After you've been blogging a while, you've surely come across things other people do on social that drive you nuts.
As someone who's been in marketing communications for years and years, I have extra Spidey senses when it comes to the way people communicate (which makes me not only hyperaware but also HYPER-PICKY). Sometimes I'm in awe of the sheer brilliance of a blogger's Instagram images or clever idea for a Facebook post. Other times, I just shake my head.
These annoyances pretty much take the cake. Of course, there's no RIGHT way to use social. I get it. But still, these are some common social media marketing mistakes that come up in just about any pet peeve convo.
1. Auto-posting Facebook Posts to Twitter
I see a lot of offenders to this, so maybe it doesn't bother others as much as it bothers me. 🙂
Auto-posting basically posts EVERYTHING you share on Facebook to Twitter. As a follower, you often have to go to Facebook to THEN go to the final destination (like a link to a post). If you're sharing an image on Facebook without any accompanying text, as some bloggers often do when sharing a quote, it just tweets out like “fb.me/ccjiotw” which looks spammy. Or if you write something longer on Facebook, it gets cut off because you have more space on Facebook than Twitter.
Plus, people who are on Twitter are on Twitter. They don't want to be on Facebook at the moment (or they avoid Facebook altogether). So they'd rather see the content ON Twitter versus being driven to Facebook.
What to do instead: First of all, disconnect that puppy! The quickest way is to head over to facebook.com/twitter and then click “Unlink.” Then use something like HootSuite or Buffer to post to both places at once… with a custom message for each (see #11 for more on that).
2. Overusing Hashtags
Too many hashtags just looks desperate. No matter what the platform. I see spammy-looking Instagram posts with 25 hashtags in the description or the tweet that's hard to read because there's a #hashtag #on #almost every #word in the #sentence. My head hurts just reading that.
But well-balanced hashtag use isn't a “one size fits all platforms” kind of thing. For example, I think you can get away with more on Instagram than you can Twitter, especially if you paste them into the first comment after you publish the image. For Twitter, when you only have 140 characters, it just seems like overkill.
And Pinterest? Don't even use them. Like we tell Pinning Perfect students, they aren't native to the platform (translation= they don't work like on other platforms) and Pinterest says they'll ding your pin if you use too many.
What to do instead: Keep your hashtag usage in check. On Instagram, use all those hashtags for the first comment instead of having them all in your caption. A caption should have no more than three. Simple as that.
3. Posting Too Much Content at Once
I know you've been slammed by it… the person pinning 50 pictures of bedroom layout ideas or a play-by-play on Instagram that hogs your entire feed. (I'll forgive you if you're at an event or Twitter party – but still – no one needs 10 Instagrams from you within an hour.)
Posting too much social media content at once on a consistent basis can turn your audience off because they aren't seeing as much content from a variety of people. So cut it out (said with cheesy Uncle Joey hand gestures).
What to do instead: For Pinterest, if you have a lot of stuff to pin, consider if the pins for personal use makes more sense to put on a secret board instead of sending it through your feed. If you're pinning stuff your followers would love, then try a scheduling tool like Tailwind Plus (affiliate). For other platforms, just be mindful on how many times you're posting in a row and save things for later when possible.
4. Starting Tweets with @ When You're Trying to Share with Your Followers
I see this mistake ALL the time. But if you didn't know this? No worries. I see BIG brands to this too.
The scenario goes like this: you're trying to tell your followers how awesome your trip to Disney World was so you tweet “@waltdisneyworld was such a blast, you guys!”
Guess what? That doesn't go to all your followers.
Any tweet that starts with @ is considered a reply. Only people who follow BOTH you and @waltdisneyworld will actually see it. Since they follow you both, they can see replies since your Twitter feed is public.
What to do instead: Either re-word the sentence so it doesn't start with @, or you go the lazy route and just add a period in front of the @. I'm lazy and always add the period!
NOTE: Twitter is actually changing this at some point as they announced in May of this year. Until then, it's still one big thing you should stop doing. 🙂
5. Asking People to Follow You Back (on ANY Platform)
If there's one that thing that's sure to get me NOT to follow you, it's for you to follow me then immediately say “Just followed/liked you! You can follow me too!” Or on Facebook, this happens too: “New like from blahblahblah. Hope you'll like me back!” It's pretty much the equivalent of comment vomit.
I chalk this one up to a newbie mistake (for the most part). Until you get entrenched in the blogging world a little more, it's hard to wrap your head around exactly HOW to get new followers. So this tactic sounds innocent enough. But, wanna know the truth? You have to EARN followers and likes.
What to do instead: If you want people to like or follow you back, interact with them. Respond when they ask a question or leave a comment on a post. And of course, it's pretty likely someone will follow you when you follow them. But just don't ask for it.
6. Posting Too Many Quotes
I get it. Quotes WORK. Good quotes inspire, motivate, and even just cause a good laugh. But just because quotes work doesn't mean 90% of your social media stream should be quotes. If someone's trying to decide to follow/friend/like you, they don't want to see back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back tweets of quotes.
What to do instead: Use them! Just don't let them overtake your social universe. You CAN have too much of a good thing.
7. Using Fake Names on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a place to put your work experience, highlight your awesomeness, and be visible to brands looking for bloggers. On Twitter you can get away with a cute or clever Twitter handle, but on LinkedIn? You're a real person with a real photo. And you're a real professional too! If your LinkedIn name sounds something like “Melissa Carolinamommy” then you. must. change. that.
What to do instead: Use an actual name, or stay away from LinkedIn until you're ready to be a real person. 🙂
8. Keeping Your Social Media Accounts Private
Okay, if you're a blogger just on social to chat with friends and post pictures to friends, then by all means keep your profiles private!
Buuuut, if you're a blogger looking to grow your blog traffic, then you have to make your accounts public. I'm not talking about your personal Facebook profile- I keep that one tight to my vest. But platforms like Twitter? Make it as easy as possible to follow you- a private account is an extra hassle most people won't bother with because they can't see your content before they decide to follow.
What to do instead: If you want to keep some accounts private, then do NOT link to them from your blog. Otherwise, make those profiles public and you'll instantly notice you grow your following faster.
9. Pitching Brands Publicly
Want a sure fire way to look unprofessional? Leave a comment on a company's Instagram post that sounds like this: “How can I get free products to review? I'm a popular blogger!” Or tweet something like “Hey @brand @brand @brand- need someone to review your products? I need blogging material.” (Not the exact messages I've seen but very close.)
Social media is a great place to start in getting a good contact, but not like that. Plus, while you should keep pitches brief, you can't say all that much in 140 characters.
What to do instead: Ask the brand who you should reach out to about opportunities for bloggers. That way you're taking the actual pitch out of the public space. Or send a private message on a brand's Facebook page.
10. Relying Too Much on Group Boards on Pinterest
I know. I know. Group boards used to be the secret sauce to successful pinning. But with the Smart Feed? Not as much. Yes, they're still important, but you don't need to pin to 100 collaborative boards. See which ones are actually getting you repins and ditch the rest.
What to do instead: Remember that search is king on Pinterest now, not group boards. Use keywords in your pin descriptions, but still make it sound conversational. In Pinning Perfect, one thing we teach is to severely limit the number of group boards you're on and show you how to write effective descriptions that get found in search!
11. Posting the Exact Same Message Everywhere
When you send out a message on social, do you copy and paste it into every social platform? Different platforms call for different approaches. On Twitter, keep it short. On Google +, you can go longer, making your post keyword-rich. On Instagram, maybe you share a behind-the-scenes image from the craft you just posted or the recipe you just created.
What to do instead: No, you don't need to completely rewrite every single thing. And sometimes it's short and sweet enough for more than one platform. But for the majority of your content, adjust and tweak it a little to cater to each audience and platform.
What Bugs You?
What's one thing you think bloggers should stop doing? Any of these resonate? Don't hold back! It's kinda like therapy for social media lovers.
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Hey- I'm Melissa! I'm a mom, side hustler, online course instructor, and brand marketer. I run a 6-figure blog helping online biz owners find their a-ha moments with can-do tips, tutorials, and online courses. I also work at Burt's Bees as the Social Media Strategist (yep, it's as cool as it sounds). Jump start your biz productivity with my free worksheet!