45 Ways To Sabotage Your Social Media Success

Author, writer, blogger, book reviewer, editor – whichever “hat” you wear, you’ve probably made a stab at creating an online platform and used social media to get the word out about it. But sometimes we forget that social media is designed for just that – being social. If you haven’t garnered the success you’d hoped, it could be the habits you’ve adopted. I’ve listed 45 ways you can set yourself up to lose on social media – and I’m sure there are 45 more!Social-media_Op

  1. Don’t have a plan, a strategy, goals, an organized method, or a formula to build a successful social media platform.
  2. Completely automate your tweets and posts so you’re NEVER online to interact with anyone.
  3. Entrench yourself in the position that social media is a useless time suck.
  4. Overthink everything you do, which will keep you from ever having to actually begin.
  5. Don’t bother to learn the rules and regulations of the sites you’re on.
  6. Don’t be in it for the long haul. Be impatient. Give up easily.
  7. Once you open accounts, tweet, post inconsistently, and visit little or not at all.
  8. Aggravate others on every platform in any and every way you can think of to do that.
  9. Use an auto-DM to urge new Twitter followers to buy your book, visit your blog, and like you on Facebook.
  10. Don’t open any social media accounts and don’t try to build them. Just don’t.
  11. Auto-DM Twitter followers and message Facebook friends with updates about your book/blog/events/successes/book parties/accolades.
  12. Directly @mention other authors with a tweet to buy your book. Do this repeatedly.
  13. Post nothing but trivia about your various meals and cute cat pictures and word games like, “Give me a name that starts with “O! I bet you can’t do it!”
  14. Message groups of people you don’t know with cryptic come-ons like “click here to see the message.”
  15. Don’t be helpful. Don’t share useful links, don’t be a resource, don’t answer questions.
  16. Talk about yourself constantly. Don’t initiate conversations with others.
  17. Gripe about everything, from the weather to your lack of focus and productivity.
  18. Gloat about everything, from the weather to your incredible focus and productivity.
  19. Tweet and post invitations to “buy my book!” exclusively.
  20. Message folks you don’t know on Facebook with an invitation to your events.
  21. Invite all your Facebook friends to like a million other pages. Oh, and yours, too, of course.
  22. Post comments on other blogs with invitations to buy your books, read your (unrelated) blog posts, learn more about you, and follow you on Twitter and Facebook.
  23. Comment on tweets and FB posts without clicking the link and reading the article that was shared.
  24. Aggressively discuss politics and religion on your social media accounts.
  25. Write inflammatory things about your colleagues and peers. Or everybody, for that matter, including the President.
  26. Write one book, then push it over, and over, and over, and over, and over ad infinitum.
  27. Complain about all your bad reviews and rejections.
  28. Stop building your blog and growing your social media accounts in an organized, planned, socially-interactive way.
  29. Keep your social media accounts “private.”
  30. Do not respond when others reach out to you.
  31. Be snide, sarcastic, impatient, and unkind.
  32. Buy thousands of likes and followers.
  33. Follow people on Twitter, wait for them to follow you back, then unfollow them as a strategy to make your numbers look good.
  34. Over-post, over-tweet, over-share about your latest _______________. (fill in the blank)
  35. Depend on provocative post titles to draw blog traffic from your social media accounts and don’t deliver.
  36. Keep everyone constantly updated about your latest Farmville exploits.
  37. Share all your friend, family, reviewer, job and literary agent drama. Every single one.
  38. Respond to every troll, naysayer, and argumentative idiot you happen to come across.
  39. Don’t use social media to … socialize. Use it to market exclusively.
  40. Use as many hashtags as you can possibly cram into a tweet or FB share.
  41. Send a friend request to someone and once they accept, post your book sales links on their wall and tell them all about yourself.
  42. Approach authors you do not know via social media and offer to review their book and once they accept, tell them you’d appreciate it they also reviewed your book.
  43. Copy someone’s entire blog article and re-post it on Google+ because you think they won’t find out.
  44. Approach authors and offer to review their published book. Read it, then tell them you think it’d be better with just a couple of tweaks. And oh! You just happen to be an editor (proofreader, cover designer, etc.)
  45. Don’t have a positive, interactive social media strategy of any kind. How’s that working for you?

So now that I’ve talked about what not to do, how do you know what’s right? Check out these posts if you want to increase your Twitter engagement or need tips about building your Twitter account, using hashtags, Twitter lists, or reminders about what not to tweet!

Readers, I bet you have something to add! How have you – or how do see others – sabotage their social media success? I know I’ve been guilty of more than a few. Please leave a comment and share!

Enjoy this article? Subscribe to my blog and you’ll never miss my weekly posts! Your email address will NOT be sold, shared, abused, or rented – that’s a promise. If you’re not already, please follow @mollygreene on Twitter. And last but not least, this original content by Molly Greene is copyright protected. Mwah! Thank you so much!

, , ,

35 Responses to 45 Ways To Sabotage Your Social Media Success

  1. Peggy McAloon July 14, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

    I loved this article Molly. I’m really new, but I have for the most part avoided all 45. I tend to shy away from anything political because I’m not a politician and just don’t want to deal with all the fallout.

    • Molly Greene July 14, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

      Thanks, Peggy. Being a social media newbie can be tough, but it’s basically using kindness, courtesy, and good old common sense. Sounds to me like you already figured that out. Best to you in all you do!

  2. Rich Weatherly July 14, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

    Thank you, Molly. All of us have been badgered by the types of offenders you mention in this informative post. I’m glad you shared it. Maybe some will be discouraged if they have been abusing social media through ignorance.
    Keep ’em coming.

    • Molly Greene July 14, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

      Thanks, Rich! The longer we’re on social media, the shorter our patience, hahaha!

  3. Judy Nickles July 14, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

    Good food for thought. I’m probably less involved than I should be because I don’t want to “bug” anyone…sometimes it’s a fine line to walk. Thanks for the cautions.

    • Molly Greene July 14, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

      Thanks, Judy! It is a fine line, but if you share relevant content and slip in the occasional book promo, you’ll be fine. Don’t let it keep you from getting out there!

  4. Thom Reece July 14, 2014 at 9:34 pm #

    Another winning post, Molly. It is jam-packed with useful, usable, and savvy information. Thanks, again.

  5. Shirley Ford July 15, 2014 at 4:36 am #

    A great list Molly. I can see the ones I am guilty of, i.e. not socialising enough and not having a plan, but it all takes a lot of time, more time than I seem to have in a day – I know, I’m now making excuses!

    The ones who continually push their books are annoying also some of the DM’s which are obviously automated. These things keep cropping up as what not to do, but the culprits carry on doing it.

    • Molly Greene July 15, 2014 at 7:10 am #

      It does take time, Shirley, no doubt about it, but it’s amazing how much chatting you can get in with a cup of tea and twenty minutes a day. And the automated DMs to like facebook pages will probably go on forever, no matter how much we talk about how annoying it is. Gah!

  6. John Chapman July 15, 2014 at 6:29 am #

    Great post. I have to say I’ve seem most of them done by others but try not to commit them myself, (had to think carefully about #7).

    • Molly Greene July 15, 2014 at 7:12 am #

      Thanks so much, John. Sometimes I think just having a plan, balancing automation with being “live” online, and making the time to interact are two of the most challenging things.

  7. David J. Rogers July 16, 2014 at 7:34 am #

    Very helpful See some of the mistakes I’m making, Thanks you. Liked your book too–best I found. Thanks for your hard work.

    • Molly Greene July 16, 2014 at 7:53 am #

      Hi David, thank you so much! I made every mistake possible as I learned to navigate social media and blogging, so I’m thrilled to be able to pass on some of the things that DO work! Best to you, and thanks again.

  8. David J. Rogers July 16, 2014 at 9:27 am #

    Molly, you say to engage on Facebook. I have an author page on FB, but it’s created from my personal page. I don’t want my personal life mixed up with business. FB only allows one page for individual. How do you keep them separate?

    • Molly Greene July 16, 2014 at 10:17 am #

      That’s a good question and I’m not the best to answer it, because I use a personal page to interact on Facebook. I hated the “begging for likes” part of a fan (business) page, so I just didn’t pursue it. There are drawbacks to both, but since FB severely limits the fan page posts it shares with your followers anyway, I (personally) think FB business pages for authors are an uphill grind unless you’re already successful and well-known. That’s just my two cents.

  9. Helen Hanson July 16, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    Gah! I find myself somewhere on every list . . . Thanks, Molly!

  10. Karissa Turtle July 16, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    Great blog, Molly. I’m not very good at socializing and am only an aspiring writing, so I hardly know anything much. This has been a great help. But where to begin 🙂

    • Molly Greene July 16, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

      Thanks so much, Karissa! Baby steps. Just choose one platform and figure it out, then go on to another!

      • Karissa Turtle July 16, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

        You’re welcome and thank you. It’s good to know how helpful that is 🙂

  11. Peter July 17, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

    Thanks Molly! This list is very practical. I was stuck with number 4. “Overthink everything you do, which will keep you from ever having to actually begin.” 🙂 Now I am over it.

    • Molly Greene July 17, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

      Hi Peter! Yes, lots of us are overthinkers and I definitely tend to be one, as well. Plan, plan, overplan, rethink the plan, then throw it out and make another plan. Argggghhh!

  12. Barb July 18, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    Hi Molly!
    Excellent as always! I’m absolutely not on this list at all *cough cough*

    • Molly Greene July 19, 2014 at 8:47 am #

      Haha Barb, and I am of course, not guilty of any of it either 😉

  13. Tracey Thompson July 24, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

    Thank you for the ‘not-to-dos!’ As an introvert, I have been struggling with building a social media platform. I find information on what not to do very helpful. Either I cringe because I have thought of doing it, or I feel better because at least I am not doing that. Now I am going to head over to your post on what to do.

    • Molly Greene July 25, 2014 at 8:20 am #

      Thanks Tracey! It’s always kind of like navigating a mine field when we take on a social media platform, and I actually think Twitter is perfect for introverts! You can come out and play with lots of people in short sound bites. Best of luck to you!

  14. Candace Nicole Werts July 31, 2014 at 4:43 am #


    I enjoyed reading your article, a few tips made me laugh and I have seen a lot used on social media. It has been a little difficult for me using social media to promote myself, I really appreciate all the tips.

    Thanks Again,
    Candace Nicole

    • Molly Greene July 31, 2014 at 7:13 am #

      Thanks, Candace. Social media is hard for most authors who do NOT get out there and aggressively push their books. It takes time, and it works best when you reach out and connect w/ lots of people one-on-one. Best of luck to you!