So every once and a while, when you hang out on social networks as much as I do, there are some things that really start to get on your nerves. Where have all these bad manners come from?

I’ve had my fair dose of them happening lately and so I’d like to point out some of my social media pet peeves that I ask you to stop doing, or at least think about not doing the next time you’re tweeting, updating, posting and tagging.

I don’t expect you to agree with all my points below, it’s just that I get to rant from time to time about the basics of social media etiquette. Also I’m absolutely sure that of the things I’m about to mention I’ve no doubt been guilty of doing myself at some point when starting out.

I also know my friends are doing it all the time too. However I still have faith that we will drop these douche-bag moves and start bringing back  social not stupid to social networking.

Getting rid of bad manners on social media

Bad manners courtesy of Shutterstock

Avoid the LinkedIn Boilerplate Template

I advise all my clients and my friends never to use the boiler plate text. You know what I’m talking about. How many connection requests do you get that say:

I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

Mr I’m So Lazy I Can’t Write Something Personal

As my silly sign off above indicates, if you can’t take the time to at least write a reason why you want to connect, or tell me where we met before or where I should know you from, why should I care?

It’s far more impressive to write something like the following so that I instantly remember you and you’ll stay top of mind:

Hi Natalie

We met at the recent NYTimes Small Business Summit and discussed the role of customer loyalty programs after the panel on the same topic. I’d like to connect with you here and keep in touch on any future opportunities to collaborate.

Thanks so much

Your name

How long do you think that took. Perhaps 20 seconds longer than hitting send on the template text right?

Even if you haven’t met you, you are clearly connecting for a reason so tell the person why – I recently bought your product, I enjoy reading your blog, a mutual friend told me I should talk to you about X, Y, Z.

Even just a simple `You look like an interesting person with similar values to mine so I thought it would be worthwhile to connect’ would be better than nothing, although the above reads as slightly stalkerish….

Ensure You Get Recommended

If you’re going to ask for a recommendation on LinkedIn then DO NOT use the boiler plate text. I’ve had several people lately do this, some who I don’t even know well, nor could I vouch for their work. My reaction is to reply and say one of two things:

“I’d be happy to give you a recommendation if you let me know what points you’d like covered or what areas you’d like to be highlighted.”

Deep down I’m thinking, just write a few bullet points, or better yet the entire things and I will shape it in my own words. I mean of course it’s lovely to have somebody honestly write their testimonial and I’m fortunate to have many on my profile now from clients who’ve done just that.

But remember people are busy so you want to make it as easy as possible for them to do this. Then the more likely you are to get your recommendation written up. A simple:

Hi Susan

I would really appreciate a short testimonial or recommendation of my work that I did for you recently on the XYZ project. It would be helpful to cover off on:

  • What you were looking for when you came to me/ or what challenge you had
  • How you felt my training/ product/ advice helped you to solve that problem
  • What your direct results have been that you can attribute to working with me 

Thanks so much for your time

Your name

Don’t Opt-Me In

I recently had a friend add me to their newsletter list and to my surprise I received an email about their latest company updates on a topic I’m really not interested in and for an area I no longer live in.

I immediately wrote back and said:

Dear _____

Congrats on the move and news. I’d prefer not to be added to a newsletter I didn’t opt-in to though. Happy to receive personal updates from you or forward this newsletter to say `Hey if you’re interested this is what I’m up to.

And then I promptly unsubscribed. They wrote me back apologizing and saying they thought I’d like to know what they were up to and that they’d remove me from the list. I gave my unsolicited advice which was:

think a great way to do this to include your friends is forward your new newsletter and say `Hey look at what I’m up to, if it interests you then it’d be great if you subscribed to receive it, or if it’s not for you if you could pass it on to some friends that would benefit I’d really appreciate it.

In the online business I’m in you can’t imagine how many newsletters I subscribe and unsubscribe to to test what they’re doing, who I like, the content they put in their emails etc. But the biggest no no is just adding someone to your list who hasn’t opted in. The other thing is they’re not your ideal target audience – if they haven’t agreed to receive it they’ll likely just delete it anyway.

Am I harsh friend or what? I only speak the truth and I know far too many people who do this and it really irks me. Respect people’s emails and their privacy.

Email Optimization Tips

While we’re on the topic I sat through a webinar with Hubspot’s Dan Zarella a while back and took these notes about maximizing your email newsletter’s chances of success:

  • Click through rates for emails are best on the weekends. People get a ton of emails on the weekdays, so sending it on the weekend that’s why people actually read them.
  • Morning time is best
  • Send more emails (yes frequency matters)
  • Vary your headlines, your copy, your layout

I send my Highflyer out on a Sunday, so far I’ve seen a better open rate than sending it on a weekday.  Other great days tend to be Tuesday and Wednesday.

Quit Spamming My Facebook Wall

Now I can’t complain much on this front as I generally think my lovely `like’s of my Facebook page are a cool tribe who contribute regularly and engage. I leave my wall open for them to post on because I trust them.

Occasionally though I’ll get the spam post from someone who just doesn’t belong there, or at least their message doesn’t. Offers on haircare products for a suitcase entrepreneur community just ain’t cool. I’ll also remove your post and possibly block you as a user so save yourself the time of posting crap and pick pages that are focused on haircare.

Want to know how to remove a post you put up by mistake or an unwanted post? Here’s a visual on how to do this. Look for the icon to the right of a post on your wall and click on it to reveal these options.

 How to remove Facebook spam from your wall

Facebook tip:  Best to post updates on your business page in the morning, or night according to Dan Zarella. Post questions, photos, videos, interesting links (not just your own) and make sure to comment back when people engage – according to Natalie Sisson.

Leave My Twitter Links Alone

Ever see those Tweeters with zero followers who RT your link and replace it with their own spammy URL. Drives me nuts. I click on the link to check it quite often and watch the URL details bottom left of my screen as it goes through as much as up to 8 different redirects before landing on a sales page or porn.

The thing is other people will often retweet this person if they see it’s from me (or you) as a credible tweeter and imagine their surprise when someone in their Twitter crowd clicks on that link they failed to actually read. Do they suddenly assume I’m a pimp or into porn?

Not cool. But then again these are spambots. Even worse is legit people who RT your stuff and replace it with a link to their own site! I mean really?  Pays to report the spammers as spam and tell the people stealing your tweets to go make up their own.

Twitter tip:  Another one from Dan Zarella’s incessant tests of social media: Go crazy on tweeting links on Twitter. 20-25+ a day if they’re valuable. His point is the more often you’re sharing useful stuff, the more visible you will be. Remember in Twitterville streams of tweet pass by your attention within seconds so you need to be tweeting frequently enough to be seen from time to time.

What are your social media pet peeves? Seriously let me know below.