Social media seems to have its own ever-changing set of rules. But there are a few rules on social media faux pas you need to know or look silly

Social media seems to make up its own rules as it goes along and then changes them randomly every now and then. But some things are just not ok and never will be. They have never been but people have failed to see that these annoying faux pas are actually making them look a teeny weeny bit silly. Because the rest of us know they are social media faux pas. We just tut and roll our eyes when we continue to see them on our timelines.

What generally happens is users that make these little mistakes soon learn all these unwritten rules. Or someone points out their social media faux pas and they correct their ways. Like I’m doing now. Or they just escalate them and carry on regardless.

So for general clarity I’ve compiled my list of the pet hate social media faux pas that I see quite regularly. I know they annoy others too. It’s not a definitive list so feel free to add yours in the comments at the end. And if you find yourself doing any of them then please correct your ways and stop giving me (and others) something to tut about.

You’ve seen them. A tweet with a link in it to Facebook. The tweet may even end mid-sentence because it’s run out of characters. Because yes, it’s a tweet, not a Facebook status update! This happens because the lazy account owner has linked their Facebook to their Twitter so everything they post on Facebook is automatically sent out as a tweet too.

Yes, I did just say lazy account holder.

There is no logical reason to have your Facebook linked to your Twitter. Facebook is not Twitter and should not be treated the same. Twitter has the 140 character limit for a reason. It’s to stop you posting those long, boring statuses that most of us ignore on Facebook. It’s also annoying that if I want to read the remainder of the status I have to click through to Facebook. I’m on Twitter!

Please serve me my content where I am so I don’t have to be clicking on a link that will take me to Facebook. Then I forget that I was scrolling through Twitter and get caught up in cat memes and updates about my friends going to the gym, cooking dinner and how much they love their kids because no other parent in the whole damn world ever loved their kids like they love their own! Boring! Anyway, I digress.

The same goes with Instagram links where I have to click the link to view your photo. Just post the god damn photo to Twitter and stop being so lazy!

And you look even more stupid when you have your accounts linked up but then still post the updates individually to each network. You are in fact duplicating all your updates.

Auto DM’s

Social media seems to have its own ever-changing set of rules. But there are a few rules on social media faux pas you need to know or look silly

Let me just break this down into good automation and bad automation before the nitpickers start moaning. Good automation is things like your YouTube or blog updates going out as soon as you’ve published the content. That’s fine. Filling up your Buffer or whatever scheduling tool you use full of content so you don’t have to worry about your feed going dead if you’re busy elsewhere. That again is fine. Some people criticise this method but they obviously don’t understand that to maintain reach and engagement you have to keep your timeline consistent. Sometimes that’s not actually possible if you always tweet live.

The automation that is not good is those pesky auto DM’s. You know, the ones that start with, “Hey Socially thanks for following me. I can’t wait to get to know you better.” Then they never ever, like ever so much as like a damn tweet let alone engage with you. Oh, and my name isn’t actually Socially! But since your auto DM bot just takes the first word in your handle they always get my name wrong. If you just so happen to ever reply to an auto DM don’t hold your breath waiting for a reply back. Well, actually you might now that Twitter has created the auto-reply bot. Now the bots can fill up your DM’s talking to each other.

There is no logical reason to send an auto DM anymore when most users are aware of them and realise they are just one faux pas step away from total automation and no human usage. Just for the record, I tend to unfollow the person that has sent it.

Auto Tweets

Again this isn’t about filling up your Buffer with content or even using a tool like Jukebox to keep recycling your content. This is those annoying tweets that thank you for following, or tell you you’re the most engaged user or star whatever. We all know it’s automated and really, what value does it bring? If you are using services like Jukebox there is actually a setting (even in the free version) to turn these types of tweets off. Do yourself a favour and use that setting.

Nonsensical Hashtags

For the uninformed, a hashtag ### is used to aid search and discovery. They aren’t meant to be used to construct sentences or just randomly make your own up. This is also why they are as much use as a chocolate teapot on Facebook given that search there is keyword based.

Hashtags are great on Twitter and Instagram for following certain conversations, trends, themes or searching out what you actually want to view. Or getting others to find your relevant content. When you use a hashtag to emphasise your point it’s absolutely worthless. Give it a rest and stop connecting loads of words into one hashtag and making it really hard to read. If you want to know if a hashtag is relevant, then search it. If there’s no other content with it then it generally means that nobody else is looking for it. #IllhashtagwhatIwant

Just two little side notes about hashtags. Like I just said they are pointless on Facebook. When you link your Instagram to your Facebook and hashtag the living bejaysus out of your post, all those hashtags show up on Facebook. Pointless. And just makes you look lazy. Refer back to my point about Facebook links on Twitter. It’s the same principle.

Next point and this one goes out to the numpty that reads all my content and then passes nasty cryptic comments about me on Twitter. When you hashtag something you need to leave a space in-between your words otherwise the # is redundant. For example, when you do your hashtags like this – #word#word#word none of the words will turn blue (on Twitter) which means they aren’t clickable or searchable. You need to put some spaces in there; #word #word #word. You see what I did there? Good. Please do it.

Sorry, pet hate.

Big It Up Bio

If you use buzzwords to describe something it means you aren’t describing it very well. Stop the jargon! Here are 10 buzzwords that need to be retired. Now!

Have you ever read someone’s bio and wondered what the hell it is they actually do? You know the types that are full of buzzwords that you don’t understand (read my blog about buzzwords that need retiring). I find it so annoying when I feel like I need to consult the urban dictionary to vaguely know what someone actually does. So if your bio contains any sort of buzzword or slightly bigs up your title (you know, founder, CEO and Chief Something Or Other when they just work for themselves as a freelancer). Just keep your bio to the point and quit with the bull because we all really know you’re probably just unemployed.


This one really annoys me and I actually don’t see why anyone does it. It’s retweeting your own retweet. I know! Dumb!

This basically happens when someone shares your content and rather than just acknowledging that or replying to their tweet saying thank you, you retweet their tweet! And if you’ve had several people share your content and you are the type of user that dips in and out of Twitter a few times a day and do all your retweets in one go, then basically your timeline just becomes a whole stream of you retweeting your own content! Can you imagine how dull and annoying that becomes for the poor unfortunates that actually follow you?!?!?

I see this being done a lot by the ‘Peri Famous’ brigade. Someone shares the broadcast from within the Periscope app out to Twitter and then the broadcaster goes on to Twitter and just retweets all of those shares. Suddenly my newsfeed is full of retweets of the same broadcast. Yet another boring sunrise/sunset from just another place on the planet that we’ve all seen bazillion time now because the broadcaster retweets every god damn thing that’s ever tweeted at them! I don’t even need to look at some people’s content because they just retweet the same thing like a hundred times a day. Boring! Just thank people for sharing. Thank them for their interest. Try being personal and engaging rather than just continuously hitting the damn retweet button.

Ok, I ranted but I told you it was annoying.

And Whilst We’re Talking About Retweets

So there’s been a buzz floating around lately about the vast amounts of false news stories that are cluttering up our internet, especially our social media feeds. Since certain people discovered that they could just make up random news stories and put them up on sites named something that sort of vaguely resembles a reliable news source and then fill it full of annoying pop up clicky adverts that won’t go away and basically make money from it, our newsfeeds have been invaded by a total load of rubbish.

The problem is that quite a lot of people don’t understand what click bait is or how it works and see a sensationalized headline and rather than actually reading the story or actually questioning if it is real, they just hit share. Like, whoop, whoop look at me and this totally amazing news story I just found. Like they are some superhero for helping to spread this utter garbage on to all their friends and family. After all, sharing is caring.

People, before you hit share, check it out. Where does that link click through to? Are you bombarded with adverts, pop-up, malware? If so, then it’s probably not something you want to go spreading around. Like a virus. Is the story on a reliable news source? Like you know, the ones with real journalists or actual news channels with real reporters? Think before you click.

Socially Sam Snapchat snapcode“Hey Snapchat”

When I wrote my blog about things that annoyed me on Snapchat I mention that my name wasn’t Snapchat so please stop calling your viewers Snapchat. Anyway, can you imagine just how annoying it is when you open video content elsewhere, like Twitter or Instagram and the first thing the creator says is, “Hey Snapchat!”. We aren’t even on Snapchat! Use the right content on the right platforms, please!

Oversharing Is Not Caring

In social media worlds we all know that you on some platforms, namely Twitter, you have to post quite a bit to make sure people keep on seeing you. But this is not true elsewhere, so please quit with the 100 Facebook updates every single damn day. Nobody really actually cares that you chose to use Facebook as your personal journal and actually the bulk of your friends have hit the unfollow button so they don’t have to see your mundane updates.

Everyone has bad days. Everyone has crap in their lives that they have to deal with. But that’s what most people do. They face their problems rather than Facebooking them. You should give it a try. Some things are just better left unsaid. Or if you feel like you have a lot to say each day, why not take up blogging and put all your boring little updates into one daily blog, so nobody can read them there. Rather than cluttering up our newsfeeds. Note to general population – you can thank me for that little tip later.

What did you do in the older days when we had no Facebook or the Internet? Did you ring every single person you know in the whole wide world every day to tell them you just picked your kids up from school? And now they are doing their homework whilst you decide what to make the little darlings that you love so much, for their dinner. No, you didn’t so stop wasting your time even typing that status update. Nobody cares!

And again remember, Twitter is not Facebook. So we don’t need the constant updates on Twitter of your boring days. Like I said, just blog it or keep it to yourself.

Who Are You Thanking

I love this one. “Thank you for following me! I can’t believe that 10,000 took the time to follow me. I really appreciate every single one of you.” Ummmmmm but didn’t you buy most of those followers? You can believe that you got 10,000 followers because you paid for them!

Ok, if you have been one of those idiots that bought some followers or likes or whatever, please don’t then attempt to humble brag when you hit a milestone. It just makes you look an even bigger idiot than you already are. If you don’t know how to spot the fakers amongst us then please read my post about faking your presence and then you’ll be up to speed.

And The Prize For The Best Social Media Faux Pas Goes To…………

This isn’t exactly a faux pas but just making yourself look a bit stupid really. But if you call yourself an expert or a guru of social media and you are doing any of the above things, then please remove the words expert or guru or specialist or whatever, from your bio. Because you aren’t. If you are linking your Facebook to your Twitter and calling yourself a social media expert then quite frankly you are having a laugh and fooling nobody. You are in fact a fraud that doesn’t know what they are doing.

Wow! I’ve ranted today and it felt great!

So please correct your ways or just step away from the expert’s panel. Leave the rest of the normal social media users to get on joyfully using these wonderful tools that God, I mean Zuckerberg, gave us.

Ohhhhhhhhh I Nearly Forgot

I think I’ve mentioned this before. It’s just a dumb thing to do and probably falls into the category of ‘you can’t be an expert if you do this’. But the follow/unfollow move. It’s so dumb. It’s annoying and quite frankly if that’s the only way you can build a following then it shows how rubbish your content is in the first place. I really do wish that Twitter would stop allowing the bots that do this API access. It’s just adding to Twitters problems. Hey Jack, if you’re reading this because I’m really sure you do given how much I’ve slagged off your business in the past. On the off chance you are, if you want to please a whole load of good users of your site and get rid of a mountain-sized amount of crap and spam, will you please just ban the bots!

The Twitter birds seem to have lost their way on Periscope
The Twitter birds seem to have lost their way

I’m going way off course here and it’s probably another blog for another day, but I genuinely think that a lot of Twitter’s user based problems are caused by bots. So just ban them! Simple!

I could even create my own hashtag and make it trend! #banthebot

If you like this article please feel free to share. And if you agree with me then don’t forget to add the hashtag #banthebot.

There I’ve just solved Twitter’s problems.