You could be the next “Will It Blend” but if nobody knows about you, then it doesn’t matter how creative and awesomely original you are. One of the most important factors in social media is the promotion of your content, and this often leads to annoyance. There are many annoying social media habits, but perhaps the most annoying come from the promotion of social media. Avoid the following social promotion pitfalls to become a less annoying (and more effective) user:
The Impersonal Users. If asking for a favor, make it personal. Social media is supposed to be all about relationships, yet so many people are lazy and make things impersonal. Great, I’m glad you found my IM name in my social profile, but my full name isn’t ‘Can you Digg this for me,’ so find some manners and use them. This is the same for all social mediums. Instead of direct messaging “friends” and telling them to share something in 140 characters, take the time to chat with them on IM, talk about the story in mind, and inquire if they would be interested in passing information along to their friends. The more time and genuine effort that you out into something, the better it will come out – I guarantee it.
The Crazed Cross Promoters. Did you just send your Digg account page via StumbleUpon? Did you send me a message on Mixx that included a link to Propeller? These types of actions can really annoy users and garner you more negative votes than positive votes. People join StumbleUpon because they want to find quality new stories, not see your Twitter name. By all means, use social badges on your site to spread love, but if you are trying to use one social medium to force users into a social media marathon, you are trying too hard.
The One Way Streeters. These people are the most obvious annoyances on social networks, as you simply have to look at the number of times that they have asked you for a vote in comparison to the number of times you have sent something to them. If this is a one way street, you have found yourself a “one way streeter.” Guess what? If you IM multiple Reddit stories to friends who aren’t asking for anything from you, there is a good chance that they are avoiding them all together or downvoting you. Try to keep an even ratio of stories with your friends, as it is the courteous thing to do. Nobody likes that guy who always needs something in real life – and they don’t on social networks either.
The Always An Emergency Users. These users embody the little boy from “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” to the fullest. If every tweet is followed with PLS RETWEET and every message sent is of high importance, it all loses meaning. If I wrote this entire post in bold, no words would stand out. The same is true with social media; if you say that something is important, it better well be or when there is really a wolf nobody will be listening.
The Convenient Users. Even worse than the one way streeters, these users only show up when they need something, but you couldn’t even find them if you needed something. These users pop on to Instant Messenger to drop you a link and then vanish in under a nanosecond. You may catch them DMing you on Twitter and then not using the service or even checking messages for weeks. If you have something that you want to share that badly, at least stick around and hear what your “friends” have to say about it, let alone being visible or active when they have something for you.
The Total Spammers. These users may be the most annoying for the sole reason that they know how annoying they are, and yet they don’t care…at all. You can find them IM-ing you tens of links to stories to vote on, or showing up in your inbox after they figured out your email name and added you to their promotion list or worse yet – hacking your account to share their content. Social media users report spam, and these users are just helping to dig themselves into their own graves.
At the end of the day, social media is truly about being social – so try to translate your manners online and you will stay off this list (and boost your success!)