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Want to Be a Good Social Media Marketer? Don't Do This.

Regular Advisor

There's a lot of debate these days about what it means to be a "good" social media marketer. Every expert seems to have his or her own opinion. Does it mean tweeting or posting to Facebook a certain number of times each day? Does it mean posting a certain type of content? Does it mean you can't pre-schedule your posts and tweets? Or does it mean having a certain number of fans or followers, or a high Klout score? The definition of what makes a good social media marketer seems to be different for everyone. And in fact, there's a lot of "best practice" advice available — you can find it here on this blog, in our Learning Center, and on our Social Media Quickstarter, for example.


An easier (and more amusing) question to answer may be what not to do on social media. Perhaps that's why when I asked a few of Constant Contact's own social media experts to name their biggest social media pet peeve, they jumped at the chance. Are you looking to be a better social media marketer? Our advice is to stay away from the following "worst" practices:


"When I don’t see any interaction or conversations just constant posting of articles, links, and other content. That stuff is definitely valuable, but one of the reasons social media is such a great tool for businesses is that it allows for a two-way conversation that lets people build a relationship with the brand."

Dave Gerhardt


"Twitter handles that are too long. I’m all for being descriptive and having a great Twitter handle, but I’m also trying to send you a message in one tweet, and your handle is eating up precious character space."

Jarrad Mack


"Don't ever tweet that you forgot to floss today. I don't need to know that."

Aaron Severs


"Businesses that use social media for selling and not engagement."

Michael Pace


"Businesses and organizations that don't respond to comments or tweets. Social media is a two-way conversation, which means you need to both listen and respond to comments directed at you. If someone walks into your store or calls you on the phone with a question or comment, you wouldn't ignore them, you would respond. You should do the same with social media. This is actually an area where small businesses have a significant advantage over larger companies because small businesses are more customer-centric and know how to build quality relationships."

Mark Schmulen


"I hate receiving a generic direct-message (DM) auto-reply when I follow someone on Twitter."

Rosalind Morville


"When people start tweets with a Twitter handle when the sender intends the tweet to be public. Doing that limits who will see the tweet."

Erica Ayotte


"Auto DMs on Twitter. That usually results in an automatic unfollow."

Dave Charest


"When I get a default message invitation on LinkedIn by someone I don’t know or an automatic response message on Twitter when I start to follow someone, it feels as though those people are not trying to connect with me personally. They just want to collect another fan, follower, or friend. "

Corissa St. Laurent


"When people or businesses automatically cross-post content between Facebook and Twitter. If businesses encourage you to connect in different channels, then they should treat each one differently and have a communication plan for each. Or at least pay attention enough so that 'giveaways' like having hashtags in Facebook posts aren’t obvious. Because what you are telling me as a fan or follower is that there is no reason to connect with you in both places."

Josh Mendelsohn


"People who post personal troubles looking for sympathy, or who post what they are cooking for dinner or that they just ran 10 miles, because they're looking for a pat on the back."

Patrick McAdams


"Auto DM responses on Twitter. I know it's efficient, but it's so un-engaging."

Elyse Tager


"LinkedIn requests from strangers that don't say how they may know you."

Anissa Freeman Starnes


"When businesses don’t integrate their social media marketing efforts. If you have a Facebook Page, make sure you link to it on your website, your blog, your other social media profiles, and in your email newsletter. It’s really important to let people know about your other communication channels when they’re visiting any of your communication channels because every profile, update, tweet, email, post, and visitor is a chance to reach a new follower."

Azure Collier


"When people on Facebook send out spam with links to free things without doing any research to find out if it’s a valid promotion. Then everyone else does it because they all follow the trend."

Marissa Wilson


"Getting a spammy auto-DM on Twitter after I follow someone."

Danielle Cormier


What are your biggest social media pet peeves? Is there anything you wish your friends, or the people you follow, would stop doing? Share your thoughts with us here or on our Facebook Page.


Martin Lieberman is Constant Contact's managing editor. He develops blog posts, articles, guides, and more about email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, and online survey best practices, as well as small business and engagement marketing trends. Martin has more than 15 years of experience writing and editing content for a variety of audiences. Martin's tips, ideas, and solutions help small businesses and organizations build successful customer and member relationships. Follow Martin on Twitter at @martinlieberman.

Occasional Visitor

Great article - made me stop and re-evaluate. Must admit I have been guilty of cross posting content in the past without considering different channels. Thanks Josh for pointing this out!!

Honored Contributor

"LinkedIn requests from strangers that don't say how they may know you."

Anissa Freeman Starnes


HUGE PIA .....


Tony Schaefer
Constant Contact Solution Provider and SMS Marketing Specialist

Not applicable

All good points, well taken.  The DMs on Twitter seems to be the most popular don't do, so will keep it in mind....