We all have reasons for following accounts. Sometimes the accounts belong to personal friends, sometimes they’re products we like, sometimes they just plain entertain us. But in this age of self-branding, where everybody who wants to succeed at social media has to take a quick crash course in journalism, marketing, and product management, there are so many who just don’t get it right. Now, I don’t pretend that my follow is the equivalent of, say, getting retweeted by a major internet (or, gasp, perhaps even IRL) celebrity, but at the very least, dear reader, please take my poorly-written complaint as a plea to do better if you’re guilty of any of the following.
Behold, the reasons I’m not following you on social media. And that’s either not following back or unfollowing.
1. You’ve completely missed the mark with your demographic targeting. I’m a single, gay, left-leaning, graduate-degreed professional. So if your product is, say, “Sanctity of Marriage” bumper stickers or “Get your G.E.D. at home in only six weeks!” or Duck Dynasty table runners, I’m probably not interested.
2. Too many damn selfies. I get it. Taking pictures of yourself for all the internet to see are the rage among the young ‘uns these days. But it’s boring. Even if you’re gorgeous, I really don’t care what you look like driving/on the toilet/drunk/making duckface/wearing new boots/having just woken up etc. This one is especially true for Instagram. If I look at your profile and more than half your posts are of your face, I’m not interested.
3. Retweet diarrhea. Twitter sure is fun, isn’t it? One of the nicer things about Twitter is that if a tweet is particularly boring/irritating/stupid you can just breeze right on past it because it’s only 140 characters. This benefit is completely shot to bits when I find myself scrolling through a bunch of nonsense because someone’s hijacked my feed by retweeting everything in theirs. Original thinking, people!
4. Consumer Outrage. I spent years working in Customer Service capacities, and I’ve heard just about everything. Mostly, I’ve heard enough to know that there are two sides to every story. The consumer usually embellishes, and the corporate response is typically milquetoast, non-accusatory, and makes every attempt to direct the conversation offline. End result: boredom, and very little tangible impact in my perception of the brand you’re complaining about.
5. Your individual account is managed by a PR professional. Now, of course, most corporate accounts fall into this category for obvious reasons, but for individuals, the expectation is generally that your voice will be the one that is being shared on social media – not some employee whose job it is the time the posts with links to your press releases. Social media is about transparency and accessibility. Now, if you’re an Amanda Bynes or Ashton Kutcher and you can’t be trusted with direct access to your social media account, it’s just best to stay off it all together.
Agree? Disagree? Your name’s Benedict Cumberbatch and you want to ask for my hand in marriage? Leave a comment below.