21 Steps to Fail Miserably in Social Media

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  1. Start a blog, and then abandon it. Better yet, post vigorously for a few months, then pause for a few months, then write a post that apologizes for not writing in a while…and then let that last post represent you for a couple more years.
  2. Keep people guessing by having at least four different avatars across your networks. This makes you seem mysterious and intriguing.
  3. Post to every forum you can find with off-topic, off-putting link drops. Advertise diamond jewelry on car repair forums, pharmaceuticals on home décor sites, and luxury travel on sites devoted to frugal living. This is a rock-solid strategy.
  4. All your comments on other people’s blogs should be modeled after this: “Love your blog. Buy a luxury watch.”
  5. Threaten to sue Yelpers and others who leave you negative reviews. They love that. It’s so much more constructive than respectfully adding your own comments or offering some sort of compensation for a bad experience with your business.
  6. Post as much potentially offensive stuff as you can. It really gets people’s attention, so you should never post any other type of content. Hey, if your college buddy Joe thinks it’s ok, it must be ok. Joe says he always thinks about what his mother would say if she saw it, and remember: Joe’s mom is as high as a kite 22.5 hours per day. Also, never put an NSFW label on the good stuff: that’s for nerds who care if their boss is looking over their shoulder.
  7. Never collaborate with anyone or do any favors for anyone else. They’re just out to get you.
  8. Content wants to be free. Steal other people’s content and pass it off as your own.
  9. Be a troll.
  10. Also: feed the trolls. Respond defensively whenever possible. Tell those mean trolls to stop kicking sand in your face. If you attract more trolls, you’re succeeding brilliantly!
  11. Link to utter crap that your friends tell you to link to. (“Make Millions Online with a Plastic Emu! We’ll Tell You How.”)
  12. Have no sense of humor. Better yet, have only a sarcastic sense of humor. Tear other people down as much as you possibly can, and never say anything nice. This will prove that you are invulnerable, and everyone will respect you.
  13. Only submit your own stuff to social bookmarking sites. Especially when all your pieces have titles like “121 Insurance Companies You’ll Love” or “8 Reasons to Buy a Cheap Designer Handbag Now.” Come to think of it, here’s another great tip: write more pieces like that. Better still, have a computer write them for you. As long as you have the optimal keywords in your piece, nothing else matters.
  14. Get banned from your favorite social media sites. Then go start your own. You just need a catchy one-word brand name (or, two words conjoined in some sort of cutesy way), and a clean, minimal user interface, preferably involving the color green because it reminds people of good things, like trees and fresh air and money. Then just submit your stuff and wait for the votes to roll in.
  15. Remember: Twitter is useless. Facebook is just for pictures of your friends’ dogs and posts about what you ate/drank/bought because of an infomercial.
  16. Be sure to show off your vocabulary, and write in lengthy paragraphs with as little white space as possible. Never include an image or a list of bullet points or anything else that would break up your delicious, delicious text, which is as dense as last year’s holiday fruitcake.
  17. Put “SEO” somewhere in your username. Digg users especially will love you and may even ask to marry you and bear your children if you do this. Yup, even though the majority of them are men.
  18. Know your audience. Completely ignore and belittle demographics that don’t use social media. You don’t need them. Plus, it’s not like they have friends or relatives or anything.
  19. Ignore everything else about your online presence besides social media. Geotargeting, the mobile web, and site usability are mere details—there’s no need to concern yourself with them.
  20. Definitely do not monitor what people are saying about you. Just stick your fingers in your ears and sing “La la la la.” Assume everything that people can find about you online is favorable. Do not, under any circumstances, engage in conversations about your products or services.
  21. By the way, Friendster is the newest hot social media site. See you there!

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