How Not to be a Douche on Social Media

There are plenty of extensive how-to’s for social media out there. This is a good one to get you started on the basics. There are also plenty of what-not-to-do’s, but those take forever to read because there are a lot of things you shouldn’t do with your social media accounts. I like to keep things simple, so I’ve distilled all the asshole mistakes people make into 3 general things to avoid. If you are doing these things, you’re being a dick and you should stop. Like, right now.

  1. Do NOT spam

This is the worst thing you can do. Sending just a link without a message to all of the Twitterverse will not increase your engagement or earn you more followers. It will get you reported for spamming and get your account deleted. And if you message me like this, you’ll get an angry message back calling you a variety of colorful names.

This rule also covers sending out the same message over and over again so it will show up in news feeds longer. Or posting 5 things in rapid succession. Same result: not beneficiary in the long term and you’re account will be deleted.

Bottom line: no one will take you seriously and you’ll just be hurting yourself if you use these tactics. Also, people will hate you.

2. Do NOT delete negative comments you receive

Engagement is the buzz word. It’s what everyone is chasing. Keep that in mind when you receive a negative comment, because even though it’s not a glowing endorsement, someone is still engaging with you. Also keep in mind how fast things move on the interwebs. Seconds after that comment was posted, someone else saw it, so deleting it is even worse that receiving it in the first place. This is your opportunity to change a negative perception into a positive one. Always, always, always acknowledge these comments. If you made a mistake, acknowledge and apologize. If it’s some whacko who just doesn’t agree with you and felt the need to slam you on the internet, you don’t have to apologize but acknowledge the difference of opinion and leave it at that, they’ve already made themselves look bad enough.

Even worse than deleting a negative comment is getting pissed off and posting a snarky comeback. I’ve actually had this happen to me. I wrote a bad review for a salon after a pretty sub-par customer experience and the owner responded by blaming me for it because I was a walk-in and then thanked me for publicly insulting her staff. You can read exactly what went down here. If she had acknowledged the shoddy work and asked for another chance, I would have gladly given it to her. Unfortunately, she chose to write a bitchy response and lose a customer for life. I actually go out of my way to tell people to avoid this salon now because of this event. Her comment also just makes her seem unprofessional and uninviting. After reading it, would you want to go there?

3. Do NOT act like a robot

When you have a face-to-face conversation with someone, you don’t constantly analyze the virality of your words. You don’t use strange, obviously placed syntax to make them remember you. And if you shout at the top of your lungs so everyone in the world can hear you talk about your cat, you have bigger problems than I can help you with. So why do these things in social media conversations?

Interactions in social media should resemble a real-life conversation, free-flowing and natural. When you start crafting your messages around the analytics you start sounding like a robot. And nobody wants to talk to Skynet.

I won’t say don’t use third party software to post, they can be helpful in managing campaigns and great for analyzing success, just be aware that some platforms (Facebook) will devalue posts from third parties. That means it will show up lower on news feeds, giving you lower reach and engagement rates.

Let people know there’s a person behind that Twitter handle. Have a real conversation and results will follow naturally.

So, there it is. Three easy tips for non douche baggery on social media. You’re welcome.

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4 Responses to How Not to be a Douche on Social Media

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