TimeHop and Learning from Mistakes

By Marissa Breton Several months ago, I came across TimeHop, a service that sends you daily e-mails detailing every tweet you tweeted or post you posted one year ago, to the day. I started receiving e-mails detailing all of my hilarious, or more often than not, embarrassing posts I'd foolishly shared with the world.

Some days I’m reminded of an adventure with friends, or a particularly good day at work...but other days I’m reminded of things I’m not as proud of, like those not-so-subtly-directed “Someone Like You” lyrics I tweeted. TimeHop has forced me to reflect on my year-ago mistakes and has become a huge part of developing my personal brand.

It’s just as important to reflect on this failures and successes when you’re managing a brand’s social media. Reminding ourselves of the mistakes we’ve made (the “late night Adele tweets” of community management, if you will) can ensure that you don’t make those mistakes again.

Lessons I’ve learned from TimeHop

1. #hashtagabuseisreal #oneyearagoIthoughtitwashilarioustowritelonghashtags #omg #lol

Stop abusing the hash tag. There are no excuses for excessive hash-tagging. Marissa in 2011 thought this was funny, but it wasn't… and it’s even less funny now. When hash tags are used incorrectly they can easily come across as annoying.

2. @autoDMing: Hey! Thanks for the follow! Hope you enjoy my tweets!

Few things are as disingenuous as an automatic direct message. Instead of spamming your followers with the same impersonal "thanks for following" message, put more time into engaging in dialogue with them.

3. “I did this really awesome thing today. Let me tell you about how awesome I am. Did I mention? My life is awesome.”

Self-promotion is equally annoying coming from a brand or a person . No one cares what you had for breakfast, and no one wants to hear you talk about how great your company is.

4. “Its Friday night! What are you’re big plans for the weekend?”

The dreaded typo is often a symptom of misguided multi-tasking.  I have received far too many e-mails from TimeHop including a tweet I posted with the improper use of your. That kind of mistake is hard to recover from, and your credibility as an intelligent person was trashed with that one misplaced apostrophe.

While it’s tempting to keep plowing forward and avoid dwelling on the online mistakes of our past, staring them in the face is a valuable wake up call… because sometimes, I still make these mistakes. Using TimeHop for your personal account or the brands you manage can prevent you from repeating these same mistakes year after year.

Are you embarrassed to see what year-ago-you shared online? Share in the comments below!