barely managing 3, or 4, or 5 different platforms. You aren’t being effective if you are trying to be in too many places at once. Less is definitely more when it comes to social media profiles.
  • Signing up for every social media management tool promising to make your job easier under the sun Information overload is a “thing”. Also a thing, is getting so bogged down by trying to test out all the latest and greatest tools and apps out there for all your social media accounts. Pick a couple that work well with your regular daily work flow, and stick with them.
  • Leaving some (or all) of your social media bio blank This includes leaving your location blank or entering something like “Worldwide”. I get that you don’t want to limit who you can work with. However, people still want to know where you are located – just like they want to know more about you than just your Twitter name or website link – and may choose not to follow you because of your lack of information.
  • Not replying to comments, questions, or tweets Would you ever ignore a ringing phone? No, I suspect. So don’t ignore messages from your customers or potential customers. You aren’t going to win the sale and everyone else visiting your profile can see that you are ignoring customers.
  • Calling yourself an expert, guru, etc. Unless you are truly one of the very, very few top leaders in your industry, you aren’t an expert. I promise you, people are rolling their eyes. Using a word like that is the quickest to discredit yourself.

On top of these 13 social media no-nos, what would you add?

About LizJostes (468 Posts)

Liz is a marketer, social media & online marketing consultant, speaker and mom. Originally from Chicago and currently living in the land of Dixie, she relishes in the flavor of fried pickles and BBQ, but longs for deep dish and a proper Chicago dog.


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