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5 Ways Not to Use Social Media

March 9, 2011

Social media is fast becoming the single most powerful marketing tool on the internet today.  With a few key strokes and the click of a button you can have your message sent to tens of thousands of people at one time with the potential of that message going viral.  Whether it is using the power of retweets with Twitter or using your Facebook fan page to generate a buzz, social media is a great way to leverage social interaction with your website or business.  But there are also some wrong ways to use social media, and this list is meant to be avoided and not followed.


  1. Try to sell your followers something every time you send a message out.  This is the most usual way in which social media is abused.  How would you like to turn on the TV only to find non-stop commercial’s on every channel?  It wouldn’t be so bad if the commercials were funny, but most spammy tweets that I have seen are just simply annoying.  People follow you so they can learn something from you or because you entertain them.  Give them a reason to trust you and to like you and maybe then you can push some more promotional material on them.

  2. Only talk about your own website and products.  Just talking about your own stuff is an easy trap to fall into.  After all, you believe you have the best website in the world and you want everyone to know about it right?  Well, you will be able to expand your followers and fans by talking about other websites and services as well.  By doing this you will also be able to get the big users of Twitter and Facebook to talk about you as well.  Sites like Digg.com don’t like it when you promote the same site all the time and can ban your account if you do it too much.  So swallow that pride and talk about someone else for a change.

  3. Complain about personal issues.  You might think that all of your loyal fans want to know about those private matters that are plaguing you, but unless you are Justin Bieber, no one really wants to hear about it.  This is what your personal Facebook and Twitter accounts are for, so if you have a hard time not talking about the drama in your life, perhaps you need separate accounts.   You should not use your social media prowess to complain about other people as well or defame other businesses in your niche.

  4. Don’t use auto-replies or use RSS feeds to supply your messages.  This is a very annoying form of spam and it’s good way to loose potential followers.  Take the time to make your messages personal and unique.  Services from Twitterfeed may sound tempting because you can take someone else’s content and pump it into your account, but it’s something you should avoid if you are serious about using social media to grow your website.

  5. Don’t just follow people in huge numbers. There is a common practice of getting new followers and fans by following other people and as soon as they follow you back you drop them like a rock.  Not only is this rude, it’s just plain wrong.  Only follow people that you would write a message to or who you really want to get information from.

You can see some amazing results if you use social media properly.  But don’t ruin it for everyone else by following the 5 things above.

Jon is a writer for www.SafeIdentityProtection.com.  There you can learn how to protect yourself from ID theft on Facebook, as well as read reviews of some of the best identity theft protection services online.

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