I love social media. I spend huge amounts of time on Facebook and Twitter and have made some wonderful friends in internet land.

Spending so much time on social media, I have seen some reall boo-boos in my time – like a “parenting expert” who sent a #journorequest tweet when Rio Ferdinand’s wife died, saying they were an expert in breaking that sort of news to children. I’ve yet to meet anyone who thinks that was a well thought-out tweet – but a lot of social media no-nos are more a matter of opinion or taste.

The thing is, these days a potential employer or client is highly likely to look up your social media profiles before they even meet you – and what they see will inform their decision as to whether they even bother to meet you. Aside from that, a lot of things are just plain irritating for all concerned.

10 social media no-nos

Here are some of the things on social media that I think are really not a good idea, and reasons why:

1. Constant negativity

We all have a bad day sometimes, and it can be good to commisserate with friends – but when it’s the end of the world every single bloody day – I don’t need that! I can find enough misery by looking around me, if I so wish – I don’t need you to help me with it!

2. Dirty laundry

There is a particular couple on my Facebook who seem to delight in bringing their disagreements onto social media for all their friends to see. A lot of the posts are not even friends-only. The first time it happened, it was vaguely amusing. After that though, it just became uncomfortable. Now when I see them in the street I want to tactfully suggest they consider a divorce.

3. TMI

This from the woman whose Facebook regularly contains updates of her daughter’s bowels! I know, right. But there’s a difference between relaying a funny tale of my daughter telling a shop assistant “my poo’s not coming out” and me giving you detailed updates on the stomach bug I’ve contracted. Nobody wants to open up their newsfeed and see details of your digestive tract! Similarly, we will take it as given that you love your partner/child/dog.parents. You don’t need to keep on with all the lovey dovey smooshy stuff.

4. Sharing incorrect nonsense/photos designed to tug at heart strings

Photos of abused puppies, appeals for missing school children who were actually found safe and well six months ago, infamous internet hoaxes that are doing the rounds from the umpteenth time. “Be careful everyone, there’s a man with a black van stealing puppies!” No, there bloody isn’t. If you’re going to post this rubbish, have the decency to at least read the comments or Google it first!

5. Swearing

We all love a good swear from time to time – but if every single post is littered with effing and jeffing, that says something about you. That’s fine if you want to be known as a potty mouth – but potential employers or clients – or brands you might want to work with if you’re a blogger – might be put off by your creative use of the F word.

6. Broadcasting without interaction

We all have those days where we just have to schedule some posts and leave the internet to fend for itself while do some real life things. But if you’re consistently broadcasting your thoughts (or links) without tweeting real tweets or answering comments, people will get fed up. It makes you look aloof, as if you think you’re too important to be bothered with other people.

7. Never updating

The way Facebook works, the more you update the more your posts are likely to be seen by your fans. If you only update sporadically, you will find that those posts are seen by hardly anyone, and hardly worth your effort. With Twitter, if you never update people may very well unfollow you – or just not bother to follow you in the first place.

8. Endless self promotion

Yes, I know you have something you want to sell me/get me to read. If I want to buy/read it, I’m sure I will be able to find my way to your site without your constantly reminding me. On Facebook especially, posts have a longer shelf life and should be about a bit more than just your latest book/dvd/promotion. Social media is about being sociable. Although it can be great for raising brand awareness and even driving traffic to your site, the main aim is to engage your audience in a conversation. Post a photo, have a chat, make it personal (but not too personal, obvs).

9. Likes for likes

This one is probably a bit controversial – but if you get people to like your page as a personal favour, or because you liked theirs, they are not necessarily interested in what you have to say and may never interact with your posts. And then you’re in the tricky position of having numerous followers, but no interaction. For me, having followers is about quality rather than quantity. If you’ve got a hundred people who regularly interact with you, that’s better than having 500 who only liked you because you joined one of those ladder things, have no interest in what you’re saying, and never interact with you.

10. Automatic messages/requests for likes/follows/purchases

I’ve decided to lump all of these in together. Automatic messages on Twitter saying “thanks for following me, please like my Facebook page/visit my website/buy my book” are just tacky and I never click those links. In fact lately it has been tempting to just unfollow everyone who sends me one of those things!

On Facebook, if you like someone’s page it is poor manners, in my opinion, to then post a comment on their wall saying “I liked your page, here’s mine please come and like it back.”

On both Facebook and Twitter, it is perfectly acceptable to tweet or message someone either thanking them for the follow or letting them know you’re a new fan, and then saying “oh and here’s where you can find me” or something – but to ask someone to click on your link/like your page/whatever else is just tacky. And it makes you look like you’re begging for traffic.


What do you think? Do you agree with my list? Do you have any to add?


If you’ve enjoyed this post, you may enjoy these Three Top Tips for Twitter Etiquette and Ten Social Media Mistakes to Avoid.

Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.


Sabrina (The Mummy Stylist) · 30/05/2015 at 09:22

I totally agree – especially with the last point- those automatic messages are SO annoying – I never read them, there’s nothing personal about them. And the please like me back, you feel under pressure and it should be a choice.
Sabrina x #weekendbloghop

    Vicky Charles · 30/05/2015 at 09:50

    Exactly! I feel like if someone asks me to like their page just because they liked mine, and I do it just to be nice, I might not be interested in anything they have to say, and may never interact with them – so then what is the point, from their perspective, of having me like the page?

K @ Eat.Love.Live · 30/05/2015 at 11:31

This post made me laugh. I hardly use my personal social media accounts so entering this blog world has opened up my eyes to this world. I totally agree with you on the automatic messages too, they are so impersonal – I don’t even read them when I get them. Thanks for hosting a great linky too K x #weekendbloghop

    Vicky Charles · 30/05/2015 at 13:50

    Thanks for joining in!

Kate · 30/05/2015 at 14:19

Oooh so many of these I agree with! haha As a page owner the last two really get me. I get so many messages from other pages saying I liked yours, now like me back. I did that at first, because so many did it to me, but I didn’t like it so I stopped. I don’t get too many like that anymore, but I also have gotten a lot less likes. …and twitter with the endless auto messages…ugh.

Kim Carberry · 30/05/2015 at 20:11

I agree with your list…..
Those incorrect photos on Facebook have brought so much hurt to my friend…..The one being “If this photo gets 1000 likes the little girl will get a heart transplant” It’s my friend and her daughter from years ago…..She had the heart transplant but sadly died a year later…..Every time my friend see’s it, it breaks her heart!

    Vicky Charles · 31/05/2015 at 17:17

    Oh my gosh Kim, that’s awful. People don’t think of these things when they share things do they. Though how you could think getting 1000 likes could get anyone anything more than geek points is beyond me.

Elena Peters · 30/05/2015 at 20:21

Great points Vicky! I agree with all of them. I must add that I definately do an immediate unfollow after a DM that says “thanks for follow, buy my book” and they never followback! How cheeky is that?!

    Vicky Charles · 31/05/2015 at 17:15

    The first one of those I got was from a fellow blogger, saying something like “if there’s anything I can do for you please contact me” I thought oh, how lovely! Then I noticed she didn’t ever respond to my tweets – even if they were sent to her!

Lindsay @ Newcastle Family Life · 30/05/2015 at 22:03

I agree with every single one of these . Those auto DM’s make me want to unfollow people and i hate all those photos about missing children who are not missing or asking you to share a photo of a sick child to send them a prayer , i have no idea how sharing a photo is sending them a prayer. The latest one where i live that everyone is sharing is a photo of a white van that is knocking on doors asking if people want to buy fish and then they are meant to steal your dog for fighting or something. As far as i am aware no-one has had a dog stolen but everyone keeps sharing it on my timeline non-stop for the last six months xx

    Vicky Charles · 31/05/2015 at 17:14

    Wow, 6 months, that’s a lot of dogs to have apparently been stolen without anyone actually noticing! It drives you to distraction, doesn’t it!

Claire · 30/05/2015 at 22:24

Great list! I particularly agree with TMI and number 8. Why do people keep doing these things?! :-)
Thanks for hosting #WeekendBlogHop and the info on all the other linkies.

Love From Clueless Mum · 30/05/2015 at 23:17

I completely agree. People who share every single link they click on also tend to be deleted quite quickly. And people who document every detail of their/their child’s minor illnesses. If your child has a cold, give them a hug, tuck them up in bed or make them something special to eat to make them feel better. Don’t upload a photo every half an hour of their face covered in snot that will be there to haunt them publicly when they are older!

krista-lee-pfeiffer · 01/06/2015 at 03:45

Thanks for sharing this! I’m newer to blogging & added that automatic message to my Twitter account because I saw others doing so. But I can totally understand what you mean about it appearing tacky, also I never read other people’s automated dm’s. So I think I will be quitting that service. Thank you for the insight. Very helpful!


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