Are You a Hit and Run User of Social Media?

Social media seems simple enough. These online platforms provide free ways to interact with others, share ideas, promote brands, and evangelize causes. But some users have neglected the more human aspect of being social and have turned social networks into a bumper car rink of meaningless hit and run.

Although these hit and run tactics are extremely common on Twitter, I’ve seen them on Facebook and Google+ as well. Are you guilty of these social media mistakes?

1. Asking questions but never responding to replies

Asking questions is a classic way to encourage conversation. Everyone has an opinion to share, and when you ask for it, you often get an answer. But if you never go back to see what answers you received, you are misusing social media. The people who answered you will soon realize that you don’t care about their reply at all. And over time they will stop replying altogether.

Your follow up doesn’t have to be anything grand. A simple acknowledgement is adequate. Ignoring them is unforgivable.

One of the big culprits to this hit and run behavior is connecting your social networks together. Maybe you are active on Facebook but not on Twitter. However, your Facebook question is set to autopost to Twitter. You never check Twitter, so you never see the readers who are reaching out to you. That is a social media fail. Disconnect those accounts and only feed to platforms where you commit to engage.

2. Autoposting identical content to multiple platforms at once

We all know that there are just a handful of big social networks out there and everyone seems to have her favorite. But posting the same link on every single one of them within the span of thirty minutes is not going to engender love. Instead, it looks very “hit and run-ish.”

All you need to do is space it out. Auto scheduling your posts is helpful here so that you can set it up at once, but the posts don’t all hit at once. So that you don’t commit transgression #1, be sure to check in with each network for reactions to your posts.

3. Sharing link after link but never interacting as a person in real time

Automating your social media posts is an efficient use of time, and many readers appreciate it. But if you never interact in real time, you become a cardboard personality.

Go ahead and schedule your posts to Facebook and Twitter, but also plan for a few minutes each day to check in and post some  spontaneous, non-promotional things. (While you are there, react to those who reached out to you earlier in the day.)

4. Sharing the same 5-10 links in a repetitive cycle

There are some Twitter accounts that run like the alarms on my iPhone. They never vary; they are like clockwork.

Whoever set these up wrote a dozen nifty tweets and then set them into some sort of perpetual motion machine that spits them out on schedule, never varying the wording.

Boring. Cardboard. Hit and run social media.

5. Sharing the same content from two or more different accounts at virtually the same time

Since many bloggers have multiple blogs, crossover in  social media is to be expected. But try to disguise it a bit and space it out. Don’t tweet from your personal account at 8:02 and then repeat the same tweet from your blog account at 8:03.

You may claim that the accounts have different followers, so it’s okay to tweet the same thing at the same time.

Actually, you probably have a lot of overlap in followers. Or at least you will until those readers get sick of seeing duplicate tweets and unfollow one (or both) of your accounts.

When your cross-promote, personalize each tweet for each account. And schedule them for different times.

6. Auto direct messaging without real interaction

Most everyone agrees that auto DMs are bad practice. And yet I see them all the time. Actually, I don’t mind them so much if there is a human on the other side. But I’ve found that nearly every time I’ve replied to an auto DM, I get no response at all.

Don’t Commit Social Media Hit and Run

Social media hit and run means that you are blasting out your message with no concern for those hearing your message. You offer no chance for true dialogue because you just want to be heard.

The irony of hit and run social media use is that it results in total deafness. No one wants to interact with a megaphone that can do nothing but shout.

The solution? Be a human. Pretend that there are real people on the other end of your tweet, status, or post. Because there actually are people there.

You are invited to learn more about blogging and social media at BEECH Retreat, January 31 – February 2, 2013. Soak up wisdom from keynote speakers Michael Hyatt and Crystal Paine. Implement new blogging strategies in hands-on workshops in the luxurious South Seas Island setting of Captiva Island, FL. Your ticket includes resort lodging, all meals, and airport transfer.

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