Social Media Pet Peeves

Down with the “sexy shot” on Twitter! Now that we are all active users of social media tools, it’s clear that Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and the like have become qualified, valuable ways to connect and communicate.  It’s effective and beautiful. Social media opens up opportunities for personal interaction. The growth of new communication streams has never ceased to fascinate me as a communications professional. But within this new world order of communication we are seeing people developing bad habits.

So, allow me a rant today.  Here’s my personal list of social media pet peeves:

The Sexy Shot: I cannot say this strongly enough. Professional women, if you want to be taken seriously in whatever profession you are in do NOT use a “sexy” profile picture for your Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter accounts.  Why do that? Why cheapen your brain power, your experience, your value you bring to your business?  I don’t care if you wait tables at a restaurant or run the marketing department of a Fortune 500 company.  If you expect to be treated with respect by your boss and your peers, show respect to yourself online.

Telling vs. Conversing: There’s still a lot of people talking AT me online, vs. trying to engage me in conversation. It’s true that social media is a great marketing tool, but the marketing speak must go. I want the companies I follow to engage me, learn my likes, dislikes and hopes for their product or services.

The Back and Forth Conversation for All to See:  Once you start getting into a “back and forth” conversation on Twitter or Facebook with one other person, take it to a DM.  The whole Twitterverse gets annoyed at being privy to a banal conversation we aren’t a part of.

The Pretend Busy: Stop telling us all how busy you are and then turn around and tweet about your cat’s antics on the kitchen counter. If you have time to tell me that, you’re not that busy. Just bored.

The Auto DM:  The automatic DM when I follow you on Twitter is just insincere.  I don’t expect an immediate response from you, so don’t feel you have to give one.

TMI: Sorry, but I don’t want to know about your fertility treatments, your colonoscopy, your wife’s labor or your toe fungus. It’s all just icky when I really don’t know you well enough.

Single Topic Poster: More than 80% of your posts are about one topic: your kids, your church, etc.  Variety is the spice of life, shake it up a bit.

The loss of perspective:  We get pretty full of ourselves, don’t we. Yes, we as PR, marketing and social media experts know the most important folks in our field.  Yes, some of them have 400,000 followers. But outside our professional world, let’s remember their (and your) Klout score means nothing. Nothing. Nada. There are billions of people in this world who have no access to Twitter or Facebook and don’t care.  Social media “experts” are still big fish in a very small pond.  Let’s not lose that perspective.

--Kira Perdue - @kperdue









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