15 People Ruining Social Media

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I like social media. I really do. I use it everyday. I even have a Google+ t-shirt.

But I’m tired of reading blog post after blog post about how to “win the game” of social media from your friendly neighborhood guru. It’s not a game. And there is no way to win at it. But lucky for us, there are plenty of ways to lose.

Here are a few of the biggest offenders:

The Quoter

Hey Socrates, we all really appreciate the inspirational boost each morning, but enough is enough. Step off your soap box and stop pretending like you have it so together. And while we’re at it, if you continue to post that damn “learn to dance in the rain” quote, I am going to personally track you down and beat you with my umbrella.

The Regurgitator

The Regurgitator is the social media equivalent of that annoying sibling you had growing up that would repeat everything you said in an effort to drive you mad. It worked then. It still works now. Following smart people and doing nothing more than re-sharing everything they say does not make you smart. Have an original thought every now and then, will you?

The Spammer

It’s not enough that the Spammer has some crappy product or network marketing group to shove down your throat every time they have something to say. But they also pay to sponsor those posts so we’re guaranteed to be haunted by them all day. Enough! On a more positive note, if you are interested in adding 10,000 new followers or making millions within the next 15 minutes, you don’t have to look too far.

The Masturbator

I like the things that I post. I really do. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have said them in the first place. But the Masturbator takes it one step further by actually liking the things that they post. I mean literally. They like, favorite, plus and retweet their own posts. And if you say something nice about them, they will favorite and retweet that as well. It must get exhausting to be that awesome!

The Automator

If you have ever tried to sell shoes during a national crisis or commented about how your Twitter feed is “blowing up” at a inappropriate time in our nations history, it is because you are an Automator. Or just plan insensitive. Or stupid. Or maybe all of the above. I get it. You value efficiency. And you have a long list of important things you should be doing instead. Well, the good news is that you can check “suck at social media” off your todo list. Mission accomplished.

The Slacker

The only thing better than a well crafted update on one social network is that same well crafted update across every social network. Welcome to the digital life of the Slacker. Too lazy to approach each social media network differently but not lazy enough to figure out how to sync them all up. Thus leaving their streams an incestuous mess of Facebook posts on Twitter, Twitter posts on Google+ and an all out disaster on Pinterest.

The Linker

The only reason the Linker has been put on this planet is to post links to their blog every chance they get. Well, that and to annoy the heck out of the rest of us. To them, social media is nothing more than a traffic generator. It goes something like this. Tweet a link to your blog once a day and you get 10 hits. That means that if you Tweet a link to your blog 10,000 times a day you will get 100,000 hits. Makes perfect sense!

The Instigator

The Instigator is the social media equivalent of the guy that lights a bag of poop on your doorstep and runs. They are here to cause problems. To piss people off. And they’re really good at it. They post one sided political rants. Leave nasty comments on everything you say. And they are never wrong. One of the best ways to tell an Instigator is by their spelling. I have yet to meet an Instigator that knew the difference between your and you’re.

The Drinker

The Drinker always starts off pretty funny but goes downhill fast until it just gets awkward and sad. Like that time your cousin came to Thanksgiving and had too much to drink and started hitting on your sister. Hard to watch but harder to turn away from.

The Vanisher

Like Batman, the Vanisher appears out of nowhere to inundate your feed and then escape into the night not to be heard from again for weeks. They usually appear after reading a book about how important social media is before losing interest a week or two later when that first million hasn’t rolled in yet. They also tend to complain a lot about how social media doesn’t work. I can’t help but think the two are related.

The Venter

Nothing screams “mature professional adult” better than unloading all of your childish “he said, she said” crap in a Facebook post. Especially when you open with “I’m not mentioning names, but…” before going on a rant in excruciating detail about what a douche bag somebody is. And you are friends with them. And they can read the post. And they know it is about them. But that doesn’t stop you. And to think, they have yet to offer you the Nobel Peace Prize. I wonder why.

The Eater

You like to eat. We get that. And you are a much better cook than the rest of us. We get that too. But do we really need a picture of every meal you eat? Every day? Having to stare at a picture of the garlic and lemon chicken with red potatoes and green beans that you are about to devour makes me feel bad about myself and my burnt turkey burger on a stale bun with whatever is left at the bottom of the potato chip bag.

The SEOer

There is undeniable proof that social signals play a role in getting your site to rank well on Google. And you know that that means don’t you? It’s time to join Google+ and soil an otherwise positive environment in the name of SEO. Great job guys! Leave it to the SEOer to ruin yet another good thing.

The Oops-er

Mostly reserved for the professional social media manager, the Oops-er is so excited about that offensive comment swimming around in their head, they forget to check which account they are logged into before posting it. The good news is that the Oops-er has a very short life. Mainly because they are fired by the next day.

The Tagger

The Tagger is a sneaky one. Since inundating you with links no longer works, they have taken it upon themselves to tag you (and everyone else they know) on their updates. Sometimes it’s a blog post. Other times it’s a paper.li page that nobody ever reads. And occasionally it’s a picture of something random like a shoe (true story). But always it’s annoying.

I was going to end this with a call for a public outing of those guilty in the comments below, but that sounded like a bad idea. Besides, I’m afraid of personally being pointed out on most of these because of something I said or did throughout my digital past. Best to just leave it here and let you guys discuss whatever you want in the comments as I quietly sneak out the back door.

(This post is also an infographic!! Check it out here: 15 People Ruining Social Media Inforgraphic)

Featured image courtesy of Jared Tarbell licensed via Creative Commons.

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  • http://www.memarketingservices.com/ Mandy Edwards

    Love this Marc! I could put a name next to each of those categories right now. I know at some point or another we’ve all been on “those” people but hopefully we’ve learned out lesson and gotten better!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thans Mandy! Hopefully my name isn’t one of them! I would hate to get off on such a bad not this early in our relationship!

  • Mark Salke

    Marc I know at least one of each. And there is a little of each in every one of us, no? :)

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Definitely! Half of this stuff came from personal experience! Except that whole cousin joke. That was just bad. Not sure where that even came from.

  • http://iamles.com/ Les Dossey

    Marc,

    You called it. But if you head out the back door then we’ll start calling you the instigator.

    In any case, I hereby promise to avoid being one of those who #suck.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Les! And I’m very disappointed in you for not even mentioning the little Google+ plug in there under the SEOer!

      • http://iamles.com/ Les Dossey

        Hah … I missed that.

  • deanshaw

    Excellent Observations Marc! Good Companion piece to my ‘Complete List of 27 Tweet Types’ http://wp.me/pKLGG-1s

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Funny…I like the douchebag scale ranking. Well played.

  • Jonathan DeVore

    What’s the penalty for being guilty of one or more of these crimes? Is there a path toward redemption?

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Flogging. I think it should be flogging. We don’t flog people like we used to and I think this is the perfect opportunity. As for redemption? Ummm….I just redempted you. You’re good now.

  • wingsoptional

    The best part – unsubscribe, unfollow, unfriendly – instead of writing a blog post about it.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      You’re right. That probably would have taken a lot less time than writing all of this. Where were you 24 hours ago?!?

  • http://www.honestmom.com/ JD @ Honest Mom

    I think some of these profiles are spot-on, and some are a bit harsh. Re: the “masterbater” – I have seen a lot of people liking their own Facebook posts because there is an article making the FB rounds that instructs people to do so. The article claims doing this helps your reach. With Facebook showing our posts to fewer and fewer people, bloggers are trying anything to get their FB audience to see their content. I see the same thinking with Google+. “Hey. I’ll +1 my post and hopefully Google will like me more…”

    Also, I think the “slacker” and “linker” happens sometimes because there are SO MANY social media networks that we “have to” be active on. There’s only so much time in the day, you know?

    Would you suggest doing one or two networks really well instead of being okay at them all? Curious…

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      I think we’re all a little bit of a bunch of these every now and then. I posted a link to this post on Twitter at least 3 or 4 times. It’s just worth being aware of. If you find yourself living in any of these places all the time, you may want to rethink your strategy!

      As for one or two networks? I believe that you should figure out where your voice works best and how much time you have and pick as many networks as you feel you can knock out of the park. For example, I don’t really get Pinterest so I don’t use it. Meanwhile, my voice works really well on Twitter so I am very active there. Nothing wrong with that.

  • Teresa Capaldo

    Wait a minute! Wait A Minute! I seem to recall just last week you were a MasterBater to a Tweet where I mentioned you!

    This is my favorite post for the past year even! I Laughed Out Loud and Laughed Louder with each category. HAHAHA!

    You missed one though; People who Name Drop on Twitter in order to BEEF up their self-importance. The Tweet goes something like “My new Friend Marc and I were talking about D-bags online, Marc’s a great guy-we’ve known each other for about 2 days and I’m calling him my Best Friend to get more followers.”
    I’ll let you decide the category.

    Are you sure Tina Fey didn’t write this because it’s on par!
    Great start to the week.
    Word! ;)

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      HA! I think you caught me. But in my defense, nowhere did I say I was innocent. Most of these started by looking into my past. Some more recent than others!

  • CFA Weiss, CLVS

    I hope you don’t mind that I reposted this :-) I think we have all played the part of one or all of these rolls. All we can do is try to notice before we post or just after so we can quickly delete ;-) Funny stuff. tx

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Mind? No way! In fact, I think you should share it at least a dozen or so more times today. That whole “Linker” thing doesn’t count when sharing my links.

  • Daniel Butler

    p.s Whats up with all the rotating Affiiate ads on your blog now?

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      I have a bet with some friends that I can make a certain amount of money in advertising on my blog over a period of time. I wish I was kidding. Some people bet on football games. Others go to Vegas. And this is what I do. (sigh)

      • Crissy M

        Sounds like a great excerpt for the types of people ruining content marketing, if you are asking me! ;)

        • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

          Probably!

  • JustLinda

    Then there is The Urkle – the person who reads your whole blog post and wears a slightly-guilty look while hitching his trousers up and saying “Did I do that??”

    Yes, yes, you did. Probably.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Oh no you didn’t just make an Urkle reference on my blog. That’s messed up.

  • Night Shadow 225

    Then there’s the attention whore. The one who constantly threatens to kill themselves unless they get 50 +1′s or is always asking people why they’re hated by everyone.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Or worse…when they make their kids write some crappy sign so they can have a puppy all in the name of their parents ego. Yuck.

  • Steve_Hughes

    This is everyone, who is left?

    • http://www.guyrcook.com Guy R Cook

      Agreed! What is the ‘right way’? it seems all the flavors of wrong are here.

      • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

        I believe the right way is to just be human. If you wouldn’t say something or do something to someone in person, don’t do it on social media. Let’s just start there.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Looks like it’s just you and me Steve! Oh wait…I’m guilty of these too. Just you Steve. It’s just you. ;)

  • http://markharai.com/ Mark Harai

    Funniest post I’ve read in 2014- thanks for sharing a piece of your mind with the community, Marc – haha!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      I’m flattered…although I wish it was December! That would sound much better than only being 2 weeks in and being your favorite!

  • Brooke Ballard

    This is absolute #AWESOMESauce, Marc. My personal faves (aka: the ones that cause me to roll my eyes eleventy-billion times a day): The Quoter, The Masturbator (times a million), The Slacker, The Vanisher, and The Venter (times a billion).

    Thanks for the laugh!! :-D

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Times a billion? Wow! I need to start checking out your feed! There must be one great material for future blog posts!

  • Eric Deeter

    You decide to finally go back to church again and when the sermon starts you realize it’s a reincarnation of Johnathan Edwards preaching “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”

    Kind of what I experienced reading this post. I didn’t make it for every sin on the list, but enough that I’ll repent now and head for the door.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      I didn’t know where you were going with that. For a second there I thought I was being sent to hell. Whew!

  • http://kraaftshaak.com/ Heather Kraafter

    and then me – The Does It All-er ha ha ha ha

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Another good one. I smell a sequel (which as you know is never as good as the original and generally speaking is a complete flop)

  • jed

    This was a great read, thoroughly enjoyed the 15 types of people ruining social media. Lets get to grips in 2014!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Works for me!

  • Michael Sadler

    I used to be many more of these things than I am now. Let’s be happy we can improve!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      I’m with you. I used to do pretty much all of these. I still do sometimes. But now I catch myself. This helps put a face to it when I do bad.

  • nakosar

    Brilliant article. Yes, we’ve all been there to some extent. And while I really enjoyed the article and laughed my butt off at a lot of the categories, here are two more serious points I’d like to make:
    1. Social Media is definitely a “learning by doing” exercise and skill. So everyone is going to make some mistakes in order to improve. In my business, the biggest challenge is just getting people to try social. Some people are so afraid to mess up. That brings me to…
    2. In eastern Christianity there are two “degrees” of sin. This is not meant to be a religious treatise, but simply an analogy. First, “sin” simply equals “falling short of an ideal.” And that’s where all of us goof up or break some eggs in the social media process. But, second, the big problem is when you are taken over by the “passions” (no, not the romantic type) in which “sin” controls you, so you’re blind to your faults – the bad stuff has taken root. And I think that’s where all these categories come in (The Quoter, The Automater, etc.). You want to shake some people and say, “Really???” but they are blind to what they are doing. Only with great difficulty can you change your ways, and that starts with simply realizing that, “Wow, this article might be describing ME!!!” :-)
    Thanks. Definitely gonna tweet this…

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks for the interpretation. I think you’re spot on. The problem is often that we try too hard. Social media is merely an extension of us…who we are. If you actually acted online the way you do in real life you would be shocked at how connected people would be to you. But instead we go about posturing and pretending we’re one thing but in reality we are something completely different and the lines get blurred.

  • Tiphanie

    #YAYgoodess! LOL Don’t forget the “Coacher”…. they have ALL the answers to EVERY life problem that EVER existed (even when NO ONE asked)! They COACH EVERYONE on EVERYTHING… heck, let’s just call him “God” of ALL things and be done with it. LOL Already tweeted this! :-) Pure Yay goodness indeed. LOL

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      That’s a good one! I may just have to update this post one of these days. There are too many good ones people are pointing out!

  • nitramshirley

    I hate to point this out (especially after your “Instigator…spelling” comment), but regergitator has a “u” after the first g. Now I’m wondering if this comment makes me an Instigator? Or does it make you one, based on how we can spot Instigators?

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks for the heads up! Do you have any idea how many of these I spelled wrong? It took me about 3 tries to get Masturbator right. Wait…that didn’t come out right.

      • nitramshirley

        Funny article BTW. Thanks much.

        • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

          Thanks! And thanks for the spelling help. Now if you could only teach me when the heck to use an apostrophe, we’ll be all set!

  • http://www.couponcrop.com/ Nicholas Z. Cardot

    I think you should have added “The Self-Proclaimed Expert” to the list. The person who lives in their grandmother’s basement and posts non-stop updates about how to build massive online influence and make tons of cash online.

    This is just one of my pet peeves and was not intended to be a jab at anyone in particular…especially if you currently live in your grandmother’s basement.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      I don’t think I could survive in my grandmothers basement. The oxygen to mothballs ratio is unfit for human life form.

      • http://www.couponcrop.com/ Nicholas Z. Cardot

        Ha ha. Well said. I only mentioned that because I knew of one particular “social media” expert who was literally living with his parents because he couldn’t pay his rent.

  • http://www.alittlelunch.com/ Kim Bultman

    Marc, thank you for your humorous (and true…) assessment of social media offenders, and best wishes on your continued quest to save the Internet.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks Kim! It’s a daunting task, but I think I’m almost there!

  • https://soundcloud.com/recondite-by-simplicity Jeremy McWilliams

    Very Detailed, and accurate in my opinion. However, is there anyone that won’t make this list somehow, if they’re honest with themselves. It seems we’re all guilty of breaking one or more of these proverbial social media “commandments” at least a time or to. or are we talking about perpetual offenders here/ :)

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Of course we’re all guilty of taking on one of these personalities at one point or another. I think that’s what makes it funny/infuriating at the same time.

  • Renee Dobbs

    Wondering if I’m the only one who had images of people’s profile pics come to mind with each one – and laughing about it along the way.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      If I was more than 14 of them, let me know!

  • http://www.mymeadowreport.com/ Renee Fishman

    Hilarious, Marc. Great stuff. I have been venting in private about The Tagger. It’s been rampant on Facebook for a while and lately it’s started happening to me on Instagram. I was beginning to wonder whether I missed the memo telling people it was a smart “strategy” to tag people in a photo in which they do not appear. Thanks for pointing out that this is NOT ok. I would share but I don’t want to be labeled as a Regurgitator ;-)

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Now I know how to piss you off! Just tag you in a bunch of random pictures. Bwaa Haaa Haaa Haaaaaa! (That’s my sinister laugh. It’s a lot more intimidating in person)

    • http://suheiry.blogspot.com Suheiry F.

      That pisses me off! I’ve also had people tag themselves in MY pictures even though they’re not in them!

  • tanyamalott

    Perfect. Brilliant. Forgive me for regurgitating this one.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thank you! And consider yourself forgiven!!!!

  • http://www.EarningFreeMoney.com/ Louida M

    LOL very funny! I maybe a bit guilty of a couple.

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Don’t worry, I won’t tell if you won’t.

      • http://www.EarningFreeMoney.com/ Louida M

        Ha! Good, I won’t!

  • Krithika Rangarajan

    I would post a more intelligent comment, but I am still laughing!

    I would add a couple more to this list – the Hashtagger and Emoticoner (guilty as charged of these offenses, but I am working on using them SMARTly now – haha)

    PS: I am a Quoter too! LOL I believe it is not about pretending that you ‘have it all together’ – it is just about motivating yourself and others to bring your best every day. Quotes do help me traverse those ‘i am in a funk’ days with greater ease ;)

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Can I quote you on that? (See what I did there?)

    • Tiny Dancer

      I’m a quoter too and, like you, agree it can make me and others feel more uplifted. I have had lots of people ask me to continue sharing inspirational quotes as they too have been inspired by them. It beats getting into nasty arguments with everyone instead LOL

  • Guest

    Great list! I’d probably add The Boaster – people who only every post about the amazing things that they see and do. It gets a bit tiring after a while

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Another good one. Dang. Where were you guys a few days ago when I was writing this thing!?!?

  • Harold Compton

    I have to agree with Krithika about the Hashtagger. Can’t stand those posts that begin with 15 hashtags!

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      I wonder what happens if you hashtag a hashtag? ##

  • Simps

    Amazing Post – Those perpetual Eaters and Quoters that just clog up a facebook wall is enraging. Best post of 2014 I’ve read so far

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Thanks!!!! I appreciate the feedback! How many blog posts have you read so far this year? Because if this is the best out of 3, I’m going to put the champagne back in the fridge.

  • Vikki Fraser

    So completely unaware we were tackling the same subject – this is my post from a few years back – so many similar ones – http://blog.surpasshosting.com/2012/01/identifying-different-species-of-facebook-posters/

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      Funny! I guess the Internet is a lot smaller than I thought!!! Good to know I’m not the only one banging my head against the wall at some of these folks!

  • Sher Marchman Day

    I need a checklist next to me at the computer to remind me of the 15 commandments of do nots in social media.

    Fun and informative post!

  • Marie Abbatoy

    Funny but informative too-I need that checklist next to me too so I don’t get put on the list!

  • Tom Martin

    Thanks, Marc! It’s very helpful to have all the offenders laid out so clearly. It also didn’t take me long to spot the category I belong in! (As Jim Rohn once said…) Actually, I probably fall into more than one of these categories. Maybe I need a great role model. Who, may I ask, communicates with social media perfectly, without trespassing into any of these categories? (Also, if the way I handle Facebook bothers you, there IS a remedy for that.) Thanks again for sharing!

  • http://www.donnamerrilltribe.com/ Donna Merrill

    Thank you Marc!

    I had to laugh at each and every one because it reminded me of each personality I find on social media. I love the “Eater!” It always makes me scratch my head as to why people post all their meals on line!

    The Quoter is another one….they take up so much space and never have anything else to say but their continuous quotes that are redundant.

    Thanks again,

    -Donna Merrill

  • Eric S. Townsend

    Make the SEO’er more sleazy. After all, his calling card is gamesmanship. I know that cartoon is a self portrait, but you’re going too light on your own.

  • Fair Play

    At last someone has dared to berate all offenders on Social Media!

    By the way, can not find You on the list :(
    Anyway, keep up the good work :)

    • http://www.marcensign.com/blog Marc Ensign

      That’s because at one point or another I have been all of these (and then some). How do you think I wrote this? Experience!!!

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  • jd quinitchette

    I got called out as a DeeJay. Haven’t shared an old Jody Watley vid since.

  • Katie

    Marc, I LOVE this post! Super witty and true! (and, yes, I recognized myself in some of those…thus is the learning curve of social media etiquette!)

  • http://backendstrategy.com Tim Evans

    Hilarious! To my credit though as a self proclaimed “Quoter”, I only post quotes so I can remember them in days gone past…

  • Johnny Bravo

    The people ruining Social Media? The ones that write articles like these telling people how to post, what to post, and what not to post. Social media is a reflection of a person and their interests and personality. If you feel like posting something of any type, I say go forward and do so. If people don’t like that, they can always remove you from their contacts/friends/circles/yadda yadda yadda…

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  • http://juliedeneen.com/ Julie DeNeen

    Stalker here. This post had me choking and laughing out loud. Now I’m gonna go be the regurgitator and spit this out in several places. Thankfully I do a have a few original thoughts, and one of them is — Pay attention to Marc Ensign because his snark is fantastic.

  • http://suheiry.blogspot.com Suheiry F.

    I’m definitely guilty of a lot of these. Having said that, I’m going to keep committing at least 3 of these social media faux pas. ;-)