Think twice before you click “unfriend.” A new study at the University of Colorado found that 40 percent of people would avoid anyone in real life who cut off ties with them on a social media site.
That got us wondering: What online behaviors turn you off the most? We posed the question to our more than 1 million Twitter followers, and asked readers to weigh in using the hashtag #ReasonsIUnfollow. After going through all the responses, we asked Men’s Health‘s social media editor Chris Rackliffe to break down the worst offenses—and offer up his advice on how to avoid committing each one.
— Clayton John (@Clay_JL) February 11, 2013
“Private” Conversations: There’s nothing worse than a feed clogged with two people having an endless—and frankly, kind of boring—conversation with each other. “Simply put, there’s a time and place to tweet and a time and place to text,” Rackliffe says. “And some things are not made to share publicly.” Having a discourse with a friend over that film you just saw? Keep tweeting if it’s intelligent and you want your followers to chip in. Making happy hour plans with your bar buddy? Save it for your phone.
— Ben Sandiford (@b_sandiford) February 11, 2013
Sloppy Tweets: “Even if you don’t take social media sharing seriously, your accounts are still looked at as an extension of your personality,” says Rackliffe. Think of it this way: You wouldn’t walk into a networking event and start talking in slang. So with public forums, you want to put your best foot forward, he explains. Spend the extra millisecond typing “are” instead of “r,” and you might get a few more retweets.
— MICHAEL IZZARD (@MICHAELIZZARD) February 11, 2013
Phony Photo: “Having a photo that’s true to who you are is important,” says Rackliffe. “That’s how people identify who are you first and foremost, not by your handle.” Replace the generic Twitter egg, stat! Watch this video for tips on how to take the perfect online profile picture.
Lack of Attribution: Don’t pass off that inspirational quote or hilarious joke as your own. “You should always give credit where credit is due,” says Rackliffe. “And this is essential for social media because messages spread so quickly.” Your followers need to know where the message is coming from, and attribution makes you look more credible, he says.
— Darren Kohl (@dplusk_hba) February 11, 2013
Fishing for Followers: “Twitter is more about what you’re saying, not how many followers you have,” Rackliffe says. The platform is valuable because you can use it to discover news, information, and new people—not spam strangers in hopes of upping your friend count. “There’s the whole #TeamFollowBack trend happening on Twitter, and it’s really a disgusting use of the platform,” says Rackliffe. “It’s essentially becoming a popularity contest—and that is not what this is about.” If you still want to grow your network, there are easy—read: far less annoying—ways to draw a few new folks to your feed. Click here to learn how to boost your Twitter followers.
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