Forgive me Twitter and Facebook, for I have sinned.
If confession really is good for the soul, let's start by admitting or fixing these social media mistakes and promising never to make them again.
Sin No. 1: Lather, rinse, repeat
My eyes! My eyes! You've seen it lots of times. Someone tweets something with your name at the front of the tweet. You check out the tweeter's feed and you see about 100 of the exact same tweet except the name is subbed out. If all you're trying to do is get the message out, you're doing it wrong. Engage. Be social. Give us a reason to click. Or at the very least change the wording and don't send all 100 at once.
Sin No. 2: Don't be an egg
What's an egg? That's the default Twitter avatar symbol and the one that's attached to your handle if you choose not to change it. If you don't, you're not only lazy, you're an egg. When signing up for Twitter, this is one of the first things you should remedy.
Sin No. 3: No bio, no follow
I don't follow anyone without a Twitter bio. You get 140 characters to tell me why I should follow you. If it's blank, I'm going to assume you don't take Twitter seriously. Power tip: Put the most important keywords, such as your job title, at the very front of the bio. It's good for SEO.
Sin No. 4: Don't be boring, be human
It's been talked about in this column and elsewhere. What you tweet is just as important as how you tweet. Follow the rule of thirds: One third of the time, post about you and/or your brand. Include related links. One third of the time, talk about things related to you and your work, but make sure the material is from another source. And one third of the time, be you. Talk about whatever and however — just be yourself.
Sin No. 5: Hey, how about a little privacy?
True story. Last week, someone celebrated there being no line at the DMV by posting a close-up photo of her shiny new driver's license complete with personal information on Facebook. Even the most perfect privacy settings can't keep people from doing silly things. You wouldn't yell out your credit card number on the bus, right? So don't post something you wouldn't want people to see. A post could last a few seconds, but a screengrab can last a lifetime.
With just a few clicks, you can fix a lot, do a lot and keep people from unfollowing you. So do the Internet — and yourself — a favor: Face your social media sins.
So Social is a social media tips column by The Tribune Media Group's Amy Guth and Scott Kleinberg. Tweet them at @amyguth and @scottkleinberg.Copyright © 2015, RedEye