Bad Social Media Habits You Need To Kick Right Now

At Pickle we see a lot of different approaches to social media. Some of them are good, but many are not so good. Whether it’s an abandoned profile or not understanding the network being used, there are a lot of bad practices going on out there. And it’s no surprise – there’s so much advice and perceived knowledge about, that many business owners are just on social media because they feel like they have to be – not because they actually understand what it means. But if you are on social media, whatever the network or reason, you need to understand exactly how your activity is reflecting on your business. So today, here are our top 4 bad social media habits that businesses need to cut out right now.

Buying Likes And Follows

Let’s start with the cardinal sin of social media. There is some credence to the theory that accounts with lots of followers will look better and encourage more people to follow in turn, but buying likes and follows is not the way to do it. Unfortunately, there is a thriving industry of ‘buyable’ followers out there – you’ve probably been followed by one of their promo accounts at one point of another. This is one of the worst things you can do for your social media. Firstly – what’s the point in having a bunch of followers who aren’t active or interested in your product? You might as well be broadcasting your message to a graveyard. Secondly, buying likes and follows will have a huge negative impact on your search engine rankings.


Lazy Cross Posting

Cross-posting (posting exactly the same content across multiple social networks at exactly the same time) is the subject of some controversy in the marketing community. Especially with tools like Hootsuite making it easier than ever to just push your content out with one click. If you’re strapped for time of even ideas, this can be a really temping proposition. But the problem with cross-posting is that all social networks are different, which means they all need to be treated differently. Some network specific features like hashtags and mention symbols can look clunky on other networks, or even interfere with the message you’re trying to send. Character limits wreak havoc with URL’s, and above all it looks lazy to anyone who happens to follow you on both platforms.


Using Things That Aren’t Yours

Let’s clear something up here. Just because you found something cool on Google doesn’t mean you can use it in your business promotions. Using other people’s work for your own benefit (whether that’s images, videos, blog posts or even music) is not only unethical and disrespectful to the person who did create it – it’s illegal. It also reflects pretty badly on your business, especially if someone notices that you’re using images that don’t belong to you. That doesn’t mean you can never use anything – many people get around this by crediting the owner of the material or tagging them in the post, so your followers know that it isn’t yours. There’s also a wealth of stock images, music and even video galleries that you can plunder for rights-free materials. So make sure you’re not risking the heavy fines and negative backlash and only use credited or rights-free material. Or, you know, create your own!


Me, Me Me!

Social media has a bit of a reputation for bringing out the narcissists in all of us (I mean, how many people really care what you had for breakfast?), and businesses are no exception to that rule. When posting on social media, way too many businesses are always looking for a way of turning the conversation back to themselves. Shameless self-promoting, constant broadcasting or promotions and a general refusal to enter a discussion unless you can promote your own business are all great ways to ensure your social media performance stays low. Instead, businesses need to be thinking more outwardly with their social media interactions. Asking your audience questions, participating in trending threads, weighing in on industry news or handing out useful (genuinely useful, not pretend useful) information are all great ways of generating real conversations and interest in your brand. We are firm believers in the rule of thirds, which basically says that your social media activities should be:

  • One third content that promotes your business, converts readers and generates sales.
  • One third content that shares ideas, stories and industry news.
  • One third personal interactions with followers.


At Pickle Towers, we’ve seen all of this before, too many times to count. Luckily, there is a fairly easy fix to these problems. You’ve just taken the first step – which is learning about the negatives of these activates. The next step is to learn the right techniques to make social media work for you, before putting them into practice in the real world (step 3). If you’re feeling a bit lost, don’t worry. Our team of social media superheroes are here to help. We can provide tailored training courses on the standard social media platforms, helping you understand exactly where you’re going wrong and how to fix it. We can also provide a mentoring service, which will keep you accountable to those changes and provide ongoing support and feedback. And if that’s not enough, we can do it for you instead. 

To find out more about making social media work for you, just get in touch with the team today.

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