NTEN Staff Social Media Pet Peeves

Earlier today, Amy Sample Ward was interviewed on Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio about social media pet peeves. In preparation for the conversation, she asked NTEN staff to share practices on social media that make their eyes roll. The email thread was epic!

So for a little levity on a Friday afternoon, we thought we’d share some staff social media rants. Of course, this is not to say that any of the NTEN staff as individuals or in our organizational accounts are “perfect.” There is no perfect on social media! This is, truly, a community forum to share what irks us and hopefully you’ll add the list, too.


Trying 2 hard 2 abbr txt so it fits 2 140 character Tw limit 2 point of b in impos 2 read

Retweeting everything from certain accounts (usually with bot) with no comment at all.

Posting the exact same message to multiple accounts with the same hashtag. Clearly showing all three account in the stream with the same message.

That Commun.it post that thanks you for joining someone’s community, showing up every two weeks even though you have been following them the whole time.

Those bots that tell me how many people followed some account. Or some bot that thanks people for the follow.

Tweets or posts to Facebook of how many steps they take, or auto-posts of personal data.

Related: Accounts whose status gets updated every time from an app (e.g., earning a game point, listening to a music track, writing a review, etc.)

That follow/unfollow/follow dance used to try to increase follower numbers.


Endorsing someone for a skill in which you’ve never worked with them, nor seen them do.

“I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” No personalized note or anything.


#Too #many #hashtags as if that will make #whattheysay #highlyrelevant

Especially on Instagram #idontgetit #canyoubelievehowmanyhashtagsiused #selfie #me #myself #mypicture #justanotherpicturefromme #photo #atitagain #thehashtagisstuckonmycomputer

For the love of all things holy, let me post from something that isn’t a phone. I’m old and cranky.


Sending unsolicited messages with no other correspondence/context about your latest (fill in the blank).

Blatant use of watermarked stock photography in posts and preview images, although Shutterstock appreciates the free marketing.

“If you agree with this thing that has nothing to do with our nonprofit, click ‘like’ to help us get more social reach with no mission alignment.”

Wondering why a nonprofit gets no engagement, when their posts only end with exclamation points and periods, never a question mark.

General Peeves

Regular @mentions with unsubtle, repetitive hints to retweet/promote/like them/their product, whatever.

Making an avatar the ubiquitous nonprofit sprite—that raceless, genderless, ethnically void human form thing.


A quote with an image where either the quote, the person it is associated with, or both is actually wrong.

Profile images that are lossy and don’t fit correctly.

The use of Ninja or Guru at any point unless your job is truly to either kill people from the shadows or seek enlightenment.

Klout (period)

Thanks to Tony Martignetti for sparking the conversation! You can hear Amy Sample Ward talk about social media no-nos on the most recent episode of Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. And you can hear Tony talk about podcasting with Beth Brodosky during March’s Ask the Expert event.

Have a good weekend, and please Tweet responsibly.

Photo credit: Jurgen Appelo