“The Worst Piece Of Social Media Advice I’ve Ever Heard…”

Worst Social Media Advice Ever Audiense Marketing

What NOT to do on social media. Have you ever been offered advice on your social media strategy, only to realize down the line that actually you should have sought a second opinion? We have, and so have some of our social media friends! We approached a great mix of people, working in various areas of social media (including award winners and record breakers) and simply asked them:

“What is the worst bit of social media advice you’ve ever heard, and why?”

So let’s shake off those January cobwebs and make sure any cruddy advice is left back in 2014 along with selfie sticks and YOLO (not really, we love selfie sticks). We’ve also included our top pointers at the end, so that your social media sets off in the right direction for 2015.


“On LinkedIn, Only Connect With People You Know”

Unlike Facebook, you do not need to protect your network as LinkedIn is not a personal platform, but rather a business one. It is a little like going to a networking meeting and only talking to the people you already know. This severely limits your opportunities. Rather you want to seek out and connect with highly targeted prospects that will grow your network in a professional and profitable way.

Melonie Dodaro, Top Dog Social Media

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“Social Media Support Is Ineffective And Not Worth The Investment”

Social media is where customers are naturally inclined to be, and the smartest businesses will embrace it. It starts as a 1:1 support model, but expands as 1 to many, acts as real-time qualitative service monitoring, and peppers in some PR and Marketing elements. Social media support: where a business will find benefit in true community advocacy

James Degnan, Support Manager for the record breaking @XboxSupport Twitter Account



“Add Tons Of Hashtags To Every Post”

It comes across as desperate and besides, the more keywords you use in an update the more dilution there is amongst them. This is in addition to the distraction from the message overuse of keyword hashtags can cause.

Lee Odden, TopRank Marketing





“Push Your Business Onto Every Social Platform”

Anytime I hear someone recommend that a business MUST engage on a particular social network it makes me cringe. Social media marketing, like any good marketing, has to put the audience first. What does your audience appreciate and value? Where do they interact? And, what are you hoping to accomplish? Your business goals should drive the strategy, not the other way around.

Shama Hyder, Founder and CEO of The Marketing Zen Group

Identify, undesrtand and connect with your audiences. Start your Audiense trial now!


“Social Media Tools Are Too Expensive”

I’ve heard people saying that tools are expensive without considering the value the tool can bring. Tools can save you a lot of time and help you get better returns for your business, so before you decide if it’s expensive you need to evaluate what time you will save and value you will get. $100 a month for a tool could actually be cheap based on the value that it adds to your company!

Ian Cleary, RazorSocial



“Make Sure Every Social Media Post Is Signed Off First”

I was working for a very, very ‘risk’ averse company and we’d often see opportunities slip by simply because the processes we had in place were designed to ensure that every piece of content that went out was sanitized. Without spontaneity and an element of creative license, you might as well not have social media channels in your business.

Tim Love, Social Media Manager, Pizza Express


“Don’t Do Twitter Chats As Your Other Followers May Unfollow”

I’ve heard many people say they don’t do Twitter chats because they will lose followers due to the overly active hour during a Twitter chat. I believe the value gained during a chat for outweighs the risk of losing followers. Nobody will unfollow you if you’re providing value and answering and commenting on Tweets during a Twitter chat that are helpful. “I’m unfollowing that person cause they Tweet too much helpful information,” said no one!

Brian Fanzo, Broadsuite


Kristi Hines Twitter Advice Tips

Kristi Hines, Freelance Writer


“All Automation Is Evil”

There are lots of social media tasks that can be automated to save you time that is better spent engaging with fans and customers. There are lots of great tools that can automate a myriad of tasks for you including sending an alert to you when someone mentions a specific search term on Twitter, thanking people when they Tweet your content, adding Twitter accounts that meet a specific criteria to a Twitter list for close monitoring, and much more. The more you’re able to automate, the more time you will have for genuine relationship building and engagement.

Kristi Hines, Freelance Writer



“Look At Social Media As Purely A Marketing Channel”

That ideology is anti-social in my book. As a brand, as a strategist, think of social networks as physical communities. They are tribes where people join one another because of shared passions, challenges, and aspirations. We must understand the culture and the dynamics of any community before we attempt to join it, doing so feeds us humility and empathy. These very human qualities will in turn inspire engaging strategies that contribute value into the communities we wish to join.

Brian Solis, Altimeter Group. Extracted with permission from this post here.



Audiense Bonus: One of us was told IN 2013 that ‘poking’ a potential client on Facebook was a great way to remind them of your social presence. We backed away slowly…

Now you’ve heard what NOT to do, how about some advice on what to do? Here’s some takeaways based on the above points to give you a stronger social media presence in 2015:

  • Before you market to an audience, listen to them. You will appeal to a community far more effectively if you’ve taken the time to understand them.
  • Take part in Twitter chats and share the most useful, relevant Tweets with your followers. For more tips on taking part in Twitter chats without annoying everyone, head over here.
  • When using automation, take the time to learn the tool before rolling it out across all of your main profiles. Features such as personalization, time delay in messages, and fine-tuning the targeting can make a real difference.
  • Ensure your social team has room to experiment and test creative new ideas from time to time.
  • When deciding which channels to focus on, look at which ones your audience is most active and receptive on.
  • Hashtags can be very useful, but on Twitter a business is 69% more likely to get retweeted with one hashtag rather than two.
  • When looking at social media tools, work out how much time you could save or results you would need to achieve to make them worthwhile. Factor this into your decision.
  • Don’t poke your clients on Facebook. That’s weird.


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  • “Add Tons Of Hashtags To Every Post”

    Somebody said that?! Oh boy. I also agree with the poking thing on Facebook–never really understood it…

    A funny and insightful look at what makes social media useful 🙂 Loved the article!

    • Andy Vale

      I think poking had a similar function to a nudge, which was something on MSN Messenger (RIP) for a while. It got someone’s attention without actually saying anything. That’s what I remember someone saying at the time anyway.
      Thanks for reading!

    • Shamick

      Poke! (I just poked you) … isn’t that a bit too private to poke someone LOL

      • Andy Vale

        “Gentlemen! You can’t poke in here. This is the social room.”

  • another one to add here is “Limit your tweets to 10 a day so you don’t upset your followers”…I don’t know who came up with this “rule” but I find it ridiculous. IF anyone is following every tweet that you post (which I find is the rare execption) they might feel a little overwhelmed with multiple tweets. The fact is that people are not monitoring your stream of tweets minute to minute…you’re likely fine to tweet however often you wish…as long as it has audience relevance. That’s my “opinion”…cheers @FergDevins @DevinsNetwork

    • Andy Vale

      Someone never told that to @VENETHIS, who has over 37 million Tweets. A quick bit of mental math puts that at approximately 20,000 Tweets a day, but it’s still racked up 50,000 followers. Not a strategy we’d particularly advise (there’s a saying about quantity and quality…), but it clearly works for someone!

      Thanks for reading Ferg, good to hear from you!

  • Wow, some truly hilarious “advice” in here (in a “laugh or you’ll cry” kind of way…)

    One of the worst tactics I’ve ever seen employed has to be using ridiculously over the top “headlines”, eg: “New Photo’s Of Michael Jacksons Death Released” accompanied by a shortened URL, which then took the user to a website which was…selling kitchen utensils! This was repeated in virtually every Tweet or post they did from the companies official accounts.

    Sure, it may well have got them some clicks, but I wonder how many people who wanted to see pictures of a deceased pop star then remembered they also needed to purchase a new fridge?

    • Andy Vale

      Absolutely, that will cause major trust issues. I understand having exciting, creative, or bold headlines, but if you’re veering into exaggeration (or outright lying) too often then the long-term negative effects far outweigh the initial traffic spike. In fact, I’ve unfollowed or blocked quite a few sites who I felt lead me on too many times.

      Good suggestion Danny, thanks for reading!

  • Victoria Tomlinson

    Not sure I would agree with Melonie about LinkedIn connections – though would totally agree about growing your network in a professional way.
    Some of this depends on your role, the market you are in and how your contacts and you might use LinkedIn – as Shama says, social media like all marketing, has to put your audience first.
    A classic example was when we had been asked to help a school with crisis communications and I wanted to gauge local opinions about the school – it was quite politically sensitive. I saw one lawyer in my network had lots of education contacts in the area and I rang him and asked if he could introduce me to get five minutes on the phone. We must have gone through 20 or more of his connections who could have helped and he didn’t know a single one – he’d just LinkedIn with them to build his network. To be honest, it changed my view of him as a lawyer – though in fact it wouldn’t affect his legal capabilities in any way!!

    • Andy Vale

      Thanks for sharing your story Victoria, I think it highlights something important. In that lawyer’s case he’s only done half of what you should be doing. ‘Connecting’ is the first step, but from what I gather it doesn’t look like he has followed through and built up the relationship with any of those connections. It’s a follow-up step that turns an initial greeting into something worthwhile.

      Imagine if he’d taken the time to message a couple of those connections saying something like “Good morning [Their Name], I was just browsing your profile and noticed you worked in this area. Some of my clients are work in this sector, would you mind if I ask you a couple of questions about it? It would be really great to build an understanding of…” you get it. That way when you needed a hand he could’ve picked up a conversation much easier with a stronger relationship. Providing you with a better service.

      That would all be great, but without the initial connection it wouldn’t even be possible on that particular channel. So I think the point still holds, but it’s important that you do something with those connections after you’ve connected.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Great advice, especially the point to not put #hashtags in post titles — oops lesson learned. Looks like I have some cleaning up to do on http://projectwhatmatters.com/

  • Krithika Rangarajan

    Oh my – I am so glad someone else is against overusing hashtags, even if it is on a hashtag-friendly platform like Instagram! My eyes roll automatically when I find an Insta post with 20 hashtags #IAte #IAteLunch #IAteDinnertoo #DinnerTime #DinnerRolls #IsItLunchTimeYet #IsItDinnerTimeYet

    (Okay, I am hungry :P)

    Thank you so much for this compilation – love SocialBro


    • Andy Vale

      Great, now I’m thinking about food again.

      More hashtags work on Instagram, but I think it’s still important to make each one notably different to maximise the audience it might reach. It looks less desperate too.

      Glad you enjoyed the piece Krithika 🙂

  • I disagree about the LinkedIn advice … mainly because I get a lot of spammy people from random countries sending me the auto-generated text about wanting to connect with profiles that are barely filled out. They really have no interest in connecting with me, they just want to appear to be a part of my network or want to be able to more easily spam me. This is like the desperate MLM reps hawking their wares at a networking event and who are only interested in their sales numbers, not you and even sometimes no interest in the product they are selling.

    I’m not saying don’t connect with anyone you don’t know on LinkedIn but you shouldn’t connect with EVERYONE you don’t know there also.

    • Andy Vale

      Afternoon Hilary, thanks for commenting.

      You’re right, trying to force a connection with EVERYONE on there won’t win you many friends (or clients/employers). I’ve also had it and if there’s no effort to introduce yourself in any way it can definitely be an annoyance. But I think the point Melonie was making was aimed more at people who are worried about never connecting with anyone outside their network. There’s a happy middle ground to be achieved between being too shy to connect with anyone new, and a scatter-gun approach to everyone in your industry.

      • Pretty much my summary in that last sentence was that there’s a middle ground.

        If someone took the “only connect with people you know” too literally, they might go the other route and just connect with everyone. And there’s a lot of junk requests out there too.

  • ourmanwhere

    I wouldn’t say all automation is evil but, honestly, most is. Of the examples above – “thanking people when they tweet your content” is awful. Not only will it be obvious what it is – a hollow, automated thank you – but anyone following you and the thankee will be deluged with this stuff. Following people via automation? Really? It’s like sending out automated emails to potential friends. Kristi Hines has a lot of followers but a quick check of her timeline and the engagement is very low – especially considering the buzzfeedy posts. The only time I ever think automation is acceptable is for orgs to hit different timezone markets and even then you have to be very sure that what you post is likely to blow up while unwatched.

    The single best thing Twitter could do to get rid of all the noise is cut the RSS link. What it would lose it would more than make up for in the average quality of the tweets out there.

    One of the problems orgs have with Twitter is they soon realise that more noise means more followers. What they never factor in is engagement. The organisation I work for has a 37,000 Twitter followers which is far from huge but regularly gets over 100 retweets a post due to the high engagement. That beats many larger NGOs whose brand awareness and noise has won them followers but at the expense of engagement.

    You will find your own audience. Honest engagement will create honest engagement. Spam and you’ll be followed by spammers.

  • Antonio Fernandez

    Love this list and respect everyone on here. Brian is spot on with the Twitter Chats. I am really enjoying them. There is way too much going on in the Twitter Feed to care about a few extra tweets. Who reads the whole feed anyway? Thanks again.

    • Andy Vale

      I read every Tweet. Ever. It was alright.

      Thanks for reading Antonio! The Twitter chats point is a good one.

  • What a great list, thank you!

    I think the worst tip I have ever heard is the one Brian Fanzo shared. It’s one I was given when I started taking part in Twitter chats.

    I would also add this terrible piece of advice to the list: Be in people’s faces as often as possible.

    • Andy Vale

      Tell you what, I actually quite like it when I see people taking part in chats. I’ve found quite a few from seeing people chat about something that looks interesting, then diving in. I can’t remember which chat it was off the top of my head, but that actually happened with Brian the other day.

      Thanks for reading Cendrine!

    • Andy Vale

      Tell you what, I actually quite like it when I see people taking part in chats. I’ve found quite a few from seeing people chat about something that looks interesting, then diving in. I can’t remember which chat it was off the top of my head, but that actually happened with Brian the other day.

      Thanks for reading Cendrine!