The Five “Deadly Sins” of Social Media

Here are 5 important social media “deadly” sins that are sure to get you unfriended and unfollowed. Knowing these sins and how to avoid them is essential for successful social networking.


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1. Monopolizing Someone’s Facebook Wall

Do you post photos of your child or pet on your friend’s walls all the time? Most likely other people don’t mind these kinds of posts, as long as there aren’t too many. And if you post something offensive, even if you think it is funny, on someone else’s wall, you might really irritate your friend. Why? Because everything that is posting on your friend’s wall is visible to others. When you monopolize another person’s wall, your friend’s own posts can get lost in the shuffle. Their wall is primarily for their news and thoughts. Posting sparingly and in good taste on your friend’s wall is etiquette that keep your friendship intact.

2. Serious Tweeting

Twitter is like a cocktail party where people get to know each other and keep things light. You have only 140 words to get your message across, so wordy deep thoughts don’t go over well. This isn’t the social network to tweet too seriously. You are likely to turn off your followers if you dwell on a topic or pontificate.

3. Being a hater

Another “serious” sin is being too negative when social networking. This means not blasting others with your opinions of others. Follow the motto “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” “Hating” can also take the form of talking about controversial subjects. It is fine to get in discussions with people about issues like politics and religion, but you have to remember to stay respectful and walk away if it gets too heated. Avoid insulting others just to make your argument.

4. TMI

Sharing your every thought and action might be tempting when social networking. But there is something called too much information. Your friends or followers don’t need to know the details of your medical procedure or a blow-by-blow of your break-up. Whining about your life is a no-no and bound to turn someone off. When you consider what to share, think about what you would or wouldn’t say face to face. If you wouldn’t share the information offline, don’t say it online.

5. Taking things too personally

If you get in contentious discussions and don’t take the advice to walk away if it gets too heated, don’t take it personally if someone else crosses the line. It is easy to insult others or offend someone if you aren’t face to face. Sometimes it is just a perceived insult. The other person wasn’t trying to offend but for some reason it hurt your feelings or angered you. Don’t take it too seriously and put them on blast. Otherwise they might just unfriend you are unfollow you.

These are just some of the sins you should avoid in social networking. The best advice is the age old “golden rule,” to treat others how you want people to treat you.

Contact us if you want more tips on how to keep your friends and followers.

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This article is published by Will Sherwood | The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising,  graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering,  Now what do we do?”  We are located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?


  • By Dena Holman (@BathshebasJewel) 17 Feb 2015

    I enjoyed your article on the 5 Deadly Sins in Social Media! Thank you….

  • By Jennifer Cooper 17 Feb 2015

    This is a great list for personal social media – I wonder how you would translate it into using social media for business? For example, finding the right balance between serious topics and a lighter tone on Twitter, or how edgy to be even if not “hating” or how often to post. Thanks for your thoughts!

  • By 67nj 19 Feb 2015

    Nice reading!

  • By KatPonder 19 Feb 2015

    Overt bragging. Proud parents and successful companies need to offset with something other than “successes.”

  • By Paul 22 Feb 2015

    Make sure you hand thought about your audience and if your message has not earned their interest or respect don’t send it

  • By Hamish 24 Feb 2015

    As in an actual conversation, unless the forum is right, talking politics and indeed using social media to espouse political ideology, criticise people or to jam opinion down other’s throats is a big no-no.

    If you are going to do it, be bi-partisan and ready to accept counter opinion.

    great article!

  • By Ali Hussein 10 Mar 2015

    In your face self promotion and outright sales pitches are definitely off for LinkedIn. Not so for Facebook. Or even Twitter.

  • By jayson joe 11 Mar 2015

    It’s a nice separation between content and presentation. This will be easy for the readers as well.

  • By James 11 Mar 2015

    Amen to all 5 points! I would also add to 3 the concept of “online hate speech.” and bullying.

  • By Tamara Beck 12 Mar 2015

    TMI is a standard for Facebook posts, but it is a big turn off. True enough that not much soul-searching or -baring can go on in 140 characters, so that sin should be easy to avoid on Twitter.

  • By jayson joe 26 Mar 2015

    I’m really sincere about your work. It’s going to indeed help in later future.