Thursday Thirteen: 13 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid


I had a dream the other night that I had to send a very important email to a friend and instead I sent it to a client.  I then woke up out of a deep sleep in a cold sweat.  That would be pretty disastrous, wouldn’t it?  Well it happens more than you think it does, especially in cases where people or organizations have multiple social media accounts and the lines between business and personal becomes faint.  Social media can be a great way to build your brand, but if handled incorrectly, can erode these efforts in a hurry.

In light of this panic, I thought it would be a good time to post this article which had been sitting in my draft folder for over a year.  The 13 Most Common Social Media mistakes which can either damage your brand or cause others to look at it and then move on to someone else.

Back in the day, your handshake was your word, and if you shook someone’s hand and then didn’t follow through or did so with the intent on lying or being deceitful, it was your name that was ruined.  Fast forward, and it’s your brand.

13. Having Incomplete Profile(s)

Having profiles which are not completely filled out, or are filled out in a comical way, or through false credentials is meaningful to the person / organization looking for you.  It means that you are either:

  • Extremely unqualified that you do not have enough background information to fill a profile up.
  • Very lazy because you don’t have one hour to add all the information into your profile.
  • A joker who cannot take anything seriously, or
  • A scammer who has to make things up in order to cover up for something you must be hiding.

12.  Inconsistency among networks

Imagine this.  You are looking to do business / connect with someone and you think you have found them on Facebook, but when you check on Twitter, they have a name and email address, which is different from Linkedin, and from Pinterest.  So now you Google these names and email addresses and all kinds of stuff comes back to you.  What are you thinking now?  Probably that they’re hiding something, or that they are very disorganized.   All these micro-networks that make up your overall network should be as consistent as possible as a consistent image is key to building a memorable, identifiable brand.

11.  Using Social Media to make money after building a significant network.  

For this mistake, I am thinking about the blogging world where bloggers attract a significant following due to their writings, then they realize they can pitch products to their networks which eventually turns their brand into an advertising site.  Those are a dime a dozen, and readers often wonder if the blogger is endorsing a product that they actually use and support, or because they are getting it for free.  The message becomes lost.  There is a fine line between doing what made you popular, and losing credibility among your readership.

10.  Audience participation.

Have you ever wondered why you have invested so much into your brand, and get so little in return?  Could it be that you are not meeting the needs of your readers / customers?  It is important to make sure that you engage your base whenever they take the time to reach out, for whatever reason they have chosen to reach out.  Talk to them, not about them.  Also, have a look through your Twitter feed and see how many of the last 30 tweets engage others, and how many are just random posts to your entire network.  Successful brand-builders don’t just tweet and re-tweet.  They also respond, engage, ask questions, and answer questions.

9.  Not Interlinking Your Profiles

The simplest mistake to fix.  Take 10 minutes, make sure all your social network profiles link to one another because the more touch points that exist to connect with your network, the better.  Your next best connection might be a die-hard Google + user, but you might only use Facebook and Twitter.   Make sure you have all profiles linked.

8.  Being impersonal 

Connections are gold in this day and age, so don’t take a potential connection for granted and allow the service you use to send out a generic stock message when trying to connect.  Linkedin, for example, provides a stock message that reads “I’d like to add you to my professional network on Linkedin.”   Take some time and put some effort into a greeting which makes that person want to connect with you.  Surely you have 30 seconds to include your name and a personal message.

7.  Stay on-topic as much as possible

A first-time visitor to any of your social media outlets should be able to instantly tell “what you are about”.  Don’t mistake frequent posting with relevant posting or think that everyone you are connected to is reading each and every post.  Every once in a while, logout and review your posts as if you were a visitor to see if you messaging is “on-brand” and if it’s not, get back in there and fix it!

6.  Automated Direct Message

The automated direct message on Twitter is the biggest personal branding disaster that seen on a daily basis.  It says, “You’ve just met me, and you want to spam me with your blog or product?”  Epic fail, and a sure way to lose followers quicker than you gain them.  Instead, send them a personalized direct message or @reply with someone’s actual name and a message relevant to their area of interest.  This one message may lead to a lasting connection that might not have occurred otherwise.

5.  Tunnel Vision

Have you focussed your brand-building on you and you only?  The 90/10 rule of social media brand building generally states that

90% of what you share should be made up of personal insights and thoughts along with a heavy dose of helpful links, while 10% should directly benefit you.”

Keep this rule in mind the next time you want to Tweet about your site or product.  I guarantee that the 90% of the time you take to help others will increase the attention paid to the other 10%.

Also keep in mind that a successful social media / brand building campaign takes into consideration the views and opinions of others.  For every organization which has a social media manager, there are probably 10-20 other employees who have ideas, thoughts and suggestions about the business which, if implemented, will help the business grow and get recognized.  To ignore this dedicated internal network is a crucial error that many organizations suffer from.  The silos have to be broken down in all areas of the business in order to improve the brand, and relying on one person to know the ins and outs of every organization is not possible.

4.  Don’t forget the impact of your word

In the age of social media it’s easy to forget that what you say to someone on the phone or in person can still come back to bite you in the ass.  You may not be sending an email to someone because you don’t want what they say to have a living trail, however as much as people save emails and forward emails, people also take what you said and post it on social media, and this negative messaging can mess with your brand.   So make sure when you are dealing with others that you are prepared to be upfront and honest because there is nothing worse than having them erode your credibility over a matter in which you chose a less than professional approach to.

3.  Un-friending, Un-following, Un-linking

All of these connection removals can have disastrous impact on your brand, especially around timing and how seriously the other person takes your connection.  If, for example, a friend from highschool removes you from Facebook, you will certainly get offended and you might even ask why.  If a follower on Twitter removes you, you probably understand that they may have followed you expecting something but got something else, or they disagree with your views, the frequency of posts, or possibly they need to remove people in order to be able to add others.  If, however, someone on Linkedin removes you, the severing of the business network goes much deeper because what that message says is that they never want to use you as a connection in the future ever again and that all those other people who are connected to both of you as 2nd or 3rd degree connections can get caught in the middle.  Imagine if a 3rd degree connection was ready to connect, then found themselves no long part of your network, but choose to reach out using their previous connection as the link, unbeknownst that this connection ended badly.

As well, people forgive and forget, so to remove someone right away may potentially sever that relationship for good, and you never know down the road when you might really need them!  One should never cut off their nose to spite their face in this day and age and to do so without proper thought often comes back to bite someone in the behind.

2.  Keeping your marketing and social media objective quiet – internally and externally

You build a business / brand through communicating internally and externally your message so that not only will your network be engaged, but also your customers, clients, friends, family, colleagues, etc.  Keeping them in the dark, or only focussing on external networks does not take into consideration that employees have lives outside of the office or social networks of their own.  The faster the message gets out and to the greater number of people, the better are the odds that your business / brand will be successful.  To not tap into that network is akin to advertising a businesses services on a telephone pole.  Sure the message gets out but only to those who see it and tell others.  If this was the chosen method to advertise the business, would you not want every employee to post advertising flyers on telephone poles near where they live?  That already increases the network and the chances that your business is going to get customers.  To do otherwise, just doesn’t make any sense.

1.  Not having a Social Media plan

Not having a social media plan, including ways to promote your brand is the biggest mistake that an individual / organization can make.  By just signing up to multiple micro networks and using them here and there demonstrates a poor social media plan just as much as signing up for multiple social media platforms and never using them, or worse, using them to connect with networks outside of your desired market.  In the few seconds that someone checks out your profile, they are deciding whether to stay and browse some more, or go back and look at one of your competitors.  If they choose to stay and see empty networks or random connections they quickly come to a conclusion about your brand and social media plan, that you don’t have one, and they will move on.

Know beforehand what your social media plan is going to be and share it, along with the do’s and please don’t, so they can be on board and help grow the brand.  To not have a plan in this day and age, or to make one up on the fly is going to lead to issues, inconsistency and confusion for everyone involved.

Just under 46 Reasons why my kids have freaked out, at 3-years-old.


My wife posted a link to an article on Facebook the other day called “46 Reasons Why My 3-Year-Old Might Be Freaking Out“, and this was just after our 3-year-old daughter Boo had an epic 20-minute meltdown.  Once she was done we confirmed the cause of the meltdown was a result of the fact that she wanted the zipper on her fleece sweater zipped up… Who knew?!?

Sidebar:  Forget the terrible two’s, new parents.  It’s the Terrible three’s which will kill you!!!  Am I right?

I loved the article so much I wanted to re-post it, but I also wanted to yank out a few of the 46 reasons which applied to any of our 3 children.

So please, visit the original article, but only after you read this on either Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Tumblr or here on The Urban Daddy’s blog,   Then your next mission is to see which meltdown’s we have I/ had in common.  Then let me know in the comment section so we can all laugh together.

I’ve broken it down by boys (ages 8 & 6 right now) and girl (just turned 3).

Coles Notes Version
Coles Notes Version

Meltdown’s in Common:

His sock is on wrong.

His lip tastes salty.

His shirt has a tag on it.

They are hungry, but can’t remember the word “hungry.”

His brother looked at him.

His brother didn’t look at him.

We don’t understand what he/she said.

He/she doesn’t want to get out of the car.

He/she wants to get out of the car by himself.

The iPad has a password.

He jumped off the sofa and we weren’t  watching.

He’s not allowed to touch fire.

Everything is wrong with his coat.

There’s a dog (or raccoon or monster or dragon) within a 70km radius.

I asked him/her a question.

His brother/sister/mother/father is talking.

The cat is in his/her way.

The inside of his cheek feels rough.

Things take too long to cook.

He has too much food in his mouth.

He sneezed.

He doesn’t know how to type.

His/her mom is taking a shower.

Someone knocked over his tower.

The food won’t stay on his spoon.

… and so much more…

How does this relate to your kids?

The Top 5 Websites in the World and the Font They Use


An example of the calibri font.
An example of the calibri font. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever wondered what the top 5 web-site in the world are?And just how are they considered to be the best?

… and for all of us folks who blog or operate websites, have you ever wondered which fonts are the best or most popular?

We I looked into that, and it’s not exactly black and white as it is with a resume, for example, where you use either Arial or Times New Roman, or you’re considered too outside the box by many.

So, I did some research the other day and I liked the way Alexa.com chose the top websites, by the number of other sites that linked the site on theirs.

So here are the top 5 websites in the world and the font they use on their home page.

1. Google.com.   Font: Arial.

2. Facebook.com.   Font: Tahoma.

3. YouTube.com.   Font: Calibri.

4. Yahoo.com.  Font: Calibri.

5. Baidu.com.  Font: Arial.

Stuff that came across the desk of this daddy blogger…


Here are some random thoughts that have come across the desk of this daddy blogger;

  • I was asked if I wanted my SEO made bigger.  I said no figuring this was another penis enlarger spam message, then I recalled that SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.  Different meaning, same answer… NO.
  • I was asked how I would cover puberty with my kids.  Simple.  Kids, talk to your mother because if I find out, I’ll kill you.
  • Occupy groups… It’s over.  No one cares.  Your credibility went out the window when the unions began speaking for you.  Go home before you catch a cold.
  • BMW drivers, you still are the absolute worst drivers in the world.  Why?
  • After getting teased by Java Joes about their yummy Blueberry Pie coffee, it’s no longer available.   Why?
  • Thank you to Country Style Canada for sending me gift cards.  My staff is going to love the treats just before the holidays.  Share the wealth!
  • Dolph Ziggler = Mr. Perfect.  Love it!
  • Hollywood Undead, Levitate is an AWESOME song.  Find it on YouTube, folks.
  • I’m on Klout… So now what?  I’m also on Google +… yawn.
  • That new song by Korn, Narcissistic Cannibal is also pretty damn good.
  • I’m not sure if the Jason Ellis show is still live, on XM41, Faction, but the last 2 days have killed me.  The one about the worst songs to have a lap dance to was hilarious, and today’s show revolved around the CEO of Faction and there were 5 questions asked to him, Raw Dawg and Cum Fat and when they got it wrong, there was an electric current zapping their testicles.  Oh yes.  Hilarious.
  • I’m about ready to call myself an expert on the new CRA non-resident regulations.  Soon after that it will be FATCA.  I think that’s a good thing, if I could find someone to talk to about it…
  • You know you’re getting old when:  Your kids are looking forward to the snow and you, the parent is dreading it.
  • What until I finish my post on food.  2 weeks now:  No meat, no wheat, no dairy, no sweets and I feel GREAT!
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs won again tonight, 7-1 over the Tampa Bay Lightning.  That puts the NHL scoring leaders as this;  1. Phil Kessel.  2. Joffrey Lupol.  2. Claude Gireaux.   Amazing!
  • I think I’m going to have to add a picture of myself to my blog and come clean.  The more I try to stay low-key and blog under the radar, the more it seems I get readers, followers and asked to do stuff like write posts for people… Odd, this blogging thing.
  • What’s so wrong with the term “mommy blogger?”  I’m a daddy blogger… Daddy… Blogger.  I’m not a writer, I’m just a Dad who keeps an online journal.  Can someone please explain.

http://www.circleofmoms.com/top25/daddy-blogs  Look. I’m on the “Circle of Moms” Daddy Blogger list. Cool. I don’t mind being one of the moms. :)

Being Daddy for a Day (and surviving without any visible scars)


Saturday was a great day in the urban daddy household.  Urban Mummy was at the Ontario Science Centre all day for a nutrition seminar, and that meant I got to play full-time Daddy to my own kids for the day.

Originally the plan was a trip to karate for the boys, then meeting my mother and sister for brunch, then to visit my grandmother with the kids, and take them home so the baby could nap… The rest was up in the air.

Unfortunately someone forgot to tell the City of Toronto that it was going to snow so it was near impossible to drive this morning on the slippery unplowed roads, so I told my mothersister to stay home and the plans changed.

Firstly, karate was great!

Stewie got his green advanced belt.

…and Linus got another stripe for his yellow belt.

Special thanks to Elliott @ Supernova for the pics.

After karate we came home and the boys earned 2 cookies by shovaling the neighbours sidewalk and driveway.  They worked SO hard.

Then we came inside and while the baby slept for 3 awesome hours, the boys and I played, cleaned, watched some TV, read and had a great time.

At 5pm it was bath time for everyone, I put up the last of the mezuzahs in the upstairs, and UM came home just before 6pm.

Upon seeing her, Berry said, “Mama meh” (Mummy-milk) and in the process of getting her dressed in her PJ’s she fell off the bed backwards on her back / bum.  She barely cried, but fell asleep feeding – an exhauting day for her.  She was is in her crib for the night by 6:30pm. 

The boys ate dinner, then snack and were off to bed by 7:30pm, as UM and I had dinner plans with some friends later tonight – no kids.  I can’t wait!

Oddly enough neither boys wanted my wife to leave (not me) and one developed a tummy ache and the other was having nightmares (without having been asleep yet).  We managed to get both settled and we left.

Dinner was fantastic as was the company.  We had a great time and returned home around 1:30am with a new found understanding as to why you do not google things when playing the game “Headbandz”.

The kids of course we up well before 7 this morning… Oh well…

So there!  I not only survived the day with 3 kids – my three kids – but I had a blast.