11 Mistakes and Ways Why Your Social Media Fails

UPDATE: 31 May 2013

Social networking in different social platforms can be funny, but also time-consuming and sometimes disappointing. May be you thought that setting accounts with Twitter or Facebook or Pinterest – put the name of your preferred social site here – is the magic bullet for all your problems.

Sending your offers or articles to them and presto! the sales / traffic skyrocketed. Really?
I’m seeing again and again that not everybody has clear social media concepts and the correspondent results aren’t what you want.

 

Typical questions related to social media I find often:

  • Why would you use social media?
  • How do you know if social media is for you?

Questions, questions: Let’s see a simple answer.

In your offline life, unless you live in a lonely island, fishing and hunting to survive, you need to contact other people, for work, pleasure or just being for your friends, and then you’re doing social media offline, you’re networking. The life online is the same, the only difference are the social platforms.

 

11 Mistakes & Ways Why Your Social Media Fails

 

There are bad practices, for ignorance, for not understanding social behaviors or because somebody told you that you need to have presence at social channels, but you’ve no idea why.

First thing is doing it correctly and you’ll see the social benefits.

Today the social benefits apply to everyone, customers, companies, bloggers and the like.

For example, for bloggers here are some bonuses with your social networking.

  1.   Proper social networking strategies can improve your blog as a brand plus your expertise with your peers.
  2. Link building is a good consequence boosting your rankings in search engines.
  3. Appropriated comments can build traffic and can make solid relationships.
  4. Your way of blogging can influence, in a good form, over other bloggers

 

Social Media Best Practices and Which Ones You Must Avoid:

 

# 1 Null Real and Human Social Presence

You don’t use Twitter, Facebook or call them what you want.

I can’t believe how many bloggers don’t use them at all or yes they’ve a Twitter or Facebook account, but, only and just only, to send their own posts to them, and some cases, automatically.

Is this social networking? Nope – this is called broadcasting and for certain, your readers don’t like. Sorry, but your blog / brand will suck.
Zero interaction with other bloggers isn’t social networking. For this stuff you’ve the RSS readers to subscribe to your favorite blogs.

 

# 2 Never Reply to Comments on Your Blog

Let’s face it: There are bloggers that never reply to a comment at their blogs – it doesn’t matter the quantity of them.

Someone took the time to read and expressed her/his feeling about your article, and you zero! nada!

I’m not talking about spammy comments, so why don’t you answer some of them?

I know if you receive hundreds is harder one by one. But with an interesting comment you can do it. Also to some question or doubt your reader can have.

If we go to the opposite site, you receive a few, why don’t you do it? You need to build a community around your blog and engaging with your readers is a good way to accomplish it.

 

# 3 Never Comment at Other Blogs

You read an article that shocked you, or inspire you on that blog, but no, you don’t comment.

This is very common; stats said that the majority of people leave blogs without commenting. May be you don’t have time, but you can bookmark it and do it on other occasion or with other next posts.

It’s impossible to be commenting in everyplace but you can put aside a fraction of your time of your day to make it. Social networking with other bloggers is vital and visiting plus commenting is a good start.

Even “big fishes” of the blogosphere you see commenting at other blogs sporadically and really they are extremely busy!

 

# 4 Never Put All Your Social-Eggs in One Basket

Remember social platforms like Myspace? And Bebo? And Amplify, Posterous, Clipboard?

Myspace had tons of active members and now is very far of a glorious epoque remaining basically to music lovers and bands, astronomically exceeded for Facebook with more than 1000 millions of users.

Bebo can be sold by AOL and nobody knows what will happen with it.
They have passed just only few years and some social channels disappeared or a nearer to.

Can you put all your social networking efforts and presence in one place, nope! Remember Myspace and Bebo.

This is the reason why you’d be networking in diverse social networks, and don’t forget that your own blog is always your home and not Twitter or Facebook or Google Plus..to name just a few.

 

# 5 Never Do Social Sharing of Articles from Other Bloggers

Again, social networking is interacting with other bloggers, commenting and sharing their posts with your favorite social sites, when you’ve the chance. But no, you’re selfish and the only blog available and important is yours.

Sure when you notice that other bloggers are ignoring you, perhaps is too late and you lost your readers.

 

# 6 Ask For Votes but You Never Return

This is a huge pet peeve which I see often in social bookmaking sites like StumbleUpon.

Hey vote for my article! Hey plz RT my post! But after you voted, rtweeted or even commented, this blogger acts like, I don’t know you…till I need your vote again. Come on!

I can’t I take you seriously as blogger less as a person, no matter if you belong to the top A list,  B, or C of the blogosphere. We’re all bloggers and you can’t play with the time of others.

 

# 7 Never Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Want more traffic, meet new people? Yes, so visit other blogging-niches!

Oftentimes food bloggers should read and comment on bloggers about blogging. Blogging’s bloggers should read and comment in marketing, SEO or business ones and vice versa. You get the idea, the blogosphere is the world.

You can meet new interesting people, new concepts and all are benefits. Are you doing it?

 

# 8 Ignore Mentions of Your followers at Twitter or tagging at Facebook

Unless you’ve more than 100.000 Twitter followers and several thousands of Facebook‘s friends, if you receive something interesting of a follower, why are you ignoring it?

I understand, if you’ve hundreds by day, isn’t impossible, but if not, why? And the worst, you ask for a RT or ask your followers to see some ad/article how it looks on your blog and when you get the feedback from them….I didn’t know you! Hey at least they deserve a little thanks, don’t they?

 

# 9 Send Internal Messages but You Don’t Want any Feedback in Return

You ask something via DM (direct message) at Twitter and you unfollow immediately to not receive any answer.
This is not the first time that I’ve received this type of internal message but when I reply it – I can’t.

StumbleUpon is other example. I can set up my StumbleUpon account for “everyone”, all can send me messages, but again, several times when I reply to a message received, my answer is rejected because she/he doesn’t accept anything on return. Selfish behavior, isn’t it?

 

# 10 Never Use Your Real Name Anywhere

In your real life is your name “real state guru”? Neither your friends call you in that way.

Nobody can take seriously if you comment with these similar names. Blogging are relationships not some keywords and you can piss off the owner of the blog where you’re commenting, truly in a bad way!

 

# 11 Never Spam Forums or Other Bloggers with Spammy Comments

This is a common practice, you said: “Great post” and to worsen the things, you put an extra link in the comment area, apart of the corresponding to the url field.

Consequences are of a high probability that the spam filter will catch your comment and send it to spam folder. Or manually, the blogger will do it.

For certain, the blog’s owner won’t want to hear from you again! The same situation applies in forums, where you can be banned permanently.

 

Now It’s Your Turn…

Which bad social practices would you like to add? Are you doing some of them? Have you been “touched” with those behaviors?

Image by b_d_solis

Gera

Gera is a techie & foodie passionate about how to succeed in social media. He focuses also on successful blogging tips and food connections. You can connect with him on Google +. Subscribe to his Free WPulsar Newsletter about WordPress Plugin & Theme Reviews, Blogging and Social Media.

Tia

Gera – Every word of this is true and makes complete sense as to why some people are failing miserably at social media – and actually at blogging in general.

#6 drives me the most insane. I’ve been asked to share things, and I share freely and link out from my blog all the time, and see little return. What I eventually do is just stop doing that blogger the favor because obviously they don’t appreciate it. I believe in reciprocity when it comes to blogging. It’s easy to give and take but some people only take because they’re just so selfish.

You’re a great example of someone doing it right, Gera! Keep it up. B)

Cheers,
Tia
My recent post Eat- Pray- Love- What food- prayer- and love have to do with each other

    Gera

    Glad you feel the same about it. I’ve learnt that share freely not always work because not all bloggers appreciate. The same applies to votes and this #6 point is of my own experience that leads me to delete some bloggers from my RSS and unfollow them from several social sites.

    This is valid to all niches, not only food. I’ve been sharing without any type of second intentions, but I don’t like either to become in “use and throw” blogger because a small fraction only want to use you.

    Thanks Tia! 🙂

Belinda

Critical tips…I may be guilty about one…er…Facebook
My recent post Photo of the Day- Giant Gummy

    Gera

    Belinda I’ve done also several of them, so I’m trying to show the correct way 🙂

FOODESSA

Gera…how well this post resonates with me. I started my blog almost 8 months ago for my pure personal culinary journey. I love roaming around…learning and exploring…and yes, when I find something interesting…I will generously comment. Most times these people will come back to me. However…here’s a small message to the ones that never reciprocate…the very least one could do is repond by email to thank the person for their comment and somehow politely let them know that they are not particularly interested in reciprocating due to a personal lack of interest. Now, that’s the kind of honesty and integrity I’d love to see generated in this cyber world. Not responding to someone who took the time to make you an appropriate and complimentary comment is just plain arrogant!!! Bloggers should figure out why it is that they are posting in the first place.
Excellent post with lots for bloggers to think about.
Ciao for now, Claudia
My recent post BATHE or not a CHEESECAKE melody

    Gera

    Claudia these points are extremely common and unfortunately I bet they’ll continue. I’ve had and still have the same experience with people who never reciprocate. Yes, at least, thanking by email should be fine, but this is also too much for them.
    My reaction to these cases is delete, delete, and delete this blogger from my streams. I know that big bloggers can’t enter in the equation, but “normal” ones yes. From my point of view if they only take but never give, is not acceptable.

    Happy you like it!! 8)

John Paul Aguiar

Gera, great list man.. all very tru and a good eye opener.

As far as #8.. I don’t care how many followers you have, even 100,000 you should thank people for every RT or positive comments that give you.

I have 60,000 followers and I do my best to thank everyone for every RT they give me.

As far as #6.. I try to return the favor to bloggers that I see sharing my stuff over and over.. I do #FF for them and I try to Rt their posts as well, but it can be hard if you are getting 30 – 50 – 100 RTs to return the favor to everyone.

I don’t ask for votes or RTs.. and I get turned off by people asking for that stuff.. if I like it I will share it.. If you share something of mine on your own, then you do it because you enjoyed it and want to share it.

Overall a great post..

My recent post 5 Blog Posts That Attract The Most Comments

    Gera

    Thank so much John! Yes I know that the ideal is to thank all the people for the RTs or positive feedback but I think more followers is equal less time to acknowledge all. But I see you try your best to do it and this is great! although you’ve 60k followers.

    Agree about #6, I do the same about bloggers who share my stuff and comment but, if you’ve hundreds RTs or votes, things can be more complicated.

    Not everybody has your policy about ask for votes or RTs, is the contrary and also I don’t like at all. For my, this feedback to you, must flow in a natural way too.

    Many thanks again and happy your like it 🙂

Sourav

Hi Gera,
You are spot on with all the 11 points. On my part, I am guilty of not using Facebook properly…but make that up by being active on Twitter. And yes, I RT other people’s content a lot.
I return the favor to all those who help me, ie, comment or RT my post.
And I never ask for RT’s and votes, and hate to see people doing it unless it’s for some contest.
My recent post 8 Ways To Keep Your Readers Busy

    Gera

    Yes it’s impossible to stay active and in a proper way in several social channels but ppl don’t know it or are new to this arena.
    I’m guilty at Facebook too and I’m trying to fix it also.
    Great we’ve the same social concepts about RTs and sharings!

    Glad you liked Sourav! 🙂

Gera

Social networking should be funny and relaxing but not always, then so happy you find the article useful! Trying to avoid some of these mistakes can save you time and potential social headaches on the online world.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your blog as soon will be live!

claudia

thanks so much, it means alot for your understanding! But it food is a passion for most people who blog, and its a tribute to them for each visitor who commends their work, every loves recognition, and competes, however followers are critics as well, less followers make low cofidence, so we are all in this together. Its like family. Thats why we all seem to feel insulted if they are not recognized for good work. Over confidence is also a weakness they usually never comment and too competitive. Like jealousy, so why bother with them….I agree with you!

    Gera

    Not all bloggers see blogging like a family, they see more than a competition, therefore for this type of bloggers, not worth to invest time in them.

rebecca

wow great post Gera and love the discussion I hope i am genuine and real I feel thats key and your right so important to respond to comments and read their blogs its wonderful fun and you make new friends
sorry I don’t visit as often as I wish I could

lol Rebecca

    Gera

    Happy you like it. You’re genuine and natural Rebecca! I know, also I can’t visit all the bloggers I wish, but the time is finite.
    Thanks for stopping by!

GrowMap

I definitely agree with almost everything you wrote but have some unique thoughts on using your real name. I totally agree than most people have this thing about names; however, there are some serious issues with using your real name and image online.

I use KeywordLuv because I recognize the value of anchor text links to obtaining more traffic from search engines. I would love for more bloggers to realize why commentators want to use keywords and encourage them to welcome business bloggers. Doing so will improve the economy for us all.

    Gera

    Totally agree with you. KeywordLuv is exceptional, I can’t install it here at ID but this is a balanced way to mix your real name with some additional keywords…for me is ideal and I apply it for myself on other blogs!

HoneyB

Very good points Gera! Thank you – I do listen! I’m not always good at acting upon because of time constraints but I’m going to try to do better! 🙂
My recent post Cinnamon Flavored Pancakes with Blueberry POM Wonderful Syrup

    Gera

    Time constraints are a general factor why several people avoid commenting or doing social networking, I’ve it too. But blogging is all these points so we need to improve our tasks to find a gap at the day 😉 Glad you like it!

Claudia

I don’t always follow-up on comments on my blog. If people put “lovely post” which I very much appreciate – I don’t always put in a “thank-you.” I mainly answer questions. I do know that socialmedia is interactive and of course one does neet to interact. I am erratic in my use of them but because of that do not have expectations that anyone is hanging on anything I post.

    Gera

    Agree with you short comments like “lovely post” you don’t need to thanks all of them and for me is fundamental answering questions, more in recipes.
    Everyone has different concepts about social media and all are valid; the reality is the one that talks. Thanks for stopping by Claudia!

elra

Wow, I think the lists is hit me right away Gera. I always try to be a good blogger, when someone leave me comment, I always visiting them back and give them comment as well. Something I notice is that some people when they get famous, they stop visiting you and give comment. Even if you make an effort to try their recipe for example, they don’t seem to care. Why is that? Do you feel the same?
My recent post Tumis Kangkung Bumbu Pedas Spicy Stir Fry Kangkung-Water Spinach With Toasted Shrimp Paste

    Gera

    If possible I do same like you Elra. People change, bloggers change too.

    Yes totally – I feel the same, in some cases they suddenly stop visiting, without any reason, but you see it visiting other sites, sad but true. More social I’m, less tolerant with this type of “famous” but poor persons.

    My action has evolved about this matter and now I send them politely “to trash” at all my social channels. They don’t remember that all bloggers need of the other bloggers, no matter the importance of the same. Right?

Barbara DeGroot

Gera, this is an excellent reality check and road map for those of us who blog and strive to be better at it. I cringed in reading your mistake #1, which I am SO guilty of. I tend to treat both Facebook and Twitter as mini-feeds, rather than as venues for genuine engagement with others. Luckily, though, I’m never guilty of several of the blogging mistakes you identify. I, for one, plan to print out your “11 Commandments” and review them on a regular basis. Many thanks.

    Gera

    I try to avoid the point #1 when I can, is very common and you don’t see any type of positive results. I’ve done several of the mentioned mistakes so my idea is not repeat them anymore and share my experience with the blogger world.
    Wow pleased to have my post printed as reference…thanks so much! 🙂

Leela

Good points, Gera. All of them. About #9, though, could it be that those are people whom you follow but don’t follow you back? They can DM you, but you can’t DM them back (not because they follow then immediately unfollow you, but because they never follow you to begin with).
My recent post The Use of Limestone Solution น้ำปูนใส in Thai Cooking

    Gera

    According to twitter support: http://support.twitter.com/groups/31-twitter-basi

    You can send a DM to everyone who follow you independently if you follow back or not.
    So if I receive a DM, I’m following her/him, may be I can’t reply them if I’m not following back and in this case your right!
    Weekly I use a tool called friendorfollow.com to see my followers or who unfollowed to me.
    I’ve checked cases that for only difference of hours both we were followers each other and after sending me a typical spammy DM, automatically unfollowed me.

    Great you like the points Leela!

Angie

I love your article! And I’ve been a victim of all the above and then some. I have become more distant online as a result. I use to go to every site that commented on my site and visit at least so many new sites a day to read their blogs and comment. There’s so many bloggers that ignore you, and I have found as I went from the worst food blogger to a so so one, people that socialized with me, because I think they thought I sucked so much, ignore me now, it’s like I never grow. I just drift and lose and gain new contacts.
My recent post Spinach Artichoke Pizza

    Gera

    I understand because I’ve had similar experiences and my motto is to move on, find new real contacts and socialize watching your results and if you find someone with problems, delete and move on again. This is the reason why I modify my RSS feeds too often!

    Angie hope better social experiences for you and thanks for coming by! 🙂

Gera

Yes social media can be time consuming…you can manage your time properly adding the blogger tasks like writing , promoting, etc. more the social ones with a certain equilibrium. If you think being a little link-y, try to share less links and to be more conversational.

Great you came from Tia’s blog – nice to meet you and thanks for coming by 🙂

Gera

For some bloggers is crucial to have a real name, even this is expressed clearly in their comment-policy.
In my case, is fine if you want something like your name @ name of your blog, even only the name of your blog.
The theme is the spam filter doesn’t like the last option.
About images, my avatar is a strawberry + chocolate instead of my own personal photo and it’s recognized everywhere. So pics can be what you want only I think they should be unique.

Gera

Thanks so much! social networking is that, being social 🙂

Gera

Great you like it! and I believe that lot of bloggers should change some social behaviors to have success at social media.

Gera

Amen!! Agree 100% blogging is equal to social if not isn’t blogging, and is broadcasting plus you’ve to make the time to interact in a positive manner.

claudia

Ettiquette is hard lesson to learn sometimes, especially when you start out and have no idea what right or wrong, and make some honest but foolish mistakes. I have been embarassed or felt very bad several times in the past. I never judge immediately ,anyone can be starting out and not know. But its always two things either you dont know or you dont care. The dont care weight heavilly on pride and friendship and vanity. Alot of bloggers may feel their site warrants praise while yours doesnt. That is not always the case. I literally get up at 5am to try and make sure everyone I follow I make a mention, but lets face it, life gets in the way. So, I am grateful for any comments, and you always know along the way there are people that care, thats what makes it fun to continue. I love the idea you brought out all the things that others can feel, but in the end we all know who really counts, I never miss your posts, and will always comments, unless I;m on vacation ! like next week so dont hold it against me love you Gera and you posts blogs , friendship and honestly you ROCK~

    Gera

    You named exactly “blogger etiquette”…and I start in the same way like you. I don’t judge anybody and I know all are busy to comment, sharing and other stuff but if you see not doing at all or they are doing it in other blogs, but not in yours – this is a point to reconsider. I give several chances and if not, again they are completely deleted from my RSS feeds.

    Not worth to get up at 5am Claudia, you must manage your time and life, it’s impossible to please everyone.

    Thanks Claudia! You ROCK too 🙂

Hesham

I really congratulate you for this awesome bloody post Gera! we done!

Yes, we are publishing about social media since ages now 🙂 and some people that I know since more than one year visit my blogs and they still didn’t realize the value of social media, and they are closing their doors some how to more benefits, profit and the most important thing is having new friends and expand their circle of love!

I don’t deny that I was one of them at the beginning, but I didn’t take ages to realize the opportunity I am missing!

Social media have done a great connection for us, without Twitter or Facebook maybe we won’t meet Gera!
My recent post Promoting your Business on Facebook- Business Pages VS Groups

    Gera

    Really thanks a lot! Social media has been for centuries (offline) but people still haven’t clear the idea..and as you said lead to unnecessary problems. I’ve had my own issues speaking about social networking but you need to learn and move forward.

    Totally, without social networking, we we won’t meet …thanks Twitter or Facebook …and of course to you Hesham!

Not Quite Nigella

So, so, so very true Gera! This was a great article!

Kristi

I not only like the points you made, but I love the infographic in the middle. Great find!
My recent post How Social Media Can Help You Live Your Dream Lifestyle

Cajun Chef Ryan

A ha, I hope this comment makes it into the thread this time!
Great points here Gera, I always try to be a socially responsible social networking person. Time, attention, and availability limit my ability to effectively participate all the time, I try my best, but sometimes my limited time prohibits my ability to fully utilize the sources available.

Bon appetit!
=:~)

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