19Seven Deadly Social Media Sins1

Social media is so new that most people are making it up as they go2, but most people seem to make the same mistakes—or, dare we say, sins. Back in 2009, when we first wrote this chapter, we looked at the biggest players online for business—Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn—but the same concepts can be applied to any social media site today.


Greed is quite a popular sin. Social media is a self-centered tool. It's about us. But it's 100 times better if used as a conversational tool versus a dictation. We see people using Twitter as a glorified RSS feed for their blog or an ad-puker. This tactic is so absent of personality, we wonder why they even try. Yes, they are in business, but if they believe that business is built on relationships, they need to make building them their business.

This sin holds a special place for the people who only share compliments about themselves. Scott was talking to a colleague of ours, and she was asking how he had built such a large amount of followers. Scott mentioned that he gets retweeted a lot and retweets others. Her reply was “I retweet others all the time!” When we checked out her page, the only time she ever retweeted anyone was if it was a compliment about her or a #FollowFriday3 mention with her in it. You may as well tweet while looking in a mirror telling yourself you're good enough, you're smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like you.

Facebook is in a world of its own. People do everything from ...

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