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Friday, September 02, 2016

10 Ways You May Be Hurting Your Online Platform

by Edie Melson @Edie Melson 

For writers today, an online presence can mean the difference between success and failure. But if we’re not doing it right, we may be our own worst enemy. Today I want to share 10 ways you may be wrecking your social media presence.
1. You have an inconsistent social media presence—I’m not talking about taking weekends off, but on spending consistent time building your online presence. This includes showing up on Twitter and Facebook with reasonable regularity, and keeping a regular schedule for your blog posts.

2. You over-promote—The promotion I’m talking about is SELF promotion. Use Edie’s 5 to 1 rule—for every 5 social media updates, you’re allowed one additional update about yourself.

3. Your website doesn’t have social share buttons—I don’t know how much time I’ve spent on your sites looking for your twitter handle or trying to follow you on Facebook. Most people won’t spend more than three seconds. That’s not long.

4. You engage in Hashtag overload—Hashtags are great, and using them CORRECTLY can net you a lot of new followers. But correctly means no more than two per update. When you up your ante to three, the results begin to drop off.

5. You use auto-responders—Is there anyone out there who likes to talk to computers? Not me. Beyond that, we’re a pretty savvy group. We can tell an auto-respond message from a real one.

6. You’re obsessed with the numbers—Social Media growth takes time. Shortcuts bring more trouble than help. As long as you’re seeing growth, you’re doing well.

7. You don’t utilize a scheduling program—Personally I prefer Hootsuite. It keeps me visible online without having to spend hours a day tied to the Internet.

8. You’re guilty of hogging the stream—This means you post three or more updates in a row. You’ll find that behavior will encourage people to unfollow and unfriend you in droves. Spread out your updates and keep your connections happy.

9. You try out every new platform that appears—No one can do everything well. Focus your energy on Facebook and Twitter. With these two platforms you’ll hit almost 100% of your audience. After that, no more than one or two more. Focus, focus, focus.

10. You send out game invitations—This is a personal one for me. I used to get so many game requests I finally made it a hard and fast rule that I do NOT play games on Facebook. I’ll give anyone a pass for the first invitation you send, but after that, I will immediately unfollow anyone who sends me another one.

Now it’s your turn, what turns you off when it comes to social media? Is there something that leads you to immediately sever a connection? Share, so we can all see things from a different perspective.

Edie Melson—author, blogger, speaker—has written numerous books, including her most recent, While My Child is Away.She’s also the military family blogger at Her popular blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month. She’s the director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and a member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She’s the the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine, Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy, and the Senior Editor for


  1. So proud of me!! Out of your list, the scheduler is the only one I'm not doing! (jussssst can't let go of that control...)
    One exception to the don't over-promote myself, though, is my month long blog blitz release celebration! Each post this month, while a "regular" blog feature, has the banner and heading for my release. Otherwise, I probably don't promote me own self enough! LOL

  2. I wonder what is meant by the 5 to 1 rule. I do a lot of sharing for other authors, other contests, and just fun stuff from others. But I don't do a lot of posts about what I'm doing, what I'm thinking, etc. What should be in the 5? :)

  3. As always, great guidelines, especially for those of us who are beginning to build online presence.

  4. Oh yes, the game invitations! Ugh!

    I know I need to work on consistency. I'll post, schedule tweets, update my blog for a big and then forget to do it when I'm involved in something else. I need to make a blog post schedule and stick to it. By the way, your recommendation to schedule tweets through Hootsuite, etc. has helped me so much! Thanks for that!

    Great post, Edie!

  5. The person who is a negative jerk online is going to kill his platform no matter what else he's doing right. No one likes a troll and I unfollow those immediately.


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