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Top 25 Social Media Pet Peeves

Top 25 Social Media Pet Peeves

Social Media Best Practices!

What is your social media pet peeve? Mine is people who just post quotes all day long, thinking they are being inspirational. What’s yours?

The number and variety of responses I got was amazing, so I thought I’d digest them into categories. The value, here, is to help each of us understand what irritates other people in the realm of social media. Not that we have to please everyone, but if there are a lot of folks who are irritated by a specific behavior (ahem…auto-direct messages on Twitter), we might think twice about engaging in that behavior via our personal or business social media channels.

So…here they are! 25 social media pet peeves contributed by the readers of SocMedSean.

25 Social Media Pet Peeves

  • Posting a lot of meaningless content (pins, check-ins, etc…) just to artificially inflate your Empire Avenue, Klout, or Kred score.
  • Only posting promotional posts/tweets/articles and never engaging in a 2-way dialog with your community.
  • Spam and/or Phishing – via Twitter, LinkedIn email or any social media channel.
  • Guidance from social media gurus that their way is the only way.
  • Gurus who charge to teach people how to behave online in a way that is exactly the same as how we should behave in the real world.
  • People who use social media as a marketing tool, rather than an engagement opportunity.
  • People who tweet ALL THE TIME!
  • Silly social media algorithms that don’t make any sense (yes…we’re talking about you Klout, Kred, etc…).
  • Being asked to RT or share silly status updates.
  • Being tagged in posts or photos that don’t have anything to do with you.
  • Spam indicating that you should “follow back” or “get 50,000 twitter followers a day”.
  • Social sharing tools that don’t allow you to just click and share. Who wants to authenticate with an app?
  • Self-proclaimed “social media experts” who know tactics, but don’t know how to formulate an actual strategy (Amen to this one)!!
  • Companies that use social media as an advertising channel
  • Digital media thieves – Those that steal images and videos that are clearly protected by copyright (not under creative commons license) and use them in their blog posts, Facebook updates, etc…
  • Auto-posting without any follow-up on the responses that people post.
  • eBooks that don’t offer any actual value.
  • People who don’t pay attention to the value of their content. If no one likes or shares your content, think about whether your content is valuable.
  • Auto-DMs on Twitter. One of my personal biggest pet peeves.
  • Forgetting about “Thumper’s Rule” – If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all…
  • People who friend, connect, or follow someone just so they can behave badly and start arguments.
  • Social channels who keep changing things, even though their community likes them the way they are (hint, hint Facebook!)
  • MLM scams, “social media marketing” get rich schemes, and anything else that claims to use social media to make you rich.
  • Junk content that is only meant to bait the search engines, not offer value to readers.
  • Posting quotes over and over and over and over…

So…how many of these are you guilty of doing? Do you have a pet peeve you would like to add?


By Sean R. Nicholson

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  1. While I agree that you don’t want to go out of your way to offend people, I think the important thing is to know YOUR audience. What do your followers like or dislike? If you are engaging them with your content, who cares what other people’s pet peeves are? They just won’t follow you.

  2. Fun stuff. Suffice to say that some people (including some friends and family members whom I love dearly) (a) Share WAY too much personal information online (b) seek to waste our time with WAY too many Facebook game invites and (c) want to engage us with WAY too many humor filled or controversial posts that if we don’t comment on it is perceived that we have either no heart or no brain. Social media is like a great chocolate cake… you have to no when to say, “When!”

  3. Some good points, however, what makes the internet any different from tv or radio, it’s “media”? Don’t like something, block it, change it, turn it off. Don’t want commercials, quotes or share what some folks think as milestones stay off social media. Glad to know your pet-peeves, just remember, those are yours, not necessarily anyone else :-)

  4. Great list! Lately I’m noticing “friends” re-posting my post and not even ‘liking’ mine… where they found it originally.

  5. Great list. One of the things that bugs me is people who auto post from a service and then manually post the same content/link at the same time.

  6. There is a huge amount of pressure to not get left behind and many megaphones shouting out “game the system.” EA and Klout are just two business models that are best at mainlining that shout-out.

    So it is no surprise that most of us engage in some sort of short-cut seeking behavior at least in the beginning of our journey.

    The pushers are on every street corner making it hard even for those with the best of intentions.

  7. The more time i spend in social media…the more these ring true!

  8. I love Thumper’s Rule! I haven’t ever heard it called that before (but know where it comes from – Bambi). It’s a huge pet peeve of me. I think your list is pretty exhaustive.

  9. Thanks for the article! It is very timely and informative.

  10. Long lists of pet peeves? ;-)

    Actually, the DM’s really are driving me nuts. If you have a smartphone that gives you an audio alert for DM’s, and you don’t turn your phone off because you do emergency work, and you get DM’s from both sides of the world…

    I always check missions before engaging in them – I don’t feel comfortable with some of the RT requests – either because they’re inappropriate, or because they clog up my own followers. I don’t mind missing out on the eaves.

  11. This is a GREAT list. I agree with all of it (except maybe people who tweet all the time) ;) I think most of us feel the same way. It has lost alot of it’s fun and become more of a chore to keep a meaningless score up on a site that means nothing.

  12. Krishnendu Dutta

    One more I would like to add to the list. Sometime people just steal a post by posting it as their own, without giving proper credit .

  13. - Bloggers who don’t follow-up comments (don’t get me wrong, must not be EVERY comment – just a sign of being alive)

    - People asking for help, favors, etc. WiTHOUT giving a reasoning (dumb questions)

    - Blogs where the signature/links is bigger than the content

  14. Love this piece, and it’s long overdue! It really bugs me to see “social media specialists” ignoring common sense and basic respect. It it doesn’t create a dialog, don’t do it.

  15. Great article. You are very good at the “Social Media” scene. I would say much better than most. I would recommend following up with tips on what we should do to increase good content, engagement and basic effectiveness.

  16. Best Practice… positive thinking I suppose :)

  17. Complaining about social media on social media is one for the list, no?

  18. Lovely article to follow ,many thanks

  19. I actually appreciate the one or two liners. People get their message across and I don’t have to take my time to read a long missive.

  20. I admit that I am not guilty of any of those tactics since I seldom do anything with my social media sites.

    Hmmm, maybe I should use them more. However, it is not in my nature to make a lot of small talk. You may have noticed in all of my previous comments that I do not comment with just a one line response, like two of the three comments above me.

    Being genuine, not spamming, and actually communicating with others takes time and energy and quite often I am short in both areas. I guess that is what happens as one gains in age.

    I did copy the 25 no-no’s for future reference. I do appreciate it when ResumeBear provides good advice and/or thought provoking articles.

  21. mitchal @ Latest Jobs in Qatar

    I don’t like spam content, so when I see spam person I reported him scam.

  22. Excellent article, thank you! I think my biggest pet peeves are:

    - People who share quotes all day long
    - Self-proclaimed social media gurus / experts who have no clue what being one means.
    - Self-proclaimed best-selling authors.

    I am sharing this article on all my networks.

  23. Super list. How many people will recognize themselves? I wonder.

  24. Great rules to remember!

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