Habits are easy to fall into. When you’re trying to change how you do things and you’re incredibly busy, falling back into old habits happens quicker than you would expect. While most tend to be minor habits that don’t have an overall impact, there are some habits that can be damaging, make you look lazy, or seriously hinder a page’s growth.
Chances are you’ve visited a page that has done a variation of what’s listed below. Here are a list of the most common habits that will put users off your page for good.
Asking For Shares Or Retweets
Honestly, there’s nothing more discouraging to see than people or pages posting an update or offer and then asking you to please share or retweet. Not only does it come across as incredibly needy, but it offers no engagement and ultimately does nothing for your cause. It’s the online equivalent of going up to a bunch of strangers, screaming “be my friend!” and expecting them to enthusiastically oblige.
If you do post something like that, the only people that will oblige will be your closest friends. Everyone else will ignore it and will get annoyed by the begging and unfollow or hide your updates. Even if people did share it in their droves, it’s not because they believe in the cause or think it’s a great offer, just because someone begged for it.
Out Of Shape Or Distorted Images
With sites becoming more visual and a greater importance being placed on things like cover photos and images, it’s important that you make your pages more visual and therefore more attractive for fans to look at. Learn what the dimensions are for different cover photos – admittedly Google+’s cover photo dimensions might throw you off due to their vast size, but the same principle applies – and if you want to redesign, there are some simple rules to follow.
Also, worth noting is that Facebook has become more lenient on the rules surrounding cover photos so you can fit in some promotional material into them if you’re running a campaign or promotion.
Overcompensating For Inactivity
Sometimes when you’re a small business or you don’t have someone dedicated to managing your online accounts, there can be times where you can drop off the radar for a few days. That in itself is a problem, but what some people make the mistake of doing is making up for that inactivity by posting numerous updates in a day to compensate.
This is a mistake in itself and while inactivity isn’t a good thing, not as many people as you think will unfollow you because you’re inactive. However, they’re more likely to unfollow you if you clog up their feed with numerous tweets and updates. That’s more noticeable, more annoying, and will be the bigger reason why people would unfollow you.
Social media is not a numbers game so don’t treat it that way. Especially in the case of Facebook where Edgerank will determine how prominently your posts will feature, you need to give your posts some thought before you hit the post button.
If someone asks for help or makes a query relating to your business, try and respond to it as soon as you can. Granted you can’t be on top of things all the time, but you can allocate time to respond to inquiries and the like. The longer you leave it for, the less likely you are to respond.
Like And Share Competitions
If you didn’t gather from the many posts written on the subject, like and share competitions are against Facebook rules and when you run something like that, well, a vast number of agencies and businesses will hate you for it.
Apart from the obvious, this ties in with asking for shares or retweets. By running like and share competitions, you’re not engaging with followers or getting people hooked with your content. Instead, you’re just asking people to hit a button – not the most engaging of actions – and expecting them to continue following you after that.
Since you can only host a finite amount of competitions, it actually works out worse for you on places like Facebook since a higher follower count and disproportionate engagement means that your content will be pushed further down the pecking order than if you had done things properly in the first place.
Hashtags are a brilliant way of curating information, providing context and categorising content to reach a specific audience. However, people tend to abuse this by cramming as many hashtags as possible into a single tweet or use it as a secondary voice, usually to denote sarcasm (the latter is arguably worse although your opinion may differ).
Depending on the medium, two to four hashtags are an acceptable amount (e.g.: two for Twitter and more for the likes of Instagram where an image would appeal to a wider demographic) for people to know who the tweet is aimed towards, and provide context.
So… Many… Widgets
You want people to share content on your site. Who doesn’t? But while you have sharing buttons for Facebook and Twitter, what are the chances that your stuff will be shared on the likes of MySpace, Foursquare or Yelp?
Having an abundance of sharing widgets for your posts is counterproductive and unless you have an equal split between numerous sites, you could probably afford to get rid of that Stumbleupon widget. Also, widgets like Add This (image below) can have its uses, but are more hassle than they’re worth if you’re a small site and your audience is focused in one or two sites.
That’s not to say the mentioned sites aren’t useful, ultimately it depends upon the business and where your audience is, but you already know where your audience is, or will learn quickly if you’ve just started so prioritizing certain sites is a good idea. Also, it makes your site look tidier too which always helps matters.
Syncing Cross Posts
So there are times where you will want to post content across more than one platform. Whatever the reason, you should do it manually. Using a service like Tweetdeck to cross post tweets onto Facebook not only looks lazy, but it stands out like a sore thumb since it’s so visually unappealing.
Links Within Posts
When you’re posting an article or video onto your page, most sites will load up a thumbnail containing further details about said link. Since Facebook provides a more noticeable link for you, there’s no need to keep the link in the actual text, which you should be using to entice people to view it.
There is an exception to this rule, however, and it’s a pattern that many pages are using nowadays. Posting an image has a greater chance of being interacted with so posting an image to catch the attention and providing a link in the actual text is a better idea since the image isn’t clickable. The below image is an example of how it should work (also, it’s good practice to reference where you found something).
A massive personal pet peeve on Twitter, it’s amazing how some people still create auto-DM as a way to greet new followers or highlight something that they’re trying to plug. This is not only impersonal, but completely misses the point of what Twitter (and social media) is in general.
It’s a medium that allows people who wouldn’t meet under normal circumstances to connect with each other on a personal level. Automating messages and sending them straight after someone hits the follow button is just spammy no matter how you slice it.
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