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The 7 Deadly Social Media Sins

seven deadly sins

The seven deadly sins: just the mention of the term stirs up feelings of guilt and an urge to right your wrongs. This goes for social media too! When it comes to social media, there are countless examples of individuals and companies making all sorts of mistakes and not using social networks to their full potential. So let’s strike a little fear into your hearts here and show you how the seven deadly sins can have a damning effect on your social media efforts.

1. Gluttony

You are a social media glutton if you try to be everywhere at once. You feel the need to create an account on every social network in existence, regardless of whether or not the network is appropriate for your specific goals.

If you do not know what your social media goals are, start by asking the following questions. Does your target audience use the social network? Do you produce content that the social network can showcase appropriately? What results are you looking to see from being on the social network (i.e. leads, website traffic, exposure, etc.)? Answer these questions for each social network before actually creating your account.

2. Sloth


If you created a social media account and then left it dormant, shame on you! Or perhaps you post some great content to your social media account on a regular basis: great! But what about engaging your audience? Facilitating conversations with your followers?

If you leave your social media accounts inactive or fail to respond to social media interactions, then you are guilty of social media sloth. Sloth is a sure way to have your followers lose interest in you or to give them the impression that you do not care about them as customers or as an audience.

3. Greed


Are you willing to do whatever it takes to gain more followers? Will you pay, lie, cheat, maybe even rent out your firstborn to get your follower counts into the 10K range? If so, then you are guilty of social media greed.

The number of followers on your social media accounts is an important metric in terms of the growth and success of your efforts. Your main focus, however, should remain on producing quality content, nurturing relationships and building a community online.

4. Wrath


Have people criticized or complained about your services via social media? If so, don’t respond in haste. You most definitely should respond, but you have to make sure your response is tactful and not attacking in any way. If your response is mean-spirited or fails to address the complaint, then you are guilty of social media wrath.

Don’t think it’s a bad thing to take your time to calm down and contemplate any criticism on social media. It lets personal offense simmer down so you can see things from the complainer’s perspective. Even if you think responding is futile, according to Kissmetrics 22% of social media complainers welcomed the interaction that resulted from their complaining and later posted a positive response.

5. Lust


If your business is struggling to market itself effectively, you may think that social media will help you out. In fact, you may believe that social media will be the golden ticket to instant success, fame and profits. If your mouth waters at the perceived magic of social media to solve all your marketing problems, then you are guilty of the social media sin of lust.

The truth is social media is a tool that takes time and effort. It’s part of a larger, long-term marketing strategy. Social media is definitely not a quick fix or a panacea for broken or inadequate marketing strategies.

6. Envy


Do you look at others’ social media accounts, large followings and constantly shared content and get an overwhelming desire to be just like them? Then you are guilty of social media envy. No two companies, individuals or organizations are exactly the same, so don’t feel envious just because your competitor is performing a particular way on social media. While it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your competitors on social media to look for opportunities to grow and gain inspiration, it’s not a good idea to copy your competitors under the illusion that you’ll achieve the same results.

7. Pride


Yes, you (hopefully) control your social media accounts. Yes, social media is a tool that can help promote your brand. But no, your social media content cannot be all about you. If so, then you are guilty of the social media sin of pride. If you talk about you, your business or your product all the time or even most of the time, it bores your audience and puts yet another nail in your social media coffin. Instead, mix it up. Remember the 4-1-1 rule: for every self-serving message you post (i.e. promoting an article you wrote or an event you’re hosting), you should share one message from another user and four pieces of others’ original content.

So there you have it: social media advice with a biblical slant. Do you have some stories to share showing examples of these seven deadly sins popping up in social media?

Picture by Highway Charlie

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