Social media is here to stay. Therefore, it is in your interest to stay relevant. People will follow you if there is something useful or valuable they can learn from them. It is imperative that you continue to deliver that great content to win the trust of your followers. Make sure your updates are valuable, useful, informative and worth sharing. Here are a few points you may want to watch:

  1. Is your Twitter Feed Professionally Boring?

Marketing 101 dictates that you use Twitter to promote your specific industry or company, right? The answer is yes, but not always. If your entire Twitter feed becomes a stream of on-brand blather all the time, you will become a deeply boring and uninteresting human being to the world at large. Yes, you will get a drab industry-related following if you work hard enough at it, but no one will relate to you. Unless you are providing actual data or real insight (no, that doesn’t mean “expertise.”)

  1. Do you talk about your products and services only?

Don’t be that guy at the party who only talks about himself. Posting status updates, tweets and pins that narcissistically revolve around your brand only is tantamount to social-media suicide. You’ll quickly come off as too corporate, self-serving and disconnected from your customers and their needs. An exodus of followers is sure to follow.

Small-business expert Steven D. Strauss, author of The Small Business Bible (Wiley, 2012) suggests following the 80-20 rule to establish a meaningful connection with customers via social media. That is to say that 80 percent of the content you post should address your customers’ problems and only 20 percent should be about your company and what you do.

  1. Hashtag Overload

Hashtags are a brilliant way of curating information, providing context and categorising content to reach a specific audience. However, people tend to abuse this by cramming many hashtags into a tweet or using it as a secondary voice, usually to denote sarcasm (the latter is arguably worse).

Depending on the medium, two to four hashtags are an acceptable amount (e.g. two for Twitter and more for the likes of Instagram where an image would appeal to a wider demographic) for people to know who the tweet is aimed towards, and provide context.

  1. The announcer of literally everything

Sometimes we get people posting these pointless updates:

“Hi all!I am now at the barber.”

“Wow, I just woke up from sleep!”

“I bought a pen! Cool, right?”

“Hey, friends, you know what? Lisa fell down and has a small bruise on her knee!”

If an event is exciting, or an insight new and interesting, then tell the world. However, if your “updates” are generally boring or banal, try not to overdo it.

  1. Automated Direct Messages on Twitter

When someone follows you on Twitter, there isn’t an implicit agreement saying it’s okay to send them a direct message. Twitter isn’t an email list, it’s a conversation centered around the concept of giving before receiving. Automated DM requesting a LIKE on your Facebook page when you haven’t done anything valuable for that new follower is a bit greedy to say the least.

  1. Asking For Shares or Retweets

When people or pages post an update or offer and then ask followers to share or retweet, it comes across as incredibly needy and it offers no engagement. It’s the online equivalent of going up to a bunch of strangers, screaming “be my friend!” and expecting them to enthusiastically oblige.If you do post something like that, the only people that will oblige will be your closest friends. Avoid begging, followers will only ignore you or unfollow.

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