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Facebook: Home of the Most Annoying Social Media Behaviors

by Corey O'Loughlin  |  
December 5, 2013

A while ago, we posted a fill-in-the-blank status on our Facebook page. We love this type of Facebook post because it allows us to quickly get feedback from our audience. This particular post was about social media pet peeves. We said, "Fill in the blank: My biggest social media pet peeve is _____________."

The responses were varied, hilarious, and extremely thought-provoking. The takeaway: Social media can be pretty damn annoying. So, based on the feedback from our Facebook community and our own Team MarketingProfs internal brainstorming, we came up with a list of the top eight annoying social media behaviors and put them head to head in the first Most Maddening Social Media Behaviors Bracket.

The Contenders

Vaguebooking: An intentionally vague Facebook status update that prompts friends to engage with you
Example: "Things never go my way… "

Humble Brag: Subtly letting others now about how fantastic your life is while undercutting it with a bit of self-effacing humor or "woe is me" gloss
Example: "I have no idea how to use my new 27" iMac, #techchallenged”

Example: I love apple pie! #apple #pie #applepie #fall #dessert #ilovepies #favoritedessert #fatkidstatus #vanillaicecreamplease #love #illgoforarunlater #promise

Example: :) :( :/ :-) 8) :* <3

Auto-DMs: Robo-direct messages on Twitter sent automatically when you follow someone else's account
Example: "Thanks for following me. You can download my super sweet eBook here.”

SHOUTY CAPS: Capital letters when there is no need for capital letters

Oversharing: Posting details of your life that are not fit for a very public forum
Example: "Little Timmy just used his big boy potty!"

Viral Facebook Posts: Posts created with the sole purpose of getting a mass number of people to share it with their networks
Example: "Share this if you love your mom. 95% of you won't!”

The Results

In Round One, we had four match-ups:

Vaguebooking (64.7%)
HumbleBrag (35.3%)

#Hashtags (66.9%)
Emoticons :) (33.1%)

Auto DMs (65.2%)

Oversharing (30.9%)
Viral Facebook Posts (69.1%)

In Round Two, we narrowed the field:

VagueBooking (65.5%)
#Hashtags (34.5%)

Auto DMs (41.4%)
Viral Facebook Posts (58.6%)

And the Final Round paired two Facebook behaviors against each other:

VagueBooking (41.5%)
Viral Facebook Posts (58.5%)

The winner (cough loser cough) is Viral Facebook Posts by a wide margin.

So, what is it about Viral Facebook Posts that make them more maddening than any other annoying social media behavior? Chime in here we’ll wrap this up with your thoughts next week.

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Corey O'Loughlin is a marketing manager at MarketingProfs. Reach her via Twitter.

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  • by Marie Johnson Thu Dec 5, 2013 via blog

    VFPs are unimaginative wastes of time that try to manipulate unsuspecting followers to mimic a BBB (bad boring behavior).

  • by Kelli Thu Dec 5, 2013 via blog

    I'm surprised that the "Suggested Posts" that appear in your newsfeed from pages you don't like or follow (and don't care about usually) didn't make the list. That's more of a FB feature than individual behavior but it's a big pet peeve of mine for sure.

  • by Chuck Thu Dec 5, 2013 via blog

    Most of them are meaningless and get re-posted without any thought. I've been tempted to put one out that says "Share this if you love your mom's dad's son-in-law's child" just to see how many people love themselves.

  • by Tess Thu Dec 5, 2013 via blog

    'VagueBooking' is a big one for me. It frustrates me immensely and is probably number one for me! Facebook is supposed to be a social media forum, NOT a diary. It's all attention seeking in my opinion.

    Kelli, I agree, suggested / sponsored posts are also incredibly annoying. Particularly when most of mine showcase perfectly healthy women transforming into unhealthy stick figures.

  • by Helen Fri Dec 6, 2013 via blog

    Viral Facebook Posts are annoying because they're obvious and inane. I saw one recently that said "Repost this if you think child abuse is awful." Well, duuuhhh.... most people would agree with that. However, we don't need to login to Facebook and see nothing but "Repost if you think child abuse is awful" all over our timeline. When people repost them, I do wonder if they're checking their timeline going, "Well, 5 of my friends reposted that, so they're keepers, but clearly the rest of you think child abuse is a-ok!" Actually, we don't, but we just don't feel the need to announce that we don't!

    They're so inane most of the time as well. "Repost if you think cancer is awful", "Repost if you love your mum", "Repost if you breathe oxygen." And then there's that dreadful passive-aggressive tone to the last sentence which these often carry - "Most people won't repost", suggesting we're not reposting it because we're hard-hearted, uncaring meanies. No, we just don't want to fill our Facebook accounts with inane drivel!

  • by Alexandra Petean-Nicola Fri Dec 6, 2013 via blog

    The annoying thing about them is that they aren't true viral posts. Those get shared because they truly have a value of some sorts. They're funny at least. But these, are just people that tell you please share my invaluable image, or message. Because nobody truly wants to. It reminds me of those mass messages on messenger where people asked to share it cause it was for a good cause.

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