Avoiding the Deadly Seven

by: Shari Donk We’ve all heard of the Seven Deadly Sins. Their imagery pops up everywhere in movies, TV, and literature. Their ideas are also ones to avoid when using social media for your business. Don’t let these sins destroy your social media efforts!

Greed: More. More. More. Always wanting more. Especially when it comes to twitter followers. Did you know, there are websites where you can BUY twitter followers? Don’t let your greediness for more followers make you stoop to this level. What’s the point of buying followers who want nothing to do with your brand? They will add no value to you or your business.

How to avoid: Itching for followers? Use more credible websites like Twiends or Wefollow. These sites let you add yourself to lists and users who search common ground with your brand will find you. This way, you will at least be gaining followers who want to read your tweets, not followers looking to make a quick buck from following you. Don’t want to add your name to any list at all? Grow your twitter account organically by searching key words and reaching out to those who share similar interests or who have a problem you can help solve.

Wrath: An angry customer + an open Facebook wall = disaster. Facebook can sometimes serve as an open forum for your fans to complain, which they will do over and over and over again, especially if no one responds. Wrath, if not handled properly, could destroy your social media reputation.

How to avoid: Respond in a timely matter. Make sure the wrath-filled “fan” becomes in love with your great customer service. A simple “We are sorry, how can we help?” can turn a hater of your brand into your number one supporter.

Sloth: You have not posted a status in days or even weeks! Understandable, you are busy - you just can’t find the time to update your Facebook status or come up with a clever tweet. This comes off as laziness to your consumers and this sin will bring your brand down in a second. Take the time to carefully plan the content your brand posts from statuses, to pictures and videos - they all need to keep your fans engaged.

How to avoid: Too lazy to post everyday? Use a tool to schedule your posts in advance. Take one day out of your week to come up with content for the next few days. Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are two great tools to keep your laziness in check.

Gluttony: The opposite of sloth, gluttony, or overindulgence, could lead your downfall as well. Cramming up your Facebook with 10 posts a day will overwhelm and quite frankly, annoy your fans.

How to avoid: If you have a lot to say, spread your content out over a few social networks. Google+  is a great tool to post photos and relevant info graphics and twitter is the perfect place to tweet out articles and engage users with fun #hashtags.

Lust: At first glance, it is hard to see how lust could become deadly in social media, especially when you want fans to “hit that like button”. However, there are so many businesses out there lusting for attention on social media, that they lose sight of what’s important. Focusing too much on your wants and needs, lusting for your company to be the best, for you to gain attention, love for you, you, you…you lose sight of your fans.

How to avoid: Get into the mind of your consumers.  Think more about what they want and less about your wants. Stop caring so much about gaining their love and focus more on how to provide value to them.

Pride: “My company is the best in the world. We make millions of dollars a year. I don’t need social networks. We’re too good for that.”  WRONG. No matter how big your company is, social media will still be useful. Your pride will keep you from expanding into new markets, reaching new fans and making your current customers life-long ambassadors for your brand.

How to avoid: Invest the time to make your presence known on social media. Figure out which network best adheres to your customers and make yourself available on that medium. And don't forget to keep up with all the latest trends, like Pinterest, because there's a good chance your target audience is not just active on Facebook.

Envy: Your direct competitor has thousands of followers on Twitter, custom apps on their Facebook, circles filled with friends, and recommendations all over their Linked In. In comparison, you fear your pages look mediocre. It is always important to check out what your competition is doing on social networks, but don’t let your envy take over.

How to avoid: Use their success as motivation to do more. Compare what is working for them versus what isn’t working for you. Draw inspiration from their creative approaches to engagement and apply them to your brand. Don’t let your envy be the reason your social media efforts fail.


What’s your biggest vice? Which of the seven sins do you feel could destroy your social media efforts? How do you keep this sin in check? Comment below!