The Mail Online- Daily News, Affiliate Marketing News, Advice and Tutorials
The Mail Online- Daily News, Affiliate Marketing News, Advice and Tutorials

By: David Spark, Founder, Spark Media Solutions

For years, we’ve been inundated with advice on how to behave in social media. This blog and I are both guilty of producing a lot of “do this/don’t do that” content.

The Internet is awash with years of social media advice. Could some of it be going stale? Is it possible something I said or you read two years ago actually be bad advice today? To uncover the answer to that question, I reached out to dozens of communications professionals and asked, “What was once considered good advice regarding social media that you either did, advised, or agreed with, but now, given the rapidly changing social media landscape, you no longer recommend?”


I received dozens of responses from industry experts such as The Mail’s own Murray Newlands, Brian Solis, and Charlene Li. I compiled all their wisdom and a little of my own hack advice into a brand new ebook:

Hazardous to Your Social Media Health

50 Previously Condoned Behaviors We No Longer Recommend

Register now and you’ll get the ebook for free, plus be subscribed to Spark Notes* (current issue) where you’ll get weekly new media goodies like funny status updates, videos, and articles to help you to market your business. If you don’t want this awesomeness sent to your Inbox, no worries, you can unsubscribe at any time and still enjoy the ebook.

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My Top Three Social Media Anti-Tips


One marketing tactic that I actually recommended for a while is to start harassing your friends and family to share and retweet your content. This technique works up to a point. To the point they get irritated with you constantly pestering them with a “please RT” request.

“Entitlement abounds on the social web with so many communications starting with ‘give me,’ ‘do this for me,’ or ‘share this with your fans’ without anyone ever thinking to create value first,” complained Lee Odden (@LeeOdden), author of Optimize CEO at TopRank® Online Marketing, and Editor at

“Asking for retweets is simply unnecessary,” noted illustrator Len Peralta (@lenperalta), “Either your content is compelling or it isn’t.”



For years, social media consultants were so desperate to get companies involved in social media that their first piece advice was to “get your feet wet.” They felt all this lurking and not experiencing social media wasn’t allowing their clients to see the true value. If they just did something in social media, anything, then they’d see the value, right?

“It used to be true that it was enough to ‘just participate,’” said Julien Smith (@julien), CEO of Breather and co-author of The Impact Equation: Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise?

“That is still true, but it is only true when channels are new and unsaturated. When a channel is saturated, such as Twitter and Facebook, it is utterly pointless to just ‘jump in.’ It does not ‘build audience,’ nor does it ‘increase engagement,’” complained Smith. “It only clutters the channel further.”

Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi), Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, was an admitted dabbler as well.

“[Dabbling in social media] is almost like having a business phone number that you only answer once in a while, or a contact form on your website that only works part of the time,” said Pulizzi.


As a media professional it would always infuriate me when some executive that knew nothing about social communications would say in a half-joking way, “Isn’t there a college student we can get to manage our social media?”

“Having a child fresh from college as your main customer interface has been deemed not to live up to consumers’ expectations,” said Murray Newlands (@murraynewlands), Founder of TheMail. “You would not put a teenager in the reception of your global headquarters to welcome billion dollar partners, so why do it online?”

Lots more in “Hazardous to Your Social Media Health”

Want more advice on what you can stop doing and free up a lot of your time? Make sure to get your free copy of the ebook, “Hazardous to Your Social Media Health: 50 Previously Condoned Behaviors We No Longer Recommend.”

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