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If You Want To Be Mediocre On Social Media, Keep Doing These 3 Things To Your Fans

  |   Online Etiquette, Reputation, Social Media Marketing   |   25 Comments

If you want to be mediocre on social media, keeping doing these 3 things to your fans!


Online etiquette may sound like a stuffy Victorian concept from a bygone era, but it’s not just for the nostalgic, mild-mannered, and super-pious.


One thing will always be true, and that’s this: if people don’t get the impression that you’re a likable human being, it doesn’t matter HOW much you may know about rich pins, Facebook ads, and effective hashtags — you will lose their respect.


And their business.


Here are 3 guaranteed ways to offend your followers and put your online reputation in jeopardy.

Don’t do them.





If someone approached you on the street and told you that they loved your haircut, would you walk away without so much as a word of appreciation?

It’s a rare (and thoroughly unlikable) person who would dare to be so rude!

But when someone leaves a friendly comment on your blog or social networks and you don’t respond with a few words of your own, guess what? You look just as ill-mannered as you would if you had ignored them in a face-to-face encounter. (Ouch.)


You may be separated by a computer screen and even an ocean or two, but people online are still exactly that — people — and they deserve to be acknowledged.


Chief Olyvia says: If you have so many fans reaching out that it’s become unrealistic for you to keep up, don’t be afraid (or slow!) to bring in reinforcements.





Flooding people’s social feeds with abundant content and (seemingly) brilliant musings may appear harmless, but in reality it’s a lot like being the guy at the party who thinks everyone actually enjoys listening to him drone on about every epic thing he’s experienced since he was 8 years old.

(You know him, too?)

At best it makes you look socially inept. At worst you look vain and narcissistic.


Part of playing well with others online means honoring their time and interests. People do want to hear from you, but not ONLY you!

If you’re tweeting something every 10 minutes on Twitter (not including chatting), pinning 30 images a pop on Pinterest, or posting to Facebook 5 or 6 times a day, that’s too much. Reign it in.


Chief Olyvia says: To make sure you’re only posting the best of the best and not merely e-littering, run content through this simple test before you hit the “share” button…


1. Is it from a source I trust?

2. Will it help my followers fix a problem, learn something valuable, or be inspired?

3. Does it contribute to my brand or my expertise? (LOLcats may be funny for many, but they won’t help you build a reputable lifestyle blog for society’s uber-elite.)





There’s no rule that you need to follow people who follow you, but NOT doing so makes you look a lot like the prima donna who wants the fame but can’t be bothered with the fans. It leaves people with a less-than-thrilled memory about you and your message.


People want to make a connection, not feel like just another tally on your wall. When you follow back you’re not only being friendly and courteous — traits sorely needed online — you’re nurturing a community that will expose you to a wealth of fascinating, generous people.

(People who may end up being a long-time friend, fun business partner, popular guest blogger, or loyal client.)


Chief Olyvia says: As your numbers grow, organization will prove to be your biggest friend. If you haven’t already, start using Twitter’s list feature now!



So do tell…what’s your biggest social media etiquette pet peeve?!


❤  Erika (Chief Olyvia)


The free 21 day ecourse that creates pro online impressions for business owners!

  • Ohmygoodness, I have a few, and as I learn more etiquette, they grow! People who have that automated followers update that tweets out how many followers they’ve gained/lost is so terrible.

    I also agree about refusing to automatically follow back. Um, if I don’t actually want to follow you, I’m not going to! Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t mean that I’m not glad you found me, but do you think when people reach thousands of followers they want to be following that many people back? No, I didn’t think so. This reminds me of a time someone added me on Instagram and commented on one of my photos randomly with “#f4f”. I almost threw up right then and there. Desperate isn’t cute, as Phil Pallen says.

    • Oh YES, those automatic follow/unfollow tweets are terrible, right?! I still haven’t figured out the point. No one’s Twitter stats are so important that they need to be stated.

      How funny — I think we have actually differing views on following people who have followed you on Twitter. 🙂 (It sounds like you read that I said you shouldn’t follow back, when actually I was saying you SHOULD follow back!)

      You make a valid point, and it definitely remains a hotly contested topic. When researching for this post there were enough articles written on this one issue that you could literally stay busy reading for weeks!

      • Ah, oops, sorry! You should follow back if you want to maintain a relationship with them, which is really what Twitter is all about, so I’m all for that. But I feel like you shouldn’t automatically do it if you don’t believe in what they’re doing/saying. I know, it’s a tough topic and I’m still figuring out my stance. Love hearing your thoughts.

        I came back over here just to add two more things that are driving me nuts on Twitter this week: not only automatic follow/unfollow tweets, but automatic DMs that are selling something. Ugh, such a turn off. Additionally, people that reply back to you with only very short abbreviated phrases like, “TYSM”. Really?? I’m sorry, it doesn’t take that long to type, “Thanks so much, I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it!” The abbreviation just comes across as tacky and lazy to me. Just favorite my post if you’re going to do that. Please.

        • OH have you been getting those automatic salesy DMs, too?! I received a handful last week…way more than I usually do.

          The best one was from someone I had recently followed who DM’d me and asked me a question. It felt spammy, but I decided to act in good faith and respond anyway.

          Guess what? My DM was rejected because they hadn’t actually followed me back (you can’t DM anyone who doesn’t follow you). Classy. 🙂

          And yes, abbreviated phrases like that ARE tacky. I’ve unfollowed people who choose to talk to me like that.

          • I don’t automatically follow back, I look at each profile and if they are tweeting something that I find interesting or that will be helpful to people who are following me, I follow back. I have an auto tweet but it doesn’t state my numbers, that is pretty vain. I will be honest I am a terrible tweeter so my auto post basically celebrates the new follower. I try to go through & at least say a genuine hello if I can but I don’t always follow back.

  • Nathan Stephens

    Curate your follow backs well. If you automate this I highly suggest you go in and prune occasionally.

    Can’t stand the AI automated DM’s where when you reply they reply back with gibberish. Those ones are really tricky to figure out for sure if it’s automated or not. But if you DM back enough times you’ll figure it out very quickly.

    • Nathan I’m glad you pointed that out about going in to prune who you’re following. I didn’t do that at the beginning and soon learned that was a poor decision.

      I think I’ve come across a few of the AI automated DM’s you’re talking about. I can’t stand it, either.

  • This is so funny and true and perfectly written! Spot on. Why be on social media if you’re not going to be social?!

    • Thank you for your comment, Maya!! My thoughts exactly. 🙂

  • Brett Goldstein

    Thanks for the great tips Erika! I need to step up my Twitter etiquette 😉

    • You’re most welcome, Brett. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by!

  • Clairellyn

    Great advice! I definitely agree that being on social media is about the interaction, and if you don’t interact, you’re probably not going to make many friends. My biggest social media pet peeve is all of the random spam sites on Facebook that post on my wall or on a picture to visit their website, particularly when it has nothing to do with what I blog about (food, and desserts specifically). I don’t know why they think that’ll get them anything other than a delete and a block from my Facebook site.

    • Isn’t that strange, Clairellyn? I don’t know why they think it’s effective either. :p It is super annoying, though, that’s for sure!

  • HATE when bloggers don’t respond to comments. I respond to EVERY single comment I get on my blog — and if I”m busy it may be 24-48 hours later, but I still do it. I notice the blogs I visit where I don’t ever get an acknowledgement; and what bothers me most is they usually end their post with a question or they ask readers to weigh in. What’s the point of me doing that if you don’t even reply back?

    • I hear you, Allison. In my mind the whole purpose of the combox is for interaction!

    • Oh my gosh yes! Huge pet peeve of mine! Especially when people ask a question and they never answer it! Why do they bother to leave comments on if they don’t read them? I love reading and replying to my comments!

  • This is a great post! I agree with you on everything, especially answering comments. I’m always thrilled that someone actually took the time to leave me a note. Some people never reply, and who wants to have a one-sided conversation, right?

    Facebook is still confusing to me. I’m not sure how often to post. I’ve read lots and lots of differing advice-to post hourly, every two hours, 1x/day, or to not bother with it at all and focus on Pinterest. I do get some engagement on Facebook, but not as much as I would like (some posts get very low visibility). I went from posting 1-2x/week to 2-3x/day and get a lot more interaction. I think it helps to share other bloggers’ content and related news to your blogging niche.

    • Kara, I think your approach with Facebook is a good one! It can be difficult to gauge how often you should post, I know. If 2-3x/day is effective for you, I would keep that up. (I definitely wouldn’t consider that being spammy.)

      A good way to gauge whether you’re over-posting is keeping an eye on your unlike rate. If people begin unfollowing your page as you ramp up the posts, that’s a pretty good indicator they’re overwhelmed. 😉

      I like your tip on sharing other bloggers’ content. Thank you for that!

  • Aimee

    Interesting read! I’m a social media manager and I totally agree with your tips.

  • Nicole Pharr

    Ultimately, it’s all about engagement and sometimes we tend to lose sight of that. I often have to remind myself that even if I don’t feel like I have time to respond to comments I need to make time to do it anyway. Responding to comments and following/supporting others is just as important as putting out new content!

    • I couldn’t agree more, Nicole. Thank you so much for saying that.

  • Pretty new to social media outside of interacting with friends & relatives, but I’m finding that I’m followed by some pretty random folks on Twitter who seem to be just marketing their own stuff (i.e. “I’m a graphic designer/business blogger and you look like a blogger who might buy my stuff!”) I doubt they have any interest in the topics I actually post about. It’s a bit odd & I’m not sure how to handle it. Because I post about homeschooling, and many homeschoolers are religious, I also encounter people whose tweets are always “May the Lord God etc. etc.” which is totally cool, but just not for me. Do you recommend I follow these folks or what would make sense?

    • This is an excellent question! Generally my rule of thumb is that if it’s a real person, I extend the courtesy of following back — because there’s always the possibility that they truly ARE interested in me and making a connection. (And if I didn’t follow back, I would feel more like I’m “collecting followers” rather than being part of the community…a feeling that really makes me uncomfortable (does that make sense?))

      The times where I don’t do this is if it’s obviously a spammer (egg for a photo, random/strange/clearly automated tweets, and following 2,000 people but only followed by 11 people), someone trolling for followers (usually indicated by the ‘buy more followers’ or #follow4follow in their profile description), or is posting things I’m staunchly opposed to or find disturbing (ie: I just had someone follow me that had gruesome horror images all over their feed…). So I most definitely think it’s OK for you to be discerning here. I would just encourage you to give the obviously real folks a chance, as you may be surprised at what develops down the road. 🙂 (And if someone ends up bugging you too much, you can always choose to unfollow them.)

      As for the religious homeschoolers, I’d probably recommend the same course of action unless you are so offended by it that it doesn’t make sense for you to have a connection. There are many people I follow that have different political/religious beliefs than I do and generally all is well/I find value in their stuff/I enjoy them, but there are a few times where something has been said that has been so upsetting to me that I do end up unfollowing. (Particularly racist remarks. I will not stand for those.) So again, there’s a line of discernment there. 🙂

      I hope that helps a little!

  • My pet peeve is new people dumping a link or a sales pitch on you before they even say Hello.