Thursday, June 18, 2015

10 Ways You May Be Hurting Your Online Platform

by Edie Melson @Edie Melson 

For writers today, an online presence can mean the difference between success and failure. But if we’re not doing it right, we may be our own worst enemy. Today I want to share 10 ways you may be wrecking your social media presence.
1. You have an inconsistent social media presence—I’m not talking about taking weekends off, but on spending consistent time building your online presence. This includes showing up on Twitter and Facebook with reasonable regularity, and keeping a regular schedule for your blog posts.

2. You over-promote—The promotion I’m talking about is SELF promotion. Use Edie’s 5 to 1 rule—for every 5 social media updates, you’re allowed one additional update about yourself.

3. Your website doesn’t have social share buttons—I don’t know how much time I’ve spent on your sites looking for your twitter handle or trying to follow you on Facebook. Most people won’t spend more than three seconds. That’s not long.

4. You engage in Hashtag overload—Hashtags are great, and using them CORRECTLY can net you a lot of new followers. But correctly means no more than two per update. When you up your ante to three, the results begin to drop off.

5. You use auto-responders—Is there anyone out there who likes to talk to computers? Not me. Beyond that, we’re a pretty savvy group. We can tell an auto-respond message from a real one.

6. You’re obsessed with the numbers—Social Media growth takes time. Shortcuts bring more trouble than help. As long as you’re seeing growth, you’re doing well.

7. You don’t utilize a scheduling program—Personally I prefer Hootsuite. It keeps me visible online without having to spend hours a day tied to the Internet.

8. You’re guilty of hogging the stream—This means you post three or more updates in a row. You’ll find that behavior will encourage people to unfollow and unfriend you in droves. Spread out your updates and keep your connections happy.

9. You try out every new platform that appears—No one can do everything well. Focus your energy on Facebook and Twitter. With these two platforms you’ll hit almost 100% of your audience. After that, no more than one or two more. Focus, focus, focus.

10. You send out game invitations—This is a personal one for me. I used to get so many game requests I finally made it a hard and fast rule that I do NOT play games on Facebook. I’ll give anyone a pass for the first invitation you send, but after that, I will immediately unfollow anyone who sends me another one.

Now it’s your turn, what turns you off when it comes to social media? Is there something that leads you to immediately sever a connection? Share, so we can all see things from a different perspective.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


  1. Excellent post, Edie! I'm with you on receiving game invitations. :( #8 was a surprise to me. Because I check FB/Twitter at the same time every day, I tend to do all my posting and sharing at one time. Thanks for the heads up! Your blog is well of wisdom my friend. :) Thank you!

  2. Very useful information. I am now reducing my #'s from 3 to 2 per tweet. I love to promote others and retweet good content. I agree with you about games(I dont play them) I also concur on hogging the stream. There is a brother in Christ who tweets and posts on FB at least 50x per day with requests for money and items to help the homeless. Great cause but overkill on the fundraising. Unfortunately his posts and tweets fade into the background.
    Edie, I truly appreciate the time and effort you take to help us. I have applied many of these rules and have had awesome results. My twitter following has doubled (not that I am checking #'s hee hee0 and I have been asked to write for on line magazines. God is good.

  3. I have added Google+ to my social media. I get new followers there every day, which is good. So I added it to my Twitter & Facebook blasts. I don't spend a lot of time in Google+, but It's not a waste of time. :)

  4. Edie,

    Thanks for the tips. It's always helpful to be reminded of what I shouldn't do as well as learning what I should do.

    One thing that's helped my Twitter ranking is knowing when the majority of my Tweeps are active and scheduling posts throughout that time. I schedule every 10 minutes during the peak times, then 15 to 20 minutes for the hour before and after.

    The rest of the time, a plugin tweets old content once an hour.

    The account has grown quite since implementing that plan.

    Thanks for all the work you do and best wishes,


  5. Thanks so much for the helpful guidelines, Edie! I am focusing on building my social media presence before self-publishing my professionally-edited book, and I have learned so much from you already! Some of the things in today's post I am doing already; some I will practice when I start up my Twitter account.

  6. I need to investigate Hootsuite. It would probably save me a lot of time, but the thought of writing a bunch of posts at one time and scheduling them seems overwhelming.

    When you talk about personal posts, are you referring to promo items or even normal stuff about your day?

    Thanks, Edie!