5 Tips to Stop Annoying People with Social Media

Mar 01, 2012

At first, I was going to write something today like 5 Tips to Market with Social Media – then I realized that’s not the problem.  The problem is….most social media annoys the crap out of people.  So today, this  is a serious look into social media marketing for small businesses.  In which I’ll call….are you annoying people?

Here are some of the worst small business social media marketing habits that send customers running for the hills; and what your business can do to correct them:

Roping Off Content

“You shall not pass!”, says the popup when I try to read your business’s content that I found through social media.  “Unless of course, you like me on Facebook…”.   This makes customers wish there was a dislike button for Facebook.  If you want likes on Facebook that bad, create compelling content that people like because….hey…they really do like it.


Begging for likes, retweets, etc in business is no way to win the war over social media.  If your small business is doing this, you’re wasting your time.  Most of the people that do this are only out to get a Facebook like or retweet in return…these are not customers, and most really have no genuine interest in your company.  Having x amount of likes or x amount of followers doesn’t do you any good if they aren’t real brand promoters or customers.  You’re wasting your time.

Hijacking Content

Retweets are fine, but many businesses do the old fashioned “copy and paste” of content into their own sites.  If your brand or business isn’t compelling enough to create original content…then you shouldn’t be in the social media world.  Not only will this company eventually track you down for copyright infringement, but you have also just screwed yourself.  Because now Google’s algorithm finds your hijacked content on it’s own, and bans your site from the search engines.

Produce your own, unique content….with your own voice.  No one likes a copycat.

Faceless Friends

Usually when you encounter someone on social media that doesn’t have a face, it’s spam.  So if your business is not spam, then put a face on it!  Same goes for logos.  Yes, we all know you are very proud of your logo.  But this shouldn’t be used in social media.  Social media is not sales, it’s engagement.  The whole point of social media is to form personal connections with customers.  How you form a personal connection with a faceless friend or a logo?  Gravatars are also a really trendy way now to show off your profile (you can see mine at the bottom).

Social Feed Hogs

I have many clients that want us to tweet every 10 seconds for them.  Then I have to break out my “Reasons Why We Don’t Tweet Every 10 Seconds” card.  There is a big saying in social media that customers can easily be overloaded.  If you’re clogging up their tweet feeds and facebook updates, you’re a pain.  You’re getting in the way of the people they really do want to talk to…their real connections.  There is also a very thin line between someone praising your brand, and unliking it.

The key to social media marketing for small businesses, is being authentic.  It’s not a place for your sale’s pitch, or a competition over who has how many likes.  It’s about establishing your company as an expert in it’s field, building a relationship with them.  Giving your customers something of value, and a little interaction.  So ask yourself next time before you send out that tweet…”am I annoying people too much?”