One of the things I inherited from my grandmother was Amy Vanderbilt's New Complete Book of Etiquette. I have yet to crack into the 700-plus pages of "the foremost authority on manners today," but could probably benefit from doing so. I never know which fork to use! Just kidding! I know which fork to use. Sometimes.
Anyway, while the old fashioned rules of formal etiquette that my grandmother abided by for all 93 years of her life aren't rampant in our society any more, there is still room for manners- even in social media and especially for those using social for marketing purposes.
I've come up with a list of 10 pet peeves of mine- a list of social media don'ts, if you will:
- 1. Automatic direct messages on Twitter. It drives me bonkers when people or brands send you automatic direct messages. Minus 2 when that message asks people to follow them on another platform.
- 2. Over hash-tagging. Two to three hashtags per tweet, Pin description or Instagram post is enough. Seriously, chill on the hashtags, bro.
- 3. Sharing the same post over and over again on LinkedIn and Google+. When on these platforms, don't post the same exact post in several different groups or communities, respectively, all at the same time. If you want to share the same blog post in multiple groups or communities don't share the link to the post with the same post copy all at once. Space out your posts and come up with different copy to go with the link each time you post it. Try to create copy that asks a question or evokes a response from the reader. Side Note: This is a good way to A/B test your content and posting times on these platforms.
- 4. Displaying links in Facebook posts. Okay this one may just be a personal pet peeve of mine as I'm OCD about simplicity and keeping things "looking clean." If you are sharing a link on Facebook, delete the link in the copy of the Facebook post. It will still show up.
- 5. Over-pinning. I can't stand when brands put up 50 plus pins at one time. I like Pinterest because it's like a flood of cool, UNIQUE images. When my Pinterest feed is flooded with images all coming from the same user, I tend to get annoyed and skip viewing the 50 plus pins all together.
- 6. Informal posts or updates on LinkedIn. i.e. "Happy Mother's Day." Not the place to do that. LinkedIn is professional. Stop posting funny, irrelevant updates or being too personal with the platform.
- 7. Not answering or responding to questions. As a general rule I suggest responding to ALL inquiries, questions, complaints and compliments. I realize that is unrealistic for big corporations and brands, but my blog is directed at small to medium-sized businesses. When you respond, and this comes as no surprise given the topic of this post, be polite! IF someone says something negative don't lash out at that person. Offer them a valid explanation, maybe try, oh I don't know, apologizing for starters. It doesn't hurt to go the extra mile and thank people for their kind words either. You don't have to go all valley girl, but a simple, thank you goes a long way. Or so my momma always said.
- 8. Liking your own posts. Don't do this. Ever. On a business page or a personal page. It just looks, well, desperate. Side Note: I have accidentally done this before! I ran into this problem unexpectedly when attempting to like one of my past client's posts from my personal page. Even though I was signed in on Facebook as Melissa Leiter and I liked one of my client's posts, I was still an admin for that account and it showed that the client liked the post, not Melissa Leiter. Be careful!
- 9. Target your target market. Seems obvious right? You'd be surprised. When advertising, know your target market. Don't just target a huge group and hope for the best. Not only does this waste money, but those that may have been interested in your brand one day will just be annoyed that your promoted posts are showing up in their feed now and may be deterred for life.
- 10. Don't post just to post. I struggle with this as I mentioned in last week's Social Tip of the Week. Ya know the rule, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all? Well, that kind of applies in a way in social media marketing. If you don't have anything to post that your users won't enjoy, don't post it. Post with consistency. Post with passion. Post with photos. Post to evoke a feeling.
My general rule of thumb is that social media marketing should be approached differently for every client depending on their objectives. That being said this list of don'ts is pretty much in effect for any and all using social media for marketing purposes.