Social media has become a staple in many people’s lives. They use it to stay in touch with friends, look at memes, and even build their professional network with platforms like LinkedIn.
While using social media generally has no rules, here are five mistakes to avoid:
Buying likes and followers
Obsession over like and follower counts has led many people to inflate their accounts with fake followers. This is not only against the community guidelines of most social media platforms but also a lousy way to build your personal profile.
The need for more likes is approval-seeking behavior that goes beyond social media. Buying your way to more likes to feel “normal” or “better than” others is a temporary fix to a more glaring problem.
The businesses that sell these services are also rather shady. You must be careful who you entrust with your credit card details or user credentials. That takes us to the next mistake social media users make:
Not taking care of the security of accounts
Since many people rely so much on social media, hackers are known to target these accounts to extract all sorts of sensitive information. If you think about it, your entire life is recorded on these platforms in your message and post history.
While social media is fine for sharing memes and chit-chat, you should avoid exchanging sensitive files and information on these messaging apps. Secure cloud storage is a much better alternative and will ensure that no one else can access your sensitive data.
Another thing you must do to protect your account is set a strong password and enable multi-factor authentication (MFA). This almost guarantees that no one else can access your social media accounts.
Posting too much or too little
As stated early in the article, there is no right or wrong way to use social media unless you’re doing something illegal or inappropriate. However, posting too much, or too little for that matter, can be considered a mistake.
Posting a lot is a sure way to annoy your followers. Who wants to see updates from the same person all over their feed? Oversharing your private life is also a security issue. You can never know people’s intentions online, especially if you have a public profile.
Posting very little, or not at all, doesn’t have that many consequences. But, with time, people may assume you’re no longer using the platform and delete you from their friend list.
Using every social media platform the same
While most social media platforms share a lot in common, there are differences in how you should use them. For example, posting cute pictures of your cat on LinkedIn probably isn’t what the founders intended. (But if I follow you, feel free to post cute pictures of your cat daily.)
Here are some pro tips for the most popular platforms:
- LinkedIn – use it to share job updates, explore job opportunities, and post work or industry-related content. Add connections from your work or in your field to build your network.
- Instagram – is the most relaxed platform. Use it to stay in touch with friends, post cool photos of yourself, and spend countless hours looking at memes in the “Explore” section.
- Twitter – specializes in quick, to-the-point messages. Although it’s not always the case, Twitter tends to be more politically focused than other platforms, but you can find content about anything.
Posting offensive or inappropriate material
People’s careers and lives have been affected because of their social media activity. Be careful with your posts, even if you have a private profile. It’s impossible to have complete privacy nowadays, and you don’t want your employer to see something that makes them regret hiring you.
Sometimes, you may not even recognize that something is offensive before you post. It happens, but it’s best to be as considerate as possible with your posts. With that said, don’t be afraid to voice your opinions – that’s what (some) social media platforms are for. Just don’t do it on Facebook, please.
While there is no rulebook for using social media, it’s best to avoid the mistakes we covered in this article. As long as you protect your account and spread more positivity than negativity with your posts, you will be further ahead than most people.