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:
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 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?
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.
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!
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 plain 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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.