Are you a social media tool?

Social Media

Are you a social media tool?

At Raven, we’re all about tools – it’s even in our name. But even though we create awesome Internet marketing tools, we’d never want to be called a tool.

social-tool
Our “I’m a Social Tool” T-shirts are always a hot item. But what really makes one a social tool?
So in the interest of public service, we asked our fans, friends, followers and the Internet at large the following question:

What’s the fastest way to become a “social tool” in social media?

The answers came in fast and furious (some of you really had some issues to get off your chest!) and ran the gamut from the benign (retweeting the “wrong” way) to the pretty-creepy (a program set up to auto-like people’s photos? Noooo.) We crunched the numbers … albeit in a vague, beer-drinking, unofficial way … and here are the top 10 ways to become a social media tool.

Ignoring comments

social-tool-neglect

Honestly, it’s kind of baffling that brands would do this, but apparently it happens. A lot. Social media is social. Have the conversation. Why else are you there?

Buying fans/followers

social-peeve-buying

social-tool-gaming

If you’re buying fans or followers, you’re missing the point – and you’re likely not gaining anyone who’s actually, you know, interested in what you have to say. Just a thought.

Selling lots, listening little

social-tool-selling
from Dawud Miracle on LinkedIn

social-tool-oversell

A few brand messages? Totally fine, says our panel. But hitting people over the head with sales pitches before making any real connection puts you squarely in tool territory.

Social media buzzwords

social-tool-gurus
from Steve Retka on Quora

Ninjas, gurus, Jedis and rock stars? There’s the door.

Automated everything

social-tool-4square

social-peeve-automation

If your feed is filled with Foursquare checkins, auto DMs and more, you might have a tool infestation on your hands. Time to prune.

Fan groveling

social-peeve-groveling
from Steve Retka on Quora

social-tool-fans

Focusing on arbitrary numbers? Begging for followers? You’re wasting your time – engagement is the name of the game. Put your focus there instead.

Part-time posters

social-tool-timing

social-tools-timing

You don’t have to live online, but if you’re going to be social, it helps to be consistent. Flooding followers or disappearing completely are both signs you might be doing it wrong.

Abusing the RT

social-tool-RT

Do you get compliments online? Great! Do we want to read all of them? Not so much. Just like you wouldn’t repeat every compliment you’ve ever gotten to a new real-life acquaintance, don’t do this online.

Dishonesty/”gaming the system”

social-tool-dishonest
from Jason Falls on LinkedIn

If you’re not in it for the right reasons, it’s going to be obvious. Dishonesty is definitely a social media no-no.

Spam

social-tool-spam

Ah, spam. The annoying mosquito of social media. What can we say? Just…don’t.

There you have it: the terrible ten. Thanks to everyone who participated in our informal poll! If you’re not pissed off enough yet, you can read all the answers of those who participated on LinkedIn (and the LinkedIn group Social Media Today), Quora, Facebook and Storify.

We now declare you all free of social media tool-dom. Go forth and spread the word!

Bad: social tools. Good: a powerful real-time social media monitoring and management tool for just $99 a month. That’s Raven’s Social Stream! Sign up for a free 30-day trial today!

Courtney Seiter wrangled a smart, savvy community of Internet marketers as Raven's first Community Manager. She moved on from Raven in January 2014, but her social media and writing advice stands the test of time.

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