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8 Social Media Mistakes Even the “Gurus” Make

by Team Caffeine · 3 comments

Guru Mistake

Nobody is perfect. I’m sorry to break it to you, but that includes you. And, sad to say, yours truly.

We all make mistakes. We all fall short.

Yet knowing what our mistakes are can help us make things right again.

That’s why we’ve put together this list. It’s a mirror to hold up to your social media account and reflect on how you could be better.

We’re sure you’ll find at least one useful tip. So read it all, even if you really do believe that you’re perfect.

Oh, and as you read this list, please don’t wallop us over the head with it. We’re no angels – we’re just as guilty as the next guy or gal.

Now let’s get to it!

1. Calling Yourself a “Guru”

Let’s get this one out of the way, as even thinking about it makes me feel icky.

Don’t call yourself a social media guru. Ever. Just don’t do it. The same applies to ninja, maven, or whatever other word is hip this month.

Sure, you might know more than the average Joe about social media. That’s awesome. We’re in the same boat. If this is you, then show your skills in the way you use social media. And be generous in sharing your knowledge. But don’t make out that you know it all.

You don’t know everything about social media – nobody does. It’s an experiment, and we’re all learning.

So go have fun. But lay off the G-word!

2. Failing to Engage with Your Followers

Once you’ve hit tens of thousands of followers, there’s only so much you can do in talking with your fans. You can’t reply to everyone.

But you can still ask questions, you can still share awesome stuff by retweeting, and you can still do your best to respond to as many people as you can.

If you’re still growing your following, then engaging with everyone who talks to you is vital. No excuses. Your ability to be nimble and responsive gives you an advantage over those with big followings.

For more on this, see our rules of engagement here.

3. Flooding Your Followers with Tweets

It’s good to tweet frequently. You end up in the feeds of your readers more often, so you’re more likely to get noticed (and get clicks!).

That said, showing up too much can make you stand out for the wrong reasons. Beautiful as you may be (and you are beautiful!), people can become tired of seeing your smiling face.

Three quarters of Twitter users follow less than 50 people. The average Twitter user follows 102 people. So someone who tweets too often risks overwhelming his or her followers.

Tweet too much, and you’ll come across as noise. That’s a sure-fire way to get unfollowed.

You’re not Twitter’s answer to the rain man, so lay off shaking those clouds. One tweet an hour is more than enough.

4. Sharing Too Much Love

All relationships need boundaries to function properly, and that includes your relationship with your followers.

If you follow everyone who follows you, then you’re trying too hard to be popular. It also sends a message to your followers: “You’re not that special. I’ll follow pretty much anything or anyone. All it takes is a Twitter account.”

Don’t be a Twitter floozy. If you really want to show the love to your followers, be discerning in those you choose to follow. That shows your followers that they really matter.

How should you do that? Not this way…

5. Red Carpet Syndrome

Red carpet syndrome is the opposite of sharing too much love. Those who suffer this malady believe they only need to follow a select group of people.

You’re not Lady Gaga or President Obama. If you want to find a crowd on Twitter, then you need to follow people.

Here’s the way to go: If someone’s bio interests you, or they take the time to engage with you, then follow them. Simple as that!

6. Being Available 24/7

It’s good to be responsive on social media. No one’s denying that. But making yourself available to your followers around the clock is exhausting. And it stops you getting your real work done.

What’s more, being online all the time removes any mystique around you. You’re too available.

If you really can’t peel yourself away from your social media dashboard, then it’s worth considering whether you’re addicted. You’d benefit from a digital detox.

Instead of being online all the time, schedule your social media updates. Then take 15 minutes a day to go online and chat with your followers. Any more than that, and you’re allowing social media to be a distraction.

7. Hashtag Stuffing

Hashtags are the way to get found on Twitter, and increasingly on Facebook. So it’s a good idea to include hashtags in your updates when they’re relevant.

On the flip side, putting too many hashtags into an update looks messy. One or two hashtags per tweet is plenty – and it’s fine to include none at all.

8. Forgetting to Say Thank You

Online, it’s easy to forget that you’re communicating with real people. Sure, you’ve never met them, but they’ve got a heart, just like you. And we all like to be thanked.

When you share someone else’s article, video, or image on social media, give them credit and say why you enjoyed it.

This isn’t just good for your networking. It also adds value to everything you curate.

Over to You

Do you agree or disagree with our list? What mistakes do you frequently see on social media? What are your bugbears? Let us know in the comments below.

Lori R Taylor is the founder and executive editor of Social Caffeine. In 2009 she started her own direct response focused social media agency, REV Media Marketing LLC, coining the phrase given by her young son, “You bring the rain, we’ll make it pour.” Follow Lori on Twitter.

David is our acting editor. He’s British, but we don’t hold that against him.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Louis Martin Jr. July 16, 2014 at 11:39 am

Good day folks! I absoLUTEly agree with all 8 mistakes. What makes them all relevant, is the simplicity. I often times see people (marketers) trying TOO hard to be seen, which comes across as being annoying and desperate (mistake #3 speaks to that). It’s critical to remember that followers what relevancy, responsiveness and respect. Give them quality content; respond to their inquiries in a respectable amount of time, and respect their timeline!

I truly enjoyed reading this, and will implement some (if not all) of these super ideas – thanks!


Mitch Mitchell August 5, 2014 at 7:21 pm

What, no comments, or are you moderating? lol Either way, this is good stuff, although I don’t have a major problem with #1. Even gurus know they don’t know it all. I think we’ve gone so far to the left of “don’t call yourself an expert” that it becomes a dirty word, and that brings in all those other things as well. Truthfully, I still battle myself over this one, which is probably why I don’t necessarily mind someone else calling themselves that… until they prove it’s not true. 🙂


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