Top 5 Social Media No-No’s To Get Away From

This is a guest post by Mike Stenger, a social media consultant with a strong passion of business and all things Internet.

Is the glass half full or half empty? It is, depending on how you look at it. When it comes to social media, there’s a lot of negative but most people prefer to cover the positive. The amazing things that can be accomplished, the amazing case studies, and the amazing results.

Sometimes though, it’s good to step back, remove all the sugar coating, and get down to business. What we can learn from the negative, we can turn into the positive. So in this post, I want to cover the top 5 social media no no’s in no particular order. What really doesn’t work, but is sadly still done by many, are the following.

#1: Link Vomiting
I know. The image that word conjures up is not too appetizing, but hear me out for a second. I’ve talked about this before – it’s really just people posting too many links. So many links that there’s nothing else really going on.

If you really want to grow your brand, it’s going to take a lot more than finding some good content to “tweet” or Facebook about.

#2: Being Closed and Uninviting
You don’t encourage conversation. You’re just talking about you or your latest post. And do you offer a way I can personally contact you outside of Twitter, Facebook, etc.? That’s awesome if you’re a celebrity, but not if you’re working towards building a serious business.

#3: Over Promoting
While doing #2, you also promote WAY too many products or services, whether they are your own or someone else’s. Some say it takes so many no’s to get a yes. In the case of over-promoting, it won’t take too many no’s to get an unfollow or befriended.

#4: Talking AT Instead of Talking With
Social media is a two way conversation. The way to build relationships, what it’s truly about, is by engaging and talking with others. Start off by asking a question. Simply say hello when you get the chance. Show that you genuinely care and others will show they care by reading your posts, buying your products/services, and sharing what you have to say

#5: Having the Wrong Mindset
I’ve seen a slue of successful case studies, all the way from Fortune 500 companies to small business owners with little or no employees. And what did they all have in common? While not only having the right, effective knowledge, they also had one thing: the right mindset.

They kept a positive outlook. They were patient and realized that social media takes time, just like anything else worth building. They didn’t rush to start making money. They worked on it and did some promoting, yes, but they didn’t overwhelm their streams.

This mindset is at the foundation of what they continue to do.

More Things to Avoid on Social Media

It’s my hope that will you do the opposite of these no no’s I’ve shared, and apply the proper mindset to your social media. Have any “no-no’s” or pet peeves to add or, better yet, good tactics, strategies, or techniques to really implement in your social media? Please share them in the comments.

StudioPress Premium WordPress Themes     Synthesis Managed WordPress Hosting


  1. says

    Great article Mike! Goes right along with some of the stuff we discussed in our interview.

    I am just now getting beck to seeking out people to follow again after getting sick of most of the stuff you talk about here….
    .-= New from Keith @ Blog Tips Social Media Interview: Mike Stenger =-.

  2. says

    Awesome tips. The first is probably the one that pertains to me the most. If i’m short on time, i find it a lot easier to just browse my VIP list and choose a couple links tweets to retweet. I do engage with people and have gotten to the point that i’ll check my my public timeline via twitter just to see that there is variety lol

    Anyway, nice post.

    • says

      I’ve been less conversational on Twitter and more about sharing resources – not just my own, but others as well. I have been trying to get more chatty and less linky though, just to see how it works out.

  3. says

    In my opinion the most important thing is to prevent overwhelm while providing value to your conversation with others. When using a social media app knowing how it will affect both you and targeted audiences is vital. Trials/errors are continuous in networking but I learned about sincerity, to give back; not to mention time management (tough challenge) as well.

    Social/Blogging Tracker
    .-= New from Ching Ya@Social Media Blogging 3 Important Things About Facebook ‘Like’ Button =-.

    • says

      Time management is so important so you don’t get carried away networking and forget to do other important things as well. Watching others helps you figure out what is well received and what is not overall.

    • says

      True… so long as the links are all informative to your followers, then it could be a welcomed thing as opposed to a bad thing.

      • says

        I think “too many” links is in the eye of the beholder. A couple of useful resources per day might be acceptable, but retweeting every single one of the BBC News stories is going to be extremely annoying!

        Just find some people you admire in your industry, follow them, and learn from their twitter strategy, i.e. how many links do they tweet per day, how many retweets, who do they chat with. Obviously there is not set rule, but you’ll get a feel for what works.
        David Thorpe just posted Blog Comments Blog Commenting Services

  4. says

    I am also not that conversational in twitter. But what I do is that I don’t just post things that point to me or my blog or my products but I also post links to other blogs who have posted or written useful or helpful articles that can be of help to my twitter followers. It is really important to concentrate on the quality of relationship with your social media followers rather than just focusing on the quantity itself.

    • says

      Exactly. What people don’t realize is if you push things on a whole that is useful for your followers, when you do plug your own link it gets much more traffic because your followers trust that if you are sharing it, it is going to be relevant and helpful for them. Quality over quantity is definitely the right way to go.

    • says

      It’s hard to chat on Twitter with the character limitation, but much easier on Facebook. But you’re right, there has to be a balance between socializing and getting some real work done!

  5. says

    I kinda agree and disagree on the too many links argument. On one hand I think that if all I wanted to see was a list of links to other sites I’d go to Digg or something but then on the other hand, if I am following someone in a specific niche on Twitter, I can get a lot more targeted links then Digg would ever give me.

    In the end, if you are attracting new followers and not losing the ones you have then you must be doing something right. It might be the case that you are simply an authority in your chosen niche and thus people are very interested to know what content is hitting the right notes in your opinion; I know I certainly think that way with some people in the internet marketing world…I figure if they are posting all these links then they must be reading them first and deciding that they are thinigs I’d like to read too.

    And even a load of links can be conversational if you say something like: “hey check out this article on XXXXXXX, what do you make of it?”. Like you said in your 2nd point, questions can be very powerful ways of engaging people.

    • says

      Good point Steve. I can understand that you can get a lot more targeted information that way. As far as someone being an authority and all they do is post links, it’s not always the case. Also, not everyone reads the posts and often times, you’ll see someone plug Twitterfeed or something similar where it just auto posts content.

      To me, it’s a lot more than just posting a link and encouraging conversation from that blog post, article, video, etc.
      .-= New from Mike Stenger Marketing Like A Champ Part 1 =-.

    • says

      I think the “link vomiting” is more about the people who are too self-promotional or not considering what types of links are going to be good for their followers and just throwing anything out there. I find that I like the resource sharing people more than the ones that just talk and nothing but.

  6. says

    Similar to Dennis – I had not used Twitter for more than a year, then signed up again a couple of weeks ago. I was a bit surprised at how little “real” conversation is on there.

    There are a few people I follow because they say hilarious random stuff that keeps my day bright. I generally do not tweet to them as they may be insane, and I don’t want to have to live in fear.

    Then there are some people who I follow because they post useful links & information. I try to do the same. These folks also tend to have interesting things to say periodically, which I will reply back to if I have something to add.

    While I do agree that I would like it to be more conversational, I guess that Twitter really is just what you make of it.

    Have a great day!
    .-= New from mark Thinking and Finding Balance in The New 3 =-.

    • says

      It is hard to be conversational on Twitter – a short interaction is alright, but anything lengthy gets hard to follow and a bit frustrating trying to separate it into smaller bites. And it is true – Twitter is what you want it to be and make of it. You’ll attract followers who like your style, and you’ll follow those whose style you like which means your ideal of a perfect “twittersphere” may be different from others.

  7. Mark says

    Mike, what I understand from your article is do not over do your job unnecessarily. Be it over promotion or link vomiting.(he he thats a good naming term) Most of us forget that despite google is a bot, its managed by humans and the strategies are so tedious, that by simply cracking it up, one cant get away that easily. I know many of my friends who just sign in to every single social networking websites just for the sake of brand promotion and for the option to leave their websites URL on the profile. They fail to understand that those sites are not only meant for that purposes, but something more than that. I regularly feed my articles on to twitter if i dont have anything to say personally, and I ensure that way i keep that space occupied.

    • says

      Yep, you got it Mark. Don’t overdo it. Not sure about your situation and maybe you don’t have a lot of time to really interact and talk a lot on Twitter, but maybe use Twitter search to see what people are saying about certain topics and connect with a few.

      What I’m getting at is you can do it in a rather short period of time each day if your schedule isn’t exactly the greatest for time. It helps to put in more but you get what I’m saying.
      .-= New from Mike Stenger Marketing Like A Champ Part 1 =-.

  8. says

    Whether we know it or not we have all been apart of the social media no-no’s. I like three points from your blog. The first point I like is concerning “link vomiting” which was a great way of wording how links can look cluttered yet gross when that’s all you see in blogs, and/or twitter. The second point is concerning the over promoting issue. Sometimes as a whole, we tend to over promote people, products and companies even when we do not promote them ourselves. It’s like adapting to a trend that we honestly do not enjoy. The last point is “Talking AT instead of talking with”, which is a great way of putting it. Relationships are key and in order for someone to notice us, we have to first engage in a conversation with them. They are not “links” where you can copy and paste for everyone to believe that you know who they are lol. Great blog!
    .-= New from Taja Tapping the Web and New Media =-.

  9. says

    Sometimes i really do not like people share too many links in their social media page. Therefore, i will not do the same myself. For me, the sincerity is important. Sharing the links in social media must come from the sincerity. Anyway, thanks for your sharing! :)

  10. says

    I really like your fifth topic about how having the right mindset is related to success. Being sincere and patient with potential clients will work far better in the long run than trying to more or less trick them with some social media strategies in the short term. After all, if you have a good product to sell and believe in it, then there shouldn’t be any need to go overboard with links or over-promotion.
    .-= New from Chuck Edwards@Weight Loss Tips Obesity In America =-.

  11. says

    I’m fairly new to Twitter, but so far I’m not digging it much.

    Perhaps I’m following too many people who do too many of these 5 no-no’s, but I feel like I really have to spend a lot of effort to separate the wheat from the chaff.
    .-= New from John Soares@ Practical Life Design Learn to Say NO =-.

  12. says

    I really agree with your 2nd point about being close minded and self centric. A certain well known blogger I won’t name has this problem and they don’t realize it I think. It can certainly be a turnoff to visitors and isn’t doing any favors toward themselves.

    Till then,


  13. says

    The funny thing about Twitter is that when I try to talk to people, they don’t respond. The only time they respond to me is when I @ them on Fridays. They seem just too interested in getting their “opportunity” out there and they don’t want to hold anything that resembles a conversation. Perhaps I am getting the “wrong type” of followers?
    Anybody else have this problem? If not…then I know it is my followers

    .-= New from Cindy How to Set Up Webcam For Windows Live Messenger =-.

  14. says

    This is my very first time i visit this site. And you have welcomed me with such a great post. I bookmarked it and you will see my face often. lol. thanks

  15. says

    When I first jumped on Twitter I did what most people did: get too excited and tweeted every link I could find.

    But the it flipped, I got tired of just links and began engaging other users. You’ll be amazed at how great networking can be with the limit of characters.

    If you don’t feel like talking on Twitter, don’t worry about it, you’re not obliged to tweet nonstop. Instead, choose your words wisely and listen more.
    .-= New from Murlu 3 Easy Ways To Making More Sales (And How To Do Each) =-.