Social Media Marketing

Top 10 Social Media Marketing Don’ts

I have to admit it, I’ve had enough. Social media has been around the block. Millions of “how to” posts and books have been written, yet so many people are still getting it wrong. I’ve mentioned quite a few of these don’ts in previous posts over the past three years, but somehow, the message still isn’t getting through.

Social media is personal, but too many people (and companies) are treating it as an impersonal advertising platform.

There are people on the receiving end of your posts. People who want to connect and engage. It’s called social media for a reason.

1. Don’t connect Twitter to Facebook. Two different social media platforms, two different languages. Your Facebook Timeline looks ridiculous with a one-sided conversation and all those @ and # signs. Just stop it. Check out Hootsuite instead, and choose which posts go where.

2. Don’t send an automated DM to new followers on Twitter. It’s impersonal and makes you look like a spambot. You do realize that I’m aware every single one of your followers is receiving the exact same message, right?

3. If I don’t know you, please don’t send me a personal message on Facebook, asking me to LIKE your fan page. Seriously, I’m not a fan.

4. Stop sending event messages through Facebook to your entire community. If we haven’t had any previous interaction or engagement, how do you know I’m even a prospect – or interested for that matter. If you and your event are in Des Moines, why would I attend when I live in Los Angeles? Do your homework, otherwise, you’re just a spammer (see #2).

5. Don’t drink and tweet. That’s right, don’t tweet anything that you wouldn’t want your mother or your ex-boyfriend to see. Tweets are archived in the Library of Congress, so once you hit Enter, it’s out there forever.

6. Don’t be a narcissist. Seriously, enough about you already. Stop broadcasting your products and services and start listening to what others are saying and engage. Just because it’s virtual, doesn’t mean it isn’t a real conversation with a real human being on the other end.

7. Don’t tweet the same thing over and over again. One particularly guilty coach I know, has tweeted the exact same thing at least 20 times in the last month alone. You might think it makes your marketing a little easier, but really, you’re b-o-r-i-n-g us.

8. If you don’t have the bandwidth to manage multiple social platforms, then don’t. Better to be present and engaging on fewer platforms, then absent from or overly automated on too many. You are judged by the frequency with which you update your accounts and contribute to conversations where you can provide value. If the light isn’t on, people will forget you.

9. Don’t be all business all the time. First, you’re boring us (see #7), and second, the only way we’ll really connect with you is if you show us your personality and heart. Share your interests and passions so we can find common ground.

10. Don’t be overly negative. The social space in general is extremely positive, with collaboration, conversation and helpfulness being the order of the day. No one likes complainers and whiners. And don’t forget #5: any vitriol you happen to spew will be out in the ether forever, for all to see. Even your mother-in-law.

What’s your #1 social media don’t? Please share with us in the comments below.


Liz Dennery Sanders is the CEO of Dennery Marks Inc., a nationally acclaimed brand strategy and celebrity outreach firm, and SheBrand, a company dedicated to empowering other female entrepreneurs and small business owners to build their buzz and create powerful personal brands that attract more clients. For a Free report, “101 Ways To Build A Powerful Personal Brand and Attract More Clients” visit – www.shebrand.com

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Liz Dennery Sanders

12 Comments

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  • I love twitter and all it does. It’s a great way to reach out and connect. I think it’s more useful than facebook, but they also work well togather. Tweet adder is a must when using twitter.

  • Liz, THANK YOU for finally putting this in writing! Hopefully people will get it finally.

    This whole social media game is out of control with marketing people believing AND convincing each other they can sell and advertise their products through it. One after another they post and post and post their sale on widgets with ZERO conversations. At what point do these social media specialists, experts and marketers look at their sites and say, “Something isn’t working here. Why aren’t our followers commenting?”

    My number one Don’t is… Don’t use social media like everyone else does.

  • Usefull points!
    My number one is the number 3, it’s true some people do that. Asking me to like their pages and I don’t like that.

  • “Social media is personal, but too many people (and companies) are treating it as an impersonal advertising platform”.

    The horse bolted the same day that the “I-Marketing” moved into the Social Media environment.

    The hyper marketing has a disease called greed, it spreads like wild fire. Money & greed, just like fuel & fire.

    Be aware.

  • Nice social media marketing tips. I too agree with you. Never tweet or post followers with unwanted or useless posts frequently. Don’t spam the users page with your unwanted messages.

  • Don’t just retweet everything under the sun.. if you want to retweet, add in your own opinion.

    my 2 cents~

  • I agree with #7. Users, especially loyal fans, usually prefer new and fresh information. If you want to reach out to people, or attract your target market, you have to churn out new ideas that can attract people out in the web. That can help in making your business more visible and known in the industry.

  • I totally agree with #9. Some people might feel that the content the business is posting is automated because of how you only talk about the business. Sharing about topics other than business can help shake things up and add a little variety to your marketing campaign. This is also a strategy that non-profit organizations can use so that people can have a better understanding of their cause. People will understand more if you share personal thoughts and experiences with them.