These things need to be said, and let me be the one who's actually brave enough to say them. If you are reading this, just know, I don't mean to personally offend you with any of these icks, perhaps just take note of what you can potentially adjust.
But, plain and simple, they need to stop, and as a social media manager, and someone who practically lives on social media, I for one am so sick of seeing them pop up on my feeds. From habits that make me want to hide, and trends that, quite frankly, need to go in the trash, we're looking at the 5 social media things currently giving me the ick.
Let's dive in...
1. The Tiny Mic Trend:
I put this one at the top of the list for a reason. Excuse my language, but I'm bloody sick of it. I mean, I know hate is a strong word, but I would go as far as to say I hate the tiny mic trend. If you don't know what it is, or haven't seen anything about it, it's essentially talking to camera video content, using a tiny microphone, or lapel microphone.
I will say, I did try this trend, thinking it would improve the quality of my video content, and wasn't even surprised when the microphone broke 3 days after I got it. And guess what? It didn't make my video content any better. Mobile phones these days are designed with the best quality camera and audio tech inside of them - you do not need a plug in tiny microphone to improve your quality. Heck, my iPhone 14 has better audio quality than the $30 microphone I bought on Amazon. It's just a fad, and quite frankly just another thing you think you might need to have before you can start creating content... and you don't need it, you just need to start.
One other major thing about this trend that gives me the ice is the way people use the tiny microphone. I have seen plenty of videos where someone is talking to camera, speaking about a topic into their tiny mic, only to be waving it around, losing stability and control, and just looking plain silly. Think about it this way: if you were speaking in front of a crowd with a microphone, would you be talking and waving around the microphone? No! You would be holding it steady, and speaking directly into it. So why would your tiny microphone be any different? But people do it, and it looks ridiculous.
Verdict? The tiny mic trend is one you do not even need to raise an eyebrow over.
2. Generic Monthly Content Calendars
If I see another one of these calendars, I'm gonna have a tantrum. To give you the low-down, I'm talking about the posts on social media where creatives, digital marketers or social media managers share a calendar for the upcoming month with the most generic, substandard content ideas that *should* inspire you.
They're filled with national cheese day, world ocean day and random, *who gives a shit* content ideas that, at the end of the day, don't mean anything to your ideal audience. Unless you are selling cheese, have a sustainable brand or a business that is actually relevant to these seasonal, national holidays, then creating content specific to them is a waste of your time and efforts.
This is where having a strong idea of your ideal audience comes in, having a purposeful strategy, and understanding what your people are needing to hear from you, what value you could serve them and more, is key. Using the ideas from a generic monthly content ideas bank or calendar isn't creating that know, like and trust factor... not one little bit.
3. Reels that Don't Provide Value in the Actual Reel
Ooh, this one reel-y (pun totally intended) grinds my gears. If you've ever been scrolling through the Reels feed, consuming content and stumble across a reel with a juicy hook, or attention grabbing first liner, only to be disappointed when they then drive you to read the caption to gain the value, tips or advice they are pitching in the first few seconds of their Reel, I bloody feel you.
It's a major eye roll for me when I come across them, and really turns me off from engaging with that piece of content. Like, what is the point?! It's the same energy as clickbait on YouTube... I understand you're trying to get people to click through and retain their attention on your caption, but when a viewer's attention span is less than a goldfish, there is definitely danger in not providing value in the video content itself. It's also making the engagement process for the viewer a hell of a lot harder. Instead of scrolling through reels looking for some quick wins, they have to add more steps into the process - view the Reel, then click the caption to read it, then follow your call to action etc etc - which is entirely unnecessary, and will turn them away from engaging with your content.
4. Having an Off-Brand Identity Through Your Content
Your brand - your colours, fonts, logo - is your brand for a reason. It is unique to you. And with this in mind, your uniqueness, your brand presence, it is all recognisable, and memorable. It increases your brand perception, identity and reputation when your branding is consistent, especially in all that you share online.
But time and time again, I'm seeing people sharing Reels, or even static feed content, without their branding, and I scream every time I see it because it is such a missed opportunity.
Even worse? When people share Reels with captions, that are angled... ahem, who is reading with their head constantly tilted.
Even worse than that? Angled captions on Reels in a colour that is far away from your brand colouring... yes, I have certainly seen it.
Moral of the story? Don't try to be quirky or fun with your branding... use your branding as it is intended to be used. And no slanted captions on your videos!!
5. Not Directly Looking into the Camera Lens When Speaking to Camera
I get that it may be a confidence thing, or you feel intimated by the camera, but you are losing people, and the opportunity to connect with people by not looking directly into the camera lens.
I recently ranted to the high heavens about this habit people are having, and it got a lot of traction, so I thought I'd give it a mention here too. If you are not looking directly into a camera lens, you are losing the chance to build connections, look even more professional, and build trust with your viewer. I get it in the sense of doing a fun skit, or entertaining character scene, but if you are talking about a topic, you need to make eye contact with the camera.
I want you to consider how you would talk to someone in person at an event or a meeting. You would face them, body facing them, and make good eye contact with them. You wouldn't speak to someone with your body language away from the person, and look over a tree across the road, would you? So why would you do such a thing in your video content?
Approach your video content, your speaking to camera content, in the same way you would approach speaking to another person in real life.
What would you add to the list? Jump back onto Instagram and let me know your thoughts!