The Worst Sins You’re Committing on Social Media

“Content is fire and social media is gasoline.” – Jay Baer

Having great content is one thing, but you also need to appropriately use social media to reach and engage your audience with your content. This can sound easier said than done. Yet, with a little attention to your social media behaviors you can correct some of the worst things you’re doing on social media that dramatically hampers your success.

Here are a few of the worst things you’re doing on social media and how to correct it:

You’re just publishing

Social media is not just a microphone. Using it as your personal megaphone to broadcast one-way messages is leaving your audience wanting. It’s also obnoxious when people and brands just provide what feels like a never-ending monologue if we’re being perfectly honest.

Think of social media as a telephone instead. Pick it up to call someone intentionally. Share something truly remarkable that you know they’d love to hear about. And then listen for and encourage their response. Hear what they have to say and engage in a back and forth conversation about whatever it is you two buddies are all chatty about in the first place.

You’re not *really* curating content

Curating content means that you are sharing someone else’s content with your audience. If it’s not taking you a long time to curate content, then I assure you that you’re not doing it right.

Mining content to find the *best* and *most relevant* content for your audience is time-consuming and there is no fast-track around it. You do actually have to be selective with what makes the cut and what doesn’t. Curating the right content for your audience means that you’re filtering out the irrelevant noise and offering your audience highly-useful content so that they don’t have to. Basically, you’ll attract more of your ideal audience when you become a go-to resource for the information they’re looking for – original and otherwise.

You’re only talking about yourself

Resist the urge to talk only about yourself and how great you are. You know when you go to a networking event or party and someone just goes on and on about how awesome they are and how annoying it is? Yeah, that’s true on social media, too. Don’t be that self-involved guy or gal.

If you’re using social media to exclusively broadcast a sales pitch, please stop. No one cares. Instead, talk about your audience and what they care about. Share a story or tip that has application for your audience. Make it your mission to educate or entertain your audience. I believe social media should be more about what you can give than what you can get.

You pay zero attention to the time

When you post content and messages across social media is kind of a big deal. If you publish at the wrong time, the audience you’re intending to reach might be busy working, at a child’s soccer game, or sleeping.

Using scheduling platforms like Hootsuite and Buffer will help you easily track and monitor engagement so you know the most optimal times to post. Twitter offers pretty good analytics by itself and is worth looking at since it is one of the faster moving social channels.

You’re not being original

Lastly, social media is full of copycats. You see someone else being super successful and then you try to mimic what they’re doing. Best practices are OK, but trying to copy is not. Don’t you want to stand out in your own way anyway?

Dare to be different. The way you say things should be uniquely you. Your Instagram page does not need to look like someone else’s. It’s OK to offer a different type of content format (videos instead of blog, short instead of long, visual instead of textual, etc.) I give you permission, right now, to be yourself and own your brand.

Go forth and sin no more on social media. All of these offenses are easily correctable so long as you’re aware of them.