Last week I did a post on how to use your social media platforms in writerly ways. This post is on some general mistakes to avoid making so that you can look more experienced from the beginning.

A Million Hashtags

This could just be me, because I’ve seen professionals make this mistake. But why in heaven’s name would you want fifteen hashtags that are really just all variations of each other? Why?! Don’t do that. It gets really annoying and clutters up the look of your posts. Pick some main ones like #writersofinstagram #amwriting and #writerslife. It’s not a bad idea to have a unique hashtag for you as well, so that people will find more of you if they click on a hashtag. #teenauthorsjournal or #taj for example 🙂

Different Profile Pics

It can be really hard to tell if you’ve found the same person on a different social media site if there is a different picture for every profile! Having a different picture of you on your blog, in your newsletter, or in your posts? That’s fine! No one finds you through those. Sticking to a single profile picture (and not changing it every week) will help people find you in other places, sometimes on accident. Trust me on this one 😉

Automated Messages

Ah, why would you do this? It’s a cheap way to try and come across authentic and it … really fails. It’s so fake. I see this mainly on Twitter. The auto Direct Messages that thank people for following them and link to a FREE product! Yeah, I’m not buying it. The auto tweets that thank everyone each and every person who has retweeted them lately. You’re … welcome? Why don’t you thank me in person on my retweet or not at all. No one else wants to read through the list of those. Be genuine or don’t be there at all.

Selling Yourself in Every Post

I definitely have to be careful about this. There’s a fine line between being smart and stupid about how much of your merchandise, services, or whatever it may be that you share. Linking to things is okay, but it’s better when that generates an image, like on Facebook. A plain link in every post is not appealing. You should always be on social media enough that you have some personal “normal” posts about what’s new between every post that requires you to share a link. Otherwise it looks like you’re in it for yourself and not to make real friends. It’s tricky, because both are true.

Talking Politics

Blech. Trust me, I have strong beliefs. I align myself with a specific train of thought in religion, politics, morality … I know what I stand for and I’m not afraid to stick my ground. But social media is not the place to get into an argument about the current President’s latest decision. Because it always becomes an argument and no one looks like a kind and intelligent person responding to a gazillion comments and talking in circles. There’s a time and place for that, but that’s on an individual, face-to-face basis. No one ever changed another person’s mind on Facebook. I really can’t stand loudmouths, even if I agree with what they’re shouting. I’d rather see what you had for dinner and that’s saying something 😉


Here are somethings I think it would be wise to do on all your social media:

  • link to your website
  • make your bios similar
  • be genuine
  • engage people
  • use quality photos
  • be concise


What are some social media pet peeves of yours? What attracts you to the accounts you follow on social media? How’s Camp NaNo going?

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author of #MartinHospitality | blogger | freelance editor | INTJ | daughter of the King | writing is my ministry | reading is my pastime

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  • Like Melissa said, I also get especially annoyed with the hash-tags that have nothing to do with the picture or post. Because it doesn’t help you anyway! If someone is looking on the hash-tag #kitten, than they’re looking for kittens and aren’t going to care about a picture of a latte!

    • I know!! I really don’t understand that. I honestly despise a multitude of hashtags anyway, but at least they’re usually relevant. Seriously. Do you need #park #playingatthepark #parkday AND #playdate all in the same post?? It looks obnoxious to me, because what the person is trying to do is rope in anyone who might use any of those 😛 In covering all their bases or being really obscure it comes off as fake media to me 🙁 So yeah … I try not to use very many hashtags!!

    • Oh girl, I hear you. Yes, there are other ways to promote. In person, doing book signings, face to face talking, word of mouth from friends, online advertisements, newspaper advertisements, fliers, email loops, newsletters … there’s literally ENDLESS opportunities. But social media is the biggest deal and most appealing and effective for most of your audience because it’s social and connects them to a face and personality. Not just an event. Does that make sense? You can handle social media, I promise!! Pick one or two (preferably where you have lots of people to connect to) and be yourself. That’ll be plenty 🙂

      • Woah, that was a lot of info just now ? THANK YOU SO MUCH! When I finish my book, I’ll try to use those tips!
        I guess I’ll give instagram and Facebook a try. Those seem to be the most popular! 🙂 Thank you again for the tips!

  • These are so true!
    One thing I can’t stand is when people hashtag their posts with unrelated topics. Like #kitten with a photo of a latte. For some reason this always frustrates me! And the automated messages…haha…
    Oh man. When I was much more ignorant I got involved in some opinionated comment sections and its never done me any good!

    • Unrelated hashtags are just stupid. I’m sorry, but what are you doing??? It makes all of their media look so fake and insincere to me! Don’t even get me started on automated messaging. It’s so bad!!!!

      I hear you. I admit it can be really hard for me to resist sometimes. I guess we were all made argumentative? 😛 But it’s so pointless and no one comes away looking intelligent fighting with strangers on the internet so … yeah, I avoid it. I’m not even sure why I read through so many of the comments anyway. I can feel my IQ lowering. XD


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