Dear People of the Internet,
Please stop. I do love you more than bacon. But for the love of crumb cake, please heed the following:
1. Stop inviting me to your mafia family. I mean, how many families can I possibly join before I’m killed in the crossfire?
2. Stop sending me messages on LinkedIn, inviting me to invite you to connect on LinkedIn. You arrogant, jammy bastard! Just send me a real connection request. And if you’re truly out of connection requests, as so many claim to be, ask LinkedIn for more. They have the option to grant you more. (Thanks for the info @LewisHowes)
3. Similar to #2, stop sending me messages on LinkedIn, or any platform, inviting me to follow you on Twitter. That’s just so weird, and there is a much easier way to attract a following.
4. Stop sending me Direct Messages on Twitter that say “I’m looking forward to reading your tweets.” Well, what is taking you so long? Stop looking forward to your new life with me and get to it! It’s not like I don’t offer you a daily serving. (perhaps just an issue of semantics)
5. In fact, please stop sending the worst Twitter Auto-DM’s in Human History. Or, if you’re feeling sporting, stop sending all Twitter auto-DMs. (yes, I used to send them. I’ve learned. You can learn too.)
6. Stop calling yourself a social media expert if you’ve tweeted 14 times. Practice makes perfect. REPEAT: you cannot claim to be a social media strategist if you barely use social media. Please feel free to refute this in the comments below.
7. Stop using the TrueTwit validation service on Twitter. You are not eliminating spam. You ARE spam.
8. Stop pretending people’s time is free. It is not. Asking for advice is one thing. Asking for an entire business plan on a silver platter is another (yes, it has happened).
9. Stop asking someone to lunch to pick their brain and then not picking up the tab. Common courtesy. Luckily, this happened to me only once.
10. Stop promising me 5,000 followers in 30 days. What are you racing towards? It’s not success.
11. Don’t do a #FollowFriday on Twitter if you’re not following the person. It boggles the mind.
12. Stop curating a tweetstream that is clearly automated. There is one exception to this rule – a local guy that created an awesome tweetbot – you know who you are. You get special dispensation from #12.
13. Similar to #12, stop tweeting links in every tweet. This is not what social media is for. (thanks @cynthiakahn!)
14. Stop creating Twitter usernames that are impossible to communicate to someone in person. “Hi, I work in social media. I’m @SocilMediSaintLou! Yes, that’s S-O-C-I-L, no there’s no “A” in it. M-E-D-I, now skip the “A” again…” I’m lost. (thanks @Tojosan)
15. Stop saying you don’t have time to use social media. Make time. Evenings are good.
16. Employers, stop restricting the social media usage of your employees. Studies have shown that occasional wandering of the brain is actually good for overall productivity. And you allow people to take smoke breaks, which is slowly killing them and raising your health insurance premiums. Oh wait, you don’t allow smoking on your company’s campus, which means employees have to go out and practically stand in traffic in order to smoke. Yeah, Twitter and Facebook… it’s not so bad.
17. Stop looking for a job with no LinkedIn presence. Learn how to use this tool, and do not dismiss it as a tool merely for job seekers. That will keep you, the gainfully employed, from creating a complete, informative profile until that unfortunate moment when you lose your job. At that point in time, you will not be mentally capable of doing your very best thinking, which will keep you from pulling together your very best resume and LinkedIn profile. Treat your LinkedIn profile like a living, breathing organism.
18. Stop saying you don’t have anything to blog about. You’re a business? That is interesting to me. You can blog about it. Chris Brogan runs a newsletter that will send you ten blog post ideas every Monday morning.
19. Stop taking it so personally. An unfollow is just an unfollow. It’s not you. Maybe it is you. You don’t have time to care, and reacting to the criticism of one person is a knee-jerk reaction. And whatever a “knee-jerk reaction” is, it doesn’t sound good.
20. Stop being afraid to be yourself. Tweet. Do a podcast. Go on video. Public speak. You’re not that bad, and 75% of people are more fearful of this stuff than you are. Trust me.
BONUS – apparently blog posts like this are a pet peeve of some. In response to my tweet asking for ideas for this blog post in exchange for full attribution, I received the tweet below. Point well taken.