There are unsaid rules in the social media world and if you cross those frequently you risk losing your peeps, your followers, and credibility. Meaning that there are many things you SHOULD be doing on social media, but if there are things you SHOULD be doing there are always going to be things that you SHOULD NOT be doing.
Before we jump right in, the key to all of these unspoken rules is that the word to remember is SOCIAL. Social is about relationships, about give some take some, about support, and about networks, meaning it definitely isn’t about ME ME ME ME. So let’s apply that to the world of Social Media and expose these rules and boundaries.
So here are 5 things you should not do on Social Media:
1. Only promoting your stuff
You cannot not just drop your link, disappear and expect people to share your posts. Social media is about interaction, engagement, connection and building relationships with your followers. Generally there is a 80/20 rule. Posting and sharing 80% of other’s content and posting and sharing 20% of your own content. Sharing information that is relevant to your audience from other accounts is a great way to provide value, be supportive, be part of the community and have others share your content. The biggest takeaway is that the primary reason people use social media is to be ‘social’ and not to being constantly bombarded with your brand and self promotion.
2. Keeping social media accounts private
If you are a creative entrepreneur running a small business, etsy shop, a blogger then you want to reach as many people as possible. This is really limited when you have your account set to private. For example, your image post won’t show up in the Instagram explore feed leading to a decreased likelihood of potential clients/customers/readers discovering your site/shop/blog! For bloggers who want to eventually work with brands you definitely want your account set to public. Etsy shop owners need to think about all the sales you are losing by not having your account set to public.
The process of requesting a follow and then waiting for approval can be quite arbitrary and a lost window of opportunity because the potential buyer may end up on another account similar to your shop (which has their profile set to public) allowing them to make their purchase more seamlessly. Setting your account to public also allows the potential buyer to see all your other products and can lead to more sales!
Another key aspect of being a creative entrepreneur is transparency, you want to let the target audience into your life and showcase your personality and let people decide for themselves if they want to follow you. This becomes difficult if your posts are not visible for them to see. Another scenario that really showcases the negative effects of social media profiles set to private is when potential audience/clients utilize hashtags that are in your field, if they land on your profile through the hashtag and it’s set to private, this is an automatic deterrent leading to a loss of clients and readers.
3. Asking people to follow you back
This really doesn’t look good on any social media platform! Please don’t go the “follow for follow” route. Or the I followed you can you follow me back route. This just looks really desperate. The followers you gain with this kind of tactic will most likely never be beneficial to your brand or business. The likelihood that they will make purchases from you or become your future clients is slim since they were not organically won over by your brand. The key is follow the feed of the account you like, then interact with the account and leave valuable comments.
4. Spamming or posting all your content at once - space it out
You know what’s not fun, when I’m scrolling down my feed and one account just decides to post 10 posts in a row, this is way too spammy! You need to space out your content. This also depends on the social media platform. For example, whereas on twitter it’s okay to post the same thing multiple times a day, on Instagram that tactic becomes way too spammy.
This is where studying your analytics is key. Find the ideal time for you to post on each social media platform and then schedule your posts accordingly to get the most out of your social media posts. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience. If you are scrolling through your social media and you see 10 posts in a row from that one account pretty soon this will annoy you and you are more likely to unfollow. Thus, be mindful of your followers and space out your content. Be more consistent, posting regularly on spaced out times rather than not posting for a week and then posting everything all at once.
5. Hashtag overkill
Instagram is the only place you will probably get away with posting a list of hashtags, but that too only in the comments section as we highly recommended not to do this in the caption of your Instagram posts. Other than that, please do not go on a hashtag spree. I have seen this on Twitter quite a lot. But trust me friends when I say a tweet that is comprised mostly of hashtags is not as appealing and effective as one that is clever with one or two hashtags. Too many hashtags in a post looks spammy and distracts from your key message. It also makes you look like an amateur social media account. You don’t want to compromise your content for hashtags. With the character limit present in social media platforms such as twitter or instagram you want to be smart about how you are using up the character count. So, get creative with your captions instead of flooding them with hashtags!