If you feel you’re not getting the kind of engagement and sharing on your Facebook posts that you want, there may be a reason. To be honest, your Facebook status updates may suck.
You can recognize this phenomenon by a few symptoms.
You may find that no one likes or shares your updates. You may notice that people you’ve been friends with for a while are quietly un-friending you. You may also notice that friends, new and old, are leaving comments on your status updates that don’t match your intentions.
All of these symptoms are signs of one problem: Your Facebook status updates suck.
There are many reasons you might be writing Facebook posts that suck, but they mostly boil down into five basic sets of reasons.
Reason 1: You’re Trying to Show Off and/or Make Other People Feel Crappy
Showing off and making others feel bad are almost always annoying and sometimes downright infuriating. There are several forms of showing off/instilling crappy feelings posts.
- The Overt Brag
This is pretty easy to identify. In its simplest form, this type of post says, “I have such a great life,” and implies “Sucks to be you.” There might be a good way to talk about your great life and how wonderful everything is, but you should definitely tone it down.
- The Oblique Brag
These sideways brags are particularly annoying. There may be a good way to come straight out and brag about your good fortune. There is practically no way to slyly brag about your good fortune without coming across as smarmy and self-absorbed.
- The Relationship Brag
Public displays of affection can be overdone. On Facebook they can be overdone very easily and can come across in an entirely different manner than intended. There’s nothing wrong with sharing photos and stories about your significant other. When it comes to personal messages such as “I love you” or overly descriptive updates, less is more and nothing is better than anything.
- Posts Intended to Make Other People Look Shallow
If you post something about the importance of gratitude or why people should stop whining and suck it up, you should expect a bad reaction.
Anything intended to prove how moral you are, how smart you are, how wise you are or how enlightened you are should be kept to yourself.
- The Vague “Thank You to Everyone or Everything”
It’s great to feel grateful for all your friends and to want to express your thanks and affection to them. It’s another thing to share your gratitude and affection with everyone who follows you on Facebook. This is a post type you should definitely skip.
- The Completely Unsolicited and Smarmy Wisdom Quote
Quotes are great. Your Facebook friends probably like quotes and find them entertaining. There is a time and place for quotes, however. Constantly sharing nothing but patronizing “wisdom” quotes will get on your friends’ nerves and drive them away.
Reason 2: You Write Annoyingly Cryptic and Mysterious Updates
This particular type of annoying status updates generally comes in one of two forms.
- The One-Sided Feud
If you have ever written a Facebook post to the effect of, “I hate it when I do everything I can and more, and I’m still the bad guy,” you’re carrying on a one-sided feud. What’s more, your Facebook status updates suck because you’re carrying on a one-sided feud. No one wants to hear it, no one can fix it, and no one really cares, at least on Facebook.
- The Cryptic Complaint
Cryptic complaints are a lot like the one-sided feud. In this type of post you might say something like, “That’s just great. After all this work.” This type of post is sometimes known as a Facebook sigh. Whether complaint or sigh, sharing your woes on Facebook without being specific doesn’t impress friends, gain likes or get your post shared.
Reason 3: You’re Sharing Waaaaay Too Much
If you’ve never heard the phrase “too much information” (TMI), and your Facebook updates are falling flat, maybe TMI is an acronym you need to learn.
There are a few ways in which TMI manifests on Facebook.
- The Literal Post
The fact that Facebook asks what you’re up to doesn’t mean anyone really wants to know exactly what you’re up to. As in the common complaint about Twitter, no one cares what you had for breakfast. No one wants or needs to know every detail of your day. This type of literal post annoys almost everyone on Facebook.
- The “I’ve Just Been to the Gym” Post
This is sort of a combination of the brag post and the literal post. No one wants to hear that you’ve just been to the gym and set your personal lifetime record for whatever. No one else feels better because you’re a workout god or goddess. The best way to talk about your workout in your status updates is not at all.
- The Bodily Functions Post
The only advice anyone needs about bodily functions posts is very simple. Do not post anything involving bodily fluids. Do not do it, ever or for any reason.
- The Private Message Made Public
You may occasionally say something on a friend’s wall or in your status updates like “I miss you! Want to have dinner?” An occasional slip-up resulting in this kind of post may be forgivable. As a rule, however, you should use private messages to say anything that concerns one person or is meant to be private.
Reason 4: You’re Spreading a Stupid Chain Letter or Spreading Hoaxes
If you’ve been on Facebook for more than a week, you’ve run across these types of chain annoyances. There are a few different types of posts in this category:
- The Chain Letter
If you repost this status update, you’ll have great luck and everything will be wonderful. If you don’t, you’ll have bad luck and everything will be horrible. Don’t repost. These are some of the most annoying and in fact infuriating status posts on Facebook.
- The “Urgent Warning”
You shouldn’t drink water that’s been sitting in a hot car. A former cop has information that can save your life. Gang members are using a trick to get people out of their cars. All of these statements have one thing in common. They’re false. Before you post any kind of warning, check it out. Don’t post it until you know it’s true.
- The Religious Chain Letter
If you love God and you repost this status, God will give you a blessing. These posts are annoying to both people who worship God and those who don’t. While your religious beliefs are admirable, God doesn’t need your help and almost certainly isn’t checking your Facebook posts to make sure you love Him.
- The Hoax
If you have any doubt about whether something is true, check Snopes.com. If it seems like something that should be on the news but isn’t, check Snopes.com. If you haven’t heard it before and it seems even a little hard to believe, check Snopes. Posting hoaxes, especially on a regular basis, will drive your friends away.
Reason 5: You’re a Slacktivist
Slacktivism is defined as doing something in the name of making a difference or contributing to a cause, but not actually taking useful action. There are a few varieties of slacktivism.
- The Selfie for a Cause
It probably doesn’t do any harm to post a photo of yourself without makeup to raise awareness for a cause. It also probably doesn’t help. If you want to help, donate to the cause or work with a nonprofit to create change.
- The Share This and Some Huge Corporation Will Do Something Major Update
No company is going to give money or do anything else because a Facebook post got a certain number of likes or shares. Again, check Snopes.com.
- The Incorrect Information Post
This type of post is harder to spot. It involves sharing information that is generally recognized as untrue. An example of this is information about vaccinations causing autism in children. Posts like this not only annoy your friends but also cause them to think you’re not as bright as you could be.
- The Petition Drive
Posting a petition occasionally is fine if the petition is for a good cause. When you post a petition every day or several times a week, your friends grow weary of it.
If you’re wondering whether your Facebook status updates suck, this list should help you decide. If you want to improve your status updates, this list will help.