We all know how important it is to be active and engaged on your social media channels. You have to post often, share great content, interact with your followers. You’re responsible for promoting your products (but not self-promoting too much) being clever, interesting, funny, expert-like, and providing great customer service. It’s a lot to ask.
Trying to juggle all of these mandates on social media, it can be easy to fall into familiar traps and forget to be original. So, here’s a gentle, friendly reminder of the most tired, boring, social media clichés you need to absolutely avoid.
1. Cats. Anything with Cats.
We get it, cats are adorable. Or, I don’t know, maybe you’re more of a dog person and you think cats are mean and gross? Either way, throughout the history of the internet, cats seem to have had some kind of viral video rocket fuel. The internet loves cats, and probably always will. But here’s the thing – we’ve seen it all. There is so much cat garbage already on the internet, your odds of showing people something new or unique are miniscule. And more importantly, unless you are a cat food company, there is probably no good reason for you to be sharing videos of cats on your social media channels other than desperate click-baiting. Everybody will see through it. Just don’t do it.
2. “You’ll Never Believe What Happened Next”
Or any version of the above. People will believe what happens next, and probably be disappointed by whatever lies stand behind this click-baity headline.
Social media users have gotten pretty savvy, so anything that feels even vaguely of this nature will be quickly sniffed out. But beyond that, you want people to click on your content because it is legitimately interesting, not because you tricked them into it. This is the wrong approach.
If something feels vaguely like a scandal, the word “gate” is appended to it (a la “Watergate”), which has lead us to things like “antenna-gate” and “deflate-gate”. First off, most of these scandals are not nearly as scandalous as "gate-ifying" them would imply. And second, we’ve just seen this phrasing way too often for anybody to care. It almost feels like a term that is making fun of itself now. If you really want to call something a scandal while referencing something from history, how about some love for Teapot Dome? “Antenna-pot Dome” has a nice ring to it, no? Anyone? History nerds? Bueller?
(Sidenote: the Bueller thing is just as bad. Do as I say, not as I do.)
4. Armageddon and Total Destruction
Social media has, at this point, become fairly immune to hyperbole thanks to sheer over-usage. A blizzard can’t just be a blizzard, it has to be “snow-pocalypse”. If a news anchor asks a politician a tough question, that can’t just be good journalism, that’s the politician getting “totally destroyed” or “annihilated” or “eviscerated”.
Unless you have a heads up on the end of days or are posting a video where a bear literally bursts onto the scene and mauls somebody, avoid this kind of hyperbolic language, and help to restore some order to the internet.
5. Groundbreaking Game-changers
Speaking of hyperbole… Look, we know that you want to hype up your new product or service. We know you think this new piece of technology is great. But not everything can be groundbreaking or a game-changer. By describing everything new as a game-changer, we are really just pulling the marketing equivalent of crying wolf. Pretty soon, nobody will ever believe that anything can break ground or change the game.
If you find yourself veering into any of these holes, go ahead and hit the brakes before you fall in too deep. Give your posts just a little bit more thought and apply some originality and creativity, and trust us, your followers will thank you.