Scrolling through social media platforms can be an irritating experience.
Too many brands and individuals don’t use their digital megaphones effectively. At best, their lack of awareness (of the audience or platform etiquette) is annoying. At worst, it prompts people to “mute” or “unfollow” their social media.
To make that scrolling less frustrating – and to help brands and marketers make social media a better place to scroll – we asked your fellow Content Marketing Institute community members for their biggest social media pet peeves. And boy, did they share. Thanks to all who responded in our #CMWorld Twitter Chat and through our requests on social media.
Now, let’s get to the venting. (To avoid redundancy, we didn’t type “my biggest social media pet peeve is” for every response. Thus, some replies are incomplete sentences.)
1. Ask but don’t reply
It really annoys me when brands ask questions via social, but they fail to respond once you answer. It shows that they read a social media best practice of asking questions to increase engagement, but they miss the point of engaging themselves.
Amy Higgins, director of content marketing
2. Make instant pitch
When I follow someone on Twitter and instantly receive a direct message pitching or selling me. I (want to) say, “Slow down, and don’t you want to get to know each other at all?”
Holly Lawrence, writer and strategist
3. Sell instantly
Sales pitches via LinkedIn within two seconds of accepting a connection.
Cathy McPhillips, vice president of marketing
4. Think one size fits all
Every network has certain parameters, but I see a lot of companies use the same size, etc. for everything. Images look blurry, too small/big, and just unprofessional.
Stevie Howard, writer
5. Hide behind the business
Folks using their business logo as their profile photo on LinkedIn.
Chaim Shapiro, social media consultant and higher education professional
6. Don’t do content
Those who rarely post. Why bother setting up an account if you’re never going to post?
Michelle Garrett, writer and PR consultant
7. Automate comments
Spammy Instagram comments that are clearly written by a bot and have zero substance
Maura Hughes, digital content manager
8. Try to fool me
Auto-reply messages that try to fool me into thinking they weren’t sent by a bot. Really people, it’s obvious. If you delayed it by at least a few hours, you might fool me every now and then. But please don’t.
Tod Cordill, growth advisor
9. ‘Borrow’ text
When someone manually reshapes my words in a way that makes them look like they’re their words instead of using built in resharing functionality
Erika Heald, content strategist
10. Don’t cite
Not giving people a mention when you quote them. It’s not only an attribution thing, but it helps people be able to better respond.
Gene Petrov, leadership coach
11. Miss the people
When brands don’t engage or care about their followers’ comments on social media – positive or negative, reply.
Lilly Newman, social media manager
12. Post gibberish
Spammy comments on my Instagram posts.
Gwen Pearson, social media manager
13. Comment without meaning
People leaving throwaway comments that don’t mean anything.
Taylor Barbieri, copywriter and email marketer
14. Pretense without engagement
When self-proclaimed “influencers” say they have 200,000 followers, but at quick glance you see they get maybe a handful of comments per post. You’re an influencer … but you have a 0.00005% engagement rate? Bye.
Christian Lowery, social media consultant
15. Don’t walk the talk
Other marketers claiming to be social media gurus and having a meager online presence.
Richard Sink, marketing advising firm founder
16. Invite without context
I really hate when people send an invite to connect on LinkedIn without any context. Who are you and why do I care?
Monina Wagner, community manager
17. Give self-proclaimed titles
It’s a tie between unsolicited (and unwanted) private messages and people who create their own obnoxious titles, like guru and ninja (no offense to actual ninjas, of course).
Mike Myers, marketer
18. Write for him, her
Bios written in third person on personal social media profiles. I want to get to know you, not read stiff, corporate speak. I also don’t want to see your business logo or another photo other than an up-to-date photo of you. I call these things bio hazards.
Lisa Dougherty, director, blog operations and community
19. Add or omit letters
Is there anything more annoying than typos? It only takes one small mistake in a post to make me question the credibility of a source. And once I question credibility, I immediately begin to question everything else. Typos aren’t just a pet peeve…they are damaging.
Sue Lucas, professor, consultant
20. Distribute the same content
Sharing the exact same post across all the platforms and not customizing
Tracey Bradnan, marketing consultant
21. Don’t know the purpose
People using LinkedIn like Facebook. There is a reason I’m not on Facebook, please keep LinkedIn professional.
HB Duran, freelance writer
22. Miss the reason I’m there
Don’t send me to Facebook or Instagram if I’m on Twitter. I’m on Twitter because I don’t want to be on Facebook or Instagram. Stop automatically posting from other channels. I then will get half your long-form message and a link to exit my preferred social channel. It’s rare that I will choose to do so. It just comes across as lazy or that you don’t understand how to use social media.
Lisa Rupple, writer
If you want to check out more pet peeves, read this great piece about Martin Lieberman’s picks for 50 annoying social media behaviors.
And let’s continue this therapy session/social media learning exercise in the comments. Tell us the annoying things you see brands and individuals do on social media.
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Want to get together in person to talk frustrations in content marketing – and find some remedies too? Join thousands of your fellow content marketers at Content Marketing World this September. Register using code BLOG100 to save $100.
Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute