Tag Archives: Spark Media Solutions

50 Social Media Habits You Can Stop Doing Now


“Google doesn’t really have an algorithm to degrade content when it’s no longer good advice,” says David Spark, the founder of Spark Media Solutions, a writer, and a podcaster.

That means lots of bad advice continues to rank on Google search results.

A few years ago, for example, I advocated following back everyone who followed you or your brand on Twitter. Given the growth of spambots and proliferation of robo-DMs and increasing decibel of noise on social media, I now take a more nuanced approach.

Similarly, three years ago David wrote a white paper, “How to #Trend on Twitter,” in which he suggested repeatedly asking followers for retweets. “This is now officially horrible advice,” he said recently in a Q&A. “While we want to help our friends out, doing so repeatedly, like asking your friends to help you move, becomes a nuisance and is in no way a form of engagement.”

The realization that bad advice continues to badly influence online behavior inspired David to publish the ebook Hazardous to Your Social Media Health: 50 Previously Condoned Behaviors We No Longer Recommend.” He surveyed 56 social media industry influencers (including me) and asked us one question:

What was once considered smart advice that now you no longer recommend?

David then curated 50 of the items into his ebook, released earlier this month.

Not all of the advice is intuitive. Some of it (like “#5 from Charlene Li: Stop Posting to Your Personal Blog“) is counterintuitive and a bit controversial. But, together, the 50 points are meant to increase meaning and allow you to shed useless social activities this spring the way a Golden Retriever sheds his winter coat.

Some of my favorites:
“Stop wasting your time and your followers’ time by posting images with pithy statements, pointless ‘discussion’ questions (e.g., “What’s your favorite salsa?”), and photos of adorable pets,” David writes.

“While cheap ‘Likes’ and comments will increase your Klout and Kred scores, they do nothing to build your brand or business.”

The implied reciprocity of LinkedIn testimonials can feel compulsory, devaluing their overall trustworthiness and usefulness, David writes, adding, “Implied reciprocity is not the backbone of trustworthy recommendations.”

I’m the first one to talk about the opportunity of social media to put a human face on a corporate edifice. But this is sane advice from Joe Chernov, who suggests things have gone a little too far:

“‘Humanize the brand’ was sound advice initially—when too many brands were too ‘corporate’ on social media—but today I see brands sharing absurdist memes or making politically charged statements, and I realize it’s time to reintroduce a measure of sobriety into our corporate feeds.”

Gamified “check-ins” with Foursquare, Facebook Places, and other “check-in” apps were fun at the beginning, but now they are tiresome manual chores with little inherent value for the one checking in.

This one is mine—since I’ve gone from being a Foursquare fiend to Foursquare foe in the last few years. (One of my colleagues actually messaged me at one point during the height of my Foursquare fervor to call BS: “Come on! You can’t legit be the mayor of an airport taxi line!”)

Download the full ebook here (note: registration required), and check out of 50 things you can stop doing to lighten your own social load.

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Ann Handley is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs and the co-author of the best-selling book on content marketing, Content Rules: Wow to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business. Want more? Take a stroll over to AnnHandley.com

Posted by:Ann Handley