7 Most Insincere Business Uses of Social Media


Many thanks to AllFacebook.com for again allowing me to write a guest post for them. Today’s topic is The Most Insincere Behaviors on Facebook.

My original piece actually contained some other items that weren’t Facebook specific, and they were understandably edited out. You can read the AllFacebook version here, and the full list of insincere business uses of social media (with the uncut items) is below.

I had fun writing this one. What would you add?

The list included in the AllFacebook.com piece…

1. Stop Demanding Reciprocation
2. Stop Buying and Trading Likes
3. Stop Connecting Your Accounts
4. Stop Comment Baiting with Insincere Questions

And now the other items…

Stop Sending Auto Direct Messages

The other day, I received a direct message on Twitter from an influential person whom I respect that reads as follows:

Thanks for following me, I look forward to following your tweets

At first I thought, Hey, that’s nice. This well-connected person really cares about what I have to say! Then I looked… They follow 100,000 people.

I understand that some people feel the need to automate their direct messages. You get followed by a ton of people and you don’t have time to respond to them all.

But don’t automate a completely insincere message. If you follow 100,000 people, you couldn’t care less about what I have to say.

The sad thing is that it’s entirely possible that such a person does occasionally send a sincere direct message. And maybe this person actually did take the time to do this. But since they follow 100,000 people, it’s very easy to assume that it’s automated.

Insincerity sucks. Automated insincerity disguised as sincerity is even worse.

So stop. Please stop sending auto direct messages.

Stop Automating Fluff Quotes

This is another one I’ve seen from influential people on social media. They supplement their content with multiple motivational quotes throughout the day.

Maybe they actually connect with these quotes. But my guess is that they know that they can get some shares, likes, comments and retweets with minimal effort by taking this route.

This is a cheap way to keep your account “active” while tapping into the emotion of your followers. And in most cases, the person posting these quotes has no connection to the message that is being sent. It’s insincere and annoying.

So stop. Please stop sending automated fluff quotes.

Stop Following Everyone

This is a sore spot since I understand many influential people (including friends of mine) disagree. But to me, one of the most insincere things you can do on social media is follow everyone.

I’ve heard it said before that to grow your audience on Twitter you need to follow more people.

Bah. I’ll do it the hard way.

It’s not that I don’t care what others have to say. I still follow more than I can keep up with. But this following thousands and thousands of people business is downright ridiculous.

Why? Because you’re doing it for insincere reasons. You’re not following them because you care about what they have to say (in most cases). You’re following them to either get them to follow back or retain them as followers (since people are less likely to unfollow you on Twitter if you follow them).

If you auto-follow the bots and have a service that actively searches out people to follow while unfollowing the people who don’t follow you back, you’re probably building up a big audience. And you may even end up with a larger, more engaged audience than I will.

But it’s a lame way to do it. Grow your audience because people think you are awesome, not because they think that you think that they are awesome.

So stop. Please stop following everyone.

  • http://justinewrites.com/ Justine

    Yes – the auto response really annoys me. Seriously – we have enough messages/tweets/statuses to absorb, we don’t need an autobot tapping on our shoulder, asking for our attention only to provide us with fluff like, thanks for the follow! It’s not going to make me like you anymore, so please stop it. In fact, it is doing just the opposite.

    OK, rant over. Great list. I definitely agree with all of them.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Thanks, Justine! Sometimes we just need to rant, right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/tomthiessen Tom Thiessen

    I was using TweetAdder for awhile, and now I’m stuck with all these people completely unrelated to my niche.  Not even really sure HOW they got there.  Anyways…Now I’ve spent an entire weekend going through their profiles and manually unfollowing them…groan.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      Yep. The thing is that most of us try one of these tactics at some point. The test is whether we figure out it’s insincere and correct ourselves (the way you did) or not. It seems there are still plenty of people without a conscience when it comes to these things.

      I found the same thing when I added people indiscriminately. My direct message inbox also became useless since it was then flooded with spam, and there was no longer any reason to follow my feed of people I follow since I didn’t care one bit about what most had to say. It was just noise.

  • Charmaine2004

    I’d add also, some “liking” everything.  There are friends on FB who feel that in order to be memorable, or agreeable or popular or helpful to you,  they need to like everything you post.  Save the effort and post an intelligent or opposing comment instead, generate a conversation with posts from others, liking everything all the time is insincere.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lacimiranda Laci Lewis

      This also goes for pages or profiles that ask a question and then Like every single answer regardless of what the posts say.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/lacimiranda Laci Lewis

    I go through the people that have followed us throughout the week and follow back the ones that I am interested in and thank them for following us. There are only so many ways to write those thank yous. I am afraid that they sound insincere because automated messages are so common so I always try to use the day of the week (Have a wonderful weekend) so that they know it was written just for them.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      I admittedly don’t thank people for following on Twitter anymore, but when I did I would simply refer to them by name. I didn’t make up some garbage about looking forward to reading their tweets if I didn’t mean it, either. Just a simple thank you.

      What’s funny is that the people I follow are just “normal” people. I don’t search out people, so many are people who follow me first. But I do not follow back people who follow thousands of people. People who likely have some sort of visibility in their field already. I know their intentions.

      So often I’m following back people who have 200 followers and follow 200 (or something under 1,000). There just seems to be a much better opportunity for actual dialog with those people.

  • http://www.radicalmustache.com/ Mikel Zaremba

    Always great to be reminded of best practices. Thanks for the list, Jon.

    • http://jonloomer.com/blog Jon Loomer

      You bet, Mikel. Thanks for stopping!