Every so often I’m scrolling through social media and notice some obvious mistakes that people are making. These faux pas can become a turn off to following an account. The good news is that they’re easy to fix, and I’m going to give you my suggestions on how to turn these blunders around instantly.
One rule of thumb to keep in mind that Intuitive Hypnotherapist and Business Coach Vanessa Codorniu reminds her clients:
“Share from an open-hearted space. When we spend too much time strategizing if a post or a pic ‘will get you followers,’ it’s going against the core of sharing and ceases to be in flow and alignment.”
I couldn’t agree more! Let me know in the comments if any of these sound familiar.
#Don’t #talk in #hashtags
But seriously, don’t. Is that how you speak/write in real life? I hope not. It’s impossible to decipher what you’re saying, plus it looks like you’re trying too hard to get follows. #notcool
Do: Be friendly
Engage with your followers as though you were chatting with friends. I want to know that you’re talking to me—remember me over here behind the screen? Hello?! Show us folks out in cyberspace that you care about who you’re talking to, and that you’re not some #hashtaghappy computer algorithm. You’ll earn my follow and keep it. You can add any and all hashtags at the end of your post.
Don’t: Post bad photos
You’d be surprised how many people want to increase follows but post blurry, dark, unfocused photos across their social media platforms. This will not work.
Do: Brighten up
The good news is that you don’t have to be a style maven to raise your photo game, and you don’t need fancy equipment either. What you do need is good outdoor lighting, preferably not direct sunlight unless you’re going for that look. Lighter, brighter photos do better online, probably because it gives them greater visibility. Then, make sure the object of your photo is focused. Imagine having one shot to capture your audience, so make an effort.Are you making these six social media blunders? Here's how to fix them. Click To Tweet
Don’t: Complain much
If you’re a brand, a blogger, or another type of business, keep your kvetching offline. It’s not social media’s job to fix your business problems—or any problems, really. Complaining to your audience about how poorly your business is doing or about how tough the competition is makes you look bad. Most people want to follow successful and happy people, not energy drains. I know I do.
Personally, I don’t think a business should ever take a political stand either. That’s not their job, and they can use personal pages to rant all they want. Again, that’s my opinion but it will kill some of their business and alienate a percentage of their following.
Do: Lighten up
There are appropriate ways to vent about business issues, problems, and politics, like groups that are dedicated to giving support and ideas. There’s a difference between keeping things real and outright complaining. Keeping it real allows your audience to identify with you and relate to their own true life situations. Your hardships also become your lessons and part of your personal story. Complaining too much turns people off. No, you don’t have to be a beacon of positivity at all times. I can take Negative Nelly in metered doses, but if she appears too often, I’m outta there.
Don’t: Tag people to piggyback off their viewers
Sometimes I’ll see a notification that somebody tagged me, but when I check out the tag, it has nothing to do with me. It took me a little while to figure out what was going on, and then I discovered that my viewers can also see those tags and that was the goal. Not okay.
On Facebook, tagged posts will appear on your timeline. If you’re not sure where to find tags on Instagram, go to your profile page. You’ll get a notice over the third icon from the left directly under your bio and website link. There’s a little boxy shaped thingy with a person in it. That’s where all the photos that you’re tagged in live—and anyone else who clicks it can see those photos too. (You can elect to remove the tag, by the way, and then buh-bye, piggy-backer.)
Do: Tag people when relevant
a) You are using someone else’s photos
b) You want to let friends know that they’re in your pic
c) You want to tell a brand that you’re featuring their goods
d) You genuinely want a response from the person/people that you’re tagging, as in giveaways, questions, selfie tags, etc.
Not when you’re trying too hard to draw attention to your own feed.
Don’t: Drop cliffhangers
If you want to elicit an eye-roll from a majority of your follows, get all melodramatic and mysterious like this: “OhEmGee, I can’t believe that just happened!” or “Send prayers!” and then go mute. These look like pathetic attention-getting ploys and they’re utterly annoying. (Sorry to be so blunt, but really, what is the point of these?) I have also found that people who frequently drop these “random dramatic announcements” lose credibility, and folks don’t want to work with them. So there’s that to consider.
Let’s also throw out frequent theatrical pronouncements of taking a break or going offline for a period of time. Unless the purpose is to notify colleagues that you won’t be answering emails, these are completely extraneous. Nobody will notice your absence. Trust me. I do it all the time, and I’m guessing you had no idea. (Lucky guess, right?)
Do: Reveal with discretion
If you really must share something dramatic with your followers, but you’re not ready to explain why, then either:
a) Don’t post to social media until you are ready to offer an explanation. Dial up a real-time friend instead. (Remember those?)
b) Post to ask for prayers or support, but explain that you’re not ready to share additional information just yet, as you’re still processing, or the deal is still going through or whatever the reason.
As shame researcher Brené Brown says: Not everyone has earned the right to hear about your vulnerable moments, so reveal wisely. (Here’s the actual quote.)
Don’t: Comment on every post
It seems a lot of people these days are driven into debates, trying to persuade their peers to see things their way. Other than being rather egotistical, this persuasive tactic doesn’t work and merely drains time and energy.
My son’s principal once told us: people will write things online or via text that they’d never dare say in real life. It’s easier for things to get nasty when the interaction is not in person. Engaging in debate is futile unless the person expresses their receptivity to a non-militant, mature discussion, which—I don’t know about you—rarely happens online.
While we’re on the subject of the comments section: Do not hijack someone else’s comments in an attempt to convert their followers to your side either. And please, for the love of God, don’t bother adding a comment without reading the entire post and the comments section—in case someone has already said what you were going to say or your comment bears no relevance to the topic. (Insert eye roll!)
Do: Know when to comment
There’s peace of mind in knowing that you don’t have to comment on every post, especially if you don’t agree with them or haven’t actually read the post.
Vanessa shares this axiom:
“Know when to comment on a post and when not to. Respond on comments to your post to build relationship. Don’t comment to win people over to your viewpoint.”
Sometimes, scrolling over the posts you don’t like is the most empowered position you can take. Save your breath and your time for the people who actually do want to learn more about your perspective. You’ll be happy you didn’t waste your whole day in frustration, and you can use the extra time to tackle your real to-do list.
Have you found these do’s and don’t’s to be true for you? Which ones get you tied in a bunch? Let me know in the comments!
Special thanks to the gorgeous young model in the photo (my very willing and adorable 14-year-old daughter), and to Vanessa Codorniu who recently launched Awakened Soul Biz, a strategic program developed to assist anyone in building a soul-empowered and heart-centered business. (Brilliant, right?!)