10 Social Media Hacks Making You Look Amateur
Inspired by TopDog Social Media’s “12 Social Media Shortcuts That Do More Harm Than Good” by Melonie Dodaro.
Hacks are fantastic. They save you time, effort, and ultimately money. However, often they do more harm than good, especially in social media. If you’re doing it the easy way, you’re doing it the wrong way. The worst part is people can tell that you’re cheating.
The easy way can result in a poor brand reputation, looking unprofessional and careless, decreased engagement, and public embarrassment.
Here’s my list of 10 social media hacks you should never use again (hopefully you’ve never used them before and now you’ll know not to give them a try).
- Automatic Replies or Direct Messages on Twitter
- Using a Scheduler to Post the Same Message on all Your Social Channels
There’s nothing spammier than an auto-reply or auto-direct message on Twitter, especially if it includes a link to connect elsewhere or to buy your latest book or read your best article. You can’t assume you know why they’ve followed you. Engaging with your new follower is always a great opportunity, however, it’s better to be real, honest, and friendly instead of spammy by replying with a thank you and a well wish.
This one is probably my biggest pet peeve. Using a scheduling platform like SproutSocial, Buffer, or Hootsuite is an ultimate timesaver. However, ensure you don’t use the exact same post on every social channel. There’s three reasons why must never do this:
- Tagging – Your Twitter handle isn’t linkable anywhere other than Twitter and, therefore, doesn’t serve its purpose on Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn. Therefore, you shouldn’t use it anywhere other than Twitter.
- Hashtags – Hashtags work the same on all social networks, except the ones that don’t use hashtags (LinkedIn). However, hashtags have unique purposes and meanings on each social network. For example, a #FF hashtag is great for Twitter, but useless on Facebook.
- Link Preview – Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn show link previews differently. For example, if using SproutSocial, you can’t change the featured image of a Google+ post. It’s important to take this into account if your link preview has a low quality image or none at all. You might consider sourcing a better image and uploading the image to your post with a hyperlink to the article instead of using the link preview.
Take the time to optimize your posts for each social network paying special attention to tags, hashtags, and link previews.
Or being on Google+ at all. Regular proper use of Google+ is a great way to increase exposure on Google’s search results. Simply posting a text and a link is not enough to generate exposure and get engagement. A Google+ post isn’t complete without at least one tagged person, company or place. However, ensure your tag(s) is appropriate to your post, for example, the author of the article and the business who hosts the article. Remember to take advantage of your circles, communities, and hashtags.
LinkedIn is a great way to connect with like-minded professionals. However, if you want to connect with someone you don’t know personally, you must personalize your invite to let the individual know you’re not spammy, or worse, creepy.
Melonie says, “Sending impersonalized LinkedIn messages isn’t just impersonal, it might just get your LinkedIn account restricted.”
As I explained in #2, you should never use the same message on all social networks. Therefore, social media tools that posts your tweets to Facebook or YouTube activity to Twitter are not good practice. Check your account settings for each social network to ensure this isn’t happening behind your back like it was to me.
Log into Twitter, go to your settings, click on ‘Apps’, and ensure your Facebook account is not connected.
Log into YouTube, go to your settings, click on ‘Connected accounts’, and uncheck the share your public activity options.
The number of likes your page has is not important compared to the amount of engagement your page has. Never resort to fake advertising or fake like farms to increase your number of followers. Doing things the honest way is the only way. Read my 3 part thread on Digital eMspace’s blog to learn what fake likes are, how to avoid them, and how to lure in real likes.
If your only source of information on your Twitter profile is retweets, you should reconsider your strategy. Retweeting is a great way to bring diversity to your profile, however, it shouldn’t be your sole delivery. Similarly, don’t retweet every tweet you’re mentioned because it looks spammy. Only retweet if the content is a benefit to your fans.
On the contrary, don’t always tweet and never retweet. This makes you look detached and unprofessional as a brand. It demonstrates that you only use Twitter to promote yourself and not to engage with others.
Facebook’s feature to invite your friends to like your page is great. However, as I explained in #6 quality likes are more important than their quantity. You want to ensure your likes come from people who are actually interested in your brand or industry and will likely engage with your posts.
Twitter was the most restricted social network in terms of types of content you could tweet. 140 characters of text and links, nothing more. However, even Twitter has advanced to incorporate GIFs, video, and photos.
In order to be competitive online you need to take advantage of all the options available to you: Text, links, videos, photos, events, and polls/questions.
It’s important to understand that each of these unique options has a multitude of possibilities within. For example, the videos option can include interviews, video blog, how-to steps and tips, a videoscribe, a timelapse, a slideshare presentation, a live streaming of an event, and so much more.
This one is similar to #7, but on all social networks. It’s one thing for you to tweet/post and retweet/share regularly, however, if all you’re doing is posting content to your page, and not engaging on social media, you’re not going to get noticed. (With the exception of paying to get noticed with Promoted tweets, boosted Facebook posts or Facebook like advertising.) In order to look like a real human, as opposed to a robotic brand, you must engage by replying to tweets and commenting on posts.
Your Turn to Share
Don’t be embarrassed about making mistakes on social media, we all do it. The important thing is to properly recover from your mistakes and to learn from them.
Have you ever made mistakes using any of these hacks on social media? Maybe I missed one that you’ve done or seen someone else do that should be added to this list. Share your stories with me!