The 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media

Social media has reached a level of fervor that only religion has inspired in the past. Given this similarity, it only makes sense that people would start talking about the 7 deadly sins of social media. If you commit these sins, one day you’ll find yourself in a hot, lonely place where no one can help you.

#1 Thou Shalt Not Bore Visitors

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Image via Flickr by davidjlee

A Facebook page that tells people about you and your interests is great. Ultimately, though, you have to give people something to do. Plus, some have the attention spans of a goldfish at the bottom of its school.

Start a blog that lets you install fun widgets. Visitors can play games, take surveys, or follow links to interesting articles. People go online to escape boredom. If your social media use inspires nothing but yawns, people will quickly stop visiting.

#2 Thou Shalt Not be Slothful

If you have a Facebook profile, use it. The same goes for Twitter, Google+, and any other social media platforms you belong to. A slothful, empty page will make you look like you’ve gone out of business.

#3 Thou Shalt Not Ignore

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Image via Flickr by f_mafra

The word “social” means something. If you’re not using technology to make connections, then just stop using social media altogether.

You can avoid this deadly sin easily. If someone comments on a post, reply. At the very least, you can “like” the comment. It only takes one click. Reply to people who tweet at you on Twitter. Thank people who retweet your tweet. Thank people who follow you.

#4 Thou Shalt Not be Too Self-Centered

Your page is yours, but you can’t make it all about self-promotion. That’s a huge turnoff that will keep people away from your site.

Use your social media accounts to share things that you think are cool. Perhaps you saw a great music video or you heard about a really interesting non-profit project. You can slip in a little self-promotion every now and then, but it can’t be the bulk of your posts.

#5 Thou Shalt Not Buy Your Friends

Perhaps the saddest thing about social media is that some of the most highly connect people are nothing more than pixels. They don’t have real jobs and families. They don’t even breathe. They just exist so individuals and companies can artificially inflate the number of fans they have.

That’s about as low as it gets.

#6 Thou Shalt Not Let Messages Sit Unanswered

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Image via Flickr by dburka

Again, don’t forget the “social” aspect of social media. If someone sends you a message, you have to respond. Why would you even have a social media account if you just ignore everyone?

#7 Thou Shalt Not Make Inappropriate Comments

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Image via Flickr by Gage Skidmore

It’s hard to express sarcasm on the Internet. An “inappropriate comment” said properly in the real world can show that you mean the exact opposite. Online, though, it just makes you look mean.

Plus, you’re trying to reach thousands of people. Keep it PC so you don’t alienate anyone… or lose your job.

Avoiding these deadly sins will make you better at using social media. Have you encountered other deadly sins that you’d like to see added to this list?

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