Aug 2012 13

by Jen Friel

Don’t know about you, but I can’t stand social media experts, ninjas or gurus. They’re always trying to one up each other, establishing dominance, and you can’t EVER just get the real deal from them on what you need to know. I am here today to humbly say that in my non-expert opinion, these are the 5 main ways to not suck at social media. Let’s cut out the BS and just get to the bottom line, shall we…

1. Do not, ever, sync your social media accounts together

I CRINGE every time I see Facebook and Twitter still synced in my Facebook news feed. You’ve seen it before too via third party services like Hootsuite, Ping, or Tweetdeck. Twitter and Facebook are entirely different mediums and need to be dealt with accordingly. Twitter offers more open access to the global consciousness while Facebook is more for spreading info to your current network.

To more efficiently market a post on Twitter you should implement relevant hashtags into the message. I even do it on my site ( directly. This allows for new people who may not be following you to be able to easily discover the message via the hashtag. Additionally, anytime it gets RTed by other people, even more people will be able to access the message. Of course, this genuinely also worked with my branding (being nerdy and all) but it’s SUPER helpful and DEFINITELY helped grow my brand so quickly.

For Facebook, pictures work. I don’t know why or how, but every single time I post a picture with a short message and a link my numbers shoot up three times more than if I’d simply posted a standard link with the populated thumbnail.

The way our eyes absorb content on the platforms are SUPER different, so please, unsync the accounts. It’s okay, I promise there is life after it.

2. Be human

I can’t tell you how many people in my feed literally sound like they’re reading toaster instructions. There’s no personality or passion in their message, just very simple words followed by whatever link they are promoting. That shit is so boring and no one is paying attention to it. Trust me, I used to do it! I spent so long being so prim and proper, and it got me ABSOLUTELY nowhere. My writing style is definitely unique – as is my improper use of punctuation at all times. But it’s my jam! I write like I talk, and I communicate with people not like they are students sitting in a classroom, but rather as if we’re buddies grabbing a beer at a bar. People like this kind of intimacy, and people respond to it. So do it!!!

3. Don’t just RT other people’s tweets – have an opinion

I REFUSE to follow people on Twitter who only RT other people’s tweets. Do they not have a SINGLE thought of their own?? Your Twitter feed is an expression of who you are. Have an opinion! Have a voice!! When I started on Twitter in June of 2009 (I’m not an early adopter), I used my feed as a place to express all the thoughts in my head. Literally no one was listening since my following was miniscule, but gradually, by implementing hashtags and by expressing SOME SORT OF OPINION ON SOMETHING, people began RTing me and slowly but surely my following grew. There’s no right or wrong way to admin your Twitter feed. You just have to be you. Get all Madonna circa 1989 and Express Yourself!!

4. Get rid of the cartoon avatar, and be you!

People with cartoon avatars scare the bejesus out of me (unless of course it’s your business logo). There is something UNBELIEVABLY creepy about a guy who has a picture of a frog, or Bugs Bunny as his avatar. Your social media avatar is a representation of you. What’s with the cartoon? All you’re projecting to friends and/or potential mates is a serious image issue. Be you, be awesome, and no matter what you’ve got going down – rock that shit! I’ve been asked out on Twitter by COUNTLESS dudes with cartoon avatars and have yet to say yes to a single one for this very reason. You might as well just be walking around with “issues” stamped on your forehead. Quit it!!!

5. Leave the passive aggressiveness and negativity at the door.

No one likes a Debbie or Doug Downer. If you’re having a bad day, start a private blog. I’m ALL about venting these things to the universe, but people actually check their social feeds and will actually see what you are saying. Yes, you might be sitting behind your monitor in your room all alone, but the SECOND you blast something out into social media it is then indexed in perpetuity. Create an anonymous Tumblr account – some sort of something – just keep ALLLLLLL of that Negative Ned or Nelly-ness off of social sites. Your friends and followers will thank you later.

Happy social media-ing everyone!!


Jen Friel is a lifecaster and corporate sponsored minimalist. She went out on over 103 dates in 9 months while couch surfing for a year building her website and bartering social media to live. Consequently, she’s an accidental expert on online dating. You can read all about her ongoing adventures on OKCupid at and follow them on Twitter.

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