Here’s a great article from Socially Sorted that discusses outdated social media strategies that were once effective, but should be avoided going into 2017. According to Donna Twitter auto direct messages, adding LinkedIn contacts to email lists, Instagram auto comments, randomly adding people to Facebook groups, and reckless tagging should all be abandoned practices. For the most part I do agree, but depending on your target audience and what you are promoting some of these strategies still may be viable.
Every Year there are predictions about Social Media Tactics, strategies and platforms that will be hot in the following year.
But let’s spare a thought for the bad, annoying social media practices that are becoming all too common.
In this post, I share 5 Social Media Practices that annoy the heck out of me. Chances are they are annoying the heck out of you too (or maybe you know someone who needs to stop doing them).
If you know me and you know my blog, you’ll know I don’t often rant about the dont’s. I prefer to focus on the do’s. It’s just a more positive way to do things.
But lately, all 5 of these “dont’s” have driven me bat-shizz crazy, to put it mildly.
And I know I am not the only one to be annoyed – many of you have commented how you are sick of putting up with them too.
But I’m also guessing that a small percentage of my readers may do one or more of these social media tactics:
Maybe you don’t know any better.
Or maybe someone who SHOULD know better, that has advised you to do it. I hope you’ll reconsider (because let’s face it, at least two of these social media tactics can get you or your social account in a whole lot of trouble, so I’d like that not to happen to you).
And for those of you that are not using any of these social media tactics (thank you for keeping social “clean”) please feel free to pass this on.
And I am sure there will be a few people who disagree with me too. Le Sigh.
So here’s my hit-list for the trash can of social media:
5 Social Media Tactics to Trash in 2017
1 Auto DMs and Auto Thank You’s on Twitter
This year I stopped looking at my Direct Messages (DMs) on Twitter altogether. It became too hard to rummage through them all in order to find real, intentional messages.
I know that it means that I miss a few authentic, real, genuine messages..but it all became too hard, because too many of them are automated, promotional spam or generic, impersonal thank you messages.
Note: if you want to reach me, don’t send a Twitter DM. I’ll miss it.
I am sure for many people the intention is good, but please know that it’s kind of a waste of time. Especially if you are adding promotional content to that “thankyou” message. Most of us just switch off and don’t read them.
What Should You Do Instead?
Try choosing a few key people that you want to thank for following or reach out to and send a personal message. It just takes 5 minutes to send a few of these. Even a short video can be quick and easy to do.
You can also use my secret weapon for controlling auto-messages. I use Agorapulse for my social media management as it allows me to check and reply to comments and messages across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It also has a cool “moderation feature” that allows me to filter out 90% of the Direct Messages and Auto-Thankyou’s. Here’s one of my rules that I set up to filter out the Automated Thankyou’s:
Agorapulse can help save you from choking on Auto DMs!
I also use Agorapulse to filter out certain third party tools that tend to send spammy messages or auto-bot messages and replies (I’m looking at you, Rebel Mouse!). You can also choose to filter out any sort of post that uses consistent keywords in your newsfeed. It’s Ninja!
Whatever you do, focus on real, authentic messages. Twitter users don’t want to have conversations with robots!
2 Adding LinkedIn Contacts to your Email List
OK, I am going to get on my high-horse here. Here’s what I think about adding LinkedIn contacts to your email list without them subscribing.
Please don’t do it.
Do not add your LinkedIn contacts to your generic email list and spam them. In fact, don’t add them to ANY email list.
There will be some LinkedIn users out there that will argue this, because they believe (or have been ill-advised) that it is good practice to spam someone without permission (or that being a LinkedIn “contact” implies you want to be added to an email list).
I asked LinkedIn about this a while back, and this is the response they gave:
Hi Donna. Adding our members email addresses to a mailing list is considered spamming. The Do’s and Don’ts section of the LinkedIn User Agreement prohibits sending spam. At this time, you can only report these people who violate the user agreement. We currently don’t have this functionality available to hide your email address to your contacts. However, I’ve sent your suggestion on to our product team for consideration.
When many of our members ask for the same improvement, they try their best to get it done. However, due to the number of suggestions they receive, they usually don’t provide a timeline. Again, we appreciate the feedback and believe that together we can create great products for everyone!
Adding people to an email list without express permission is spamming them. Plain and simple. If you are in Canada or a country where the spam legislation is tight, you are also risking being reported and getting a hefty fine. Don’t do that.
What to do instead:
Reach out to your LinkedIn contacts and offer value IN LinkedIn via LinkedIn Mail – continue the conversation on email if you want to, but at least offer some sort of value and communication first.
Reply to people who add you to an email list without permission, and let them know it’s against LinkedIn’s terms. Report them if you really want to, but I prefer to educate first… some people have just been given bad advice and don’t know any better.
Let LinkedIn know if you are sick of getting added to lists because of your LinkedIin email address. Maybe they will change it so that we can choose whether or not to make our email address visible to contacts.
Side note: I changed my email address in LinkedIn to an email that I don’t use to subscribe to any email lists. So now, it’s easy to identify those people that are adding me to an email list via LinkedIn (unfortunately there are quite a few – and they are pretty much always sales-y and non-personalised emails. I rest my case.