The 7 deadliest sins you can commit on social media

Are you guilty of any of these?

I’m sure you’ve heard of the 7 deadly sins. Lust, greed, gluttony, sloth, wrath, envy and pride.

Maybe you were raised with religion that taught you all about these evil traits, or perhaps you’re a massive fan of Brad Pitt’s Seven. The point is, most people know about these so called ‘sins’.

As a social media manager, I spend a lot of time online – either for myself or for clients. I spend multiple hours each day on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

One thing I’ve started to notice is people behaving badly on social media! But the thing is, they probably don’t even realise they’re doing it.

I call these the 7 deadly sins of social media. Do you commit any of these sins? Let’s explore.

Here’s my take on the 7 deadly sins of social media

1. Lust

If you haven’t worked out social media is all about two way communication, you need to learn it now! Salesy posts begging people to buy your products or use your services don’t cut it. And posts that beg for more likes, follows and shares are nothing but a lustful, unflattering social media practice.

Approach your community for what they are – humans! They’re not dollar signs. Don’t try and poach followers from your competition (as this is usually super obvious and plain icky) but keep your genuine self in every social media interaction. Be yourself at all times.

2. Greed

Take a moment to think about this: What would you rather have? 500 genuine followers who buy your products and services or 1000 followers who have no idea about your business, couldn’t distinguish you from your competitors, and have no intention of ever purchasing what you offer?

Social media is not a numbers game. Don’t follow people in the hope that they’ll follow you but follow those you’re genuinely interested in. And never give in to ‘buying numbers’ (yes, some big brands do this). If you’re going to spend money on social media, spend it on producing killer content. Start conversations and get followers who’ll willingly engage with your brand.

3. Gluttony

Keep yourself under control! Although the traditional meaning of gluttony is over-eating, it’s in a sense, overindulging. And geez don’t we see this on social media?

Have a look through your social media feeds. I bet you can find at least one brand that is always, ‘me, me, me’. They’re overindulging in their own self-importance. I’m so good because…Woe is me because…Did you know I do…

Honestly, no one wants to hear about your self-overindulgence. Don’t be spammy and selfish. Share and support.

4. Sloth

Although sloths are the most adorable little critters, you don’t want to be one on social media. And you can become a social media sloth in a couple of ways:

a) You’re lazy and don’t respond to people who like or comment on your posts. If you’re not doing this, why are you on social media? The whole point is interaction and if you’re posting without responding, people will stop liking your posts and you’ll drop off the algorithms of social media gods. You don’t want that!

b) You’re not tailoring your content for each social media channel but posting the same piece across the board. Ugh, it’s so unoriginal and shows how lazy you are when it comes to being social. You need to know your platforms and give your fans a reason to follow you on a number of platforms.

5. Wrath

Social media has made it much easier for people to publicly express their anger at a brand. Had a bad meal – post a bad review. Received a dress that looks nothing like it did online – post a bad review. And it’s not always a bad thing as it does keep you honest. But it’s how you react to this wrath that shows your true colours. If you respond kindly and address their concerns, you’ll ease their wrath and soothe them.

My best advice is to stay focussed on your brand and stay in your own lane. Respond to the wrath with your usual kindness, humour and perhaps a bit of sass, and you’ll show that you’re a genuine brand who takes on wrath and eliminates it. Don’t play into it by unleashing your version of wrath on the nay-sayers. Stay graceful!

6. Envy

It’s super easy to envy others on social media. You see brands nailing it, getting tonnes of interaction and a huge following and you think, ‘Geez, why can’t I get that?’. But don’t let the green eyed monster take over as keeping up with the Joneses will never end well for you.

I suggest that rather than focussing on your competition, focus on your community. Build your community and fill it with people who’ll love you for what you offer, not what you’re copying from trying to be someone else. Attract your own tribe and let others attract theirs.

7. Pride

It’s quite natural to be proud of your business (well you should be!) but it’s time to end the numbers game on social media. Your number of followers is nothing but a vanity measure.

Quotes like, ‘Follow me and I’ll follow you’, and ‘Can you please pop over and like my page’ is purely an ego thing. You’re thinking of yourself and want to show you have a large following, rather than giving your audience a reason to want to follow you. Take your ego out and give your audience what they want – the right numbers will follow.

Maybe the social media sites are the 7 deadly sins!

For a laugh, I saw a post recently that referred to the social media sites as the 7 deadly sins themselves. Here’s what they said (do you agree?):

• Lust = Tinder

• Greed = LinkedIn

• Gluttony = Yelp

• Sloth = Netflix

• Wrath = Twitter

• Envy = Facebook

• Pride = Instagram

Are you a social media sinner or a saint?

If you’ve fallen victim to social media sinning, don’t worry, there’s always time to repent! The best thing to do with your social media is stick to your brand and remain authentic. If you’re concerned that you’re sinning and not sure if what you’re posting is a good thing, think about how it feels. If it’s lustful, greedy, lazy, angry, envious or self-indulgent, perhaps it’s not the best idea.

If you want to make sure you’re staying authentic to your brand, I’d love to have a chat about your social media channels and how you can avoid these 7 deadly sins.