When Promotion Turns To Prostitution

Ines Hegedus-GarciaInes Hegedus-Garcia – @ines
@jb140 there’s a fine line bet prostituting your posts & getting quality readership – @chris_smth @phxreguy @tcar @jimmymackin

This was a tweet I received this morning from my friend Ines in reply to a conversation we were having this morning on Twitter about a recent post on HubSpot about 25 Marketing Stats for 2012.  The post to me seemed a little thin on content provided as it was basically just a list of statistics.  That however is not the purpose of this post.

The conversation started this morning when Chris, Jimmy, Jay, & Todd were discussing the completely annoying use of a Tweet This! link on every single stat on their post.  25 orange Tweet This! links in addition to the regular Twitter plugin seemed a little obsessive to me. My thoughts on the post were that they were only concerned about me sharing it out with others on Twitter. They could care less if I learned from the post, if I commented, or did anything else.

What is interesting though is that while the post is chock full of very interesting statistics that all of those mentioned above would love and share out on Twitter, (It’s what we all kinda do for a living, so interesting stats that back up our points are always valuable and helpful)  the conversation turned from great stats, to poor promotion of the post by pimping it out too much.

I wish I could say this is the only example I’ve seen the past few days, but there are more.  Just before following the conversation above I watched a video from Gary Vaynerchuk on how poorly the Oprah Winfrey Network was promoting through social media.  Here’s his rant:

Don’t get me wrong, social media is a great tool to promote your products and services.  I use is solely to build and market my business. But, it has to be done in moderation.  If you try using a social network for just promoting you will get nowhere.  Some may listen for a little while, but before long, you become just noise they ignore.

Crossing the Line

What is the line where you go from successful promotion to prostitution?  That’s a difficult question to answer.  I believe it varies.  Some businesses can do more promotion than others and get away with it.  Others, the slightest bit can turn off your consumers.  I think instead of trying to use a formula you need to just pay attention to your sphere.  If people are interacting with you less, your traffic is declining, and things seem to be on a downward slope, then maybe it’s time to change.

I know in my business I’ve tested this on numerous times and have found that the minute I seem to be doing more promotion of me, my business and not others everything slows.

The Magic Formula

So, what is the magic formula to promoting things effectively?  How can I get all my stats going in the right direction?  Well, the answer is actually pretty simple.  Spend more time promoting others than yourself.  People pay attention to those who help them more than those who try to sell them something.  You can build a powerful online community by simply talking more about others good things than how great you are.  In return, you are building relationships and trust with that community of followers.  Then, when you promote something of your own, you are more likely to receive better results.

In order to get results from readers and your online community you have to first give something to them.  If not, it comes across really clear that you are just out to pimp your own products/services/things and could care less about others.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.  When do you feel promotion turns to prostitution?

Jeremy Blanton

Jeremy Blanton is the Co-Founder of 210 Consulting- Social Media Advisors. He is a social media speaker who shares with thousands of people each year on things like how to use Facebook for Business, Blogging, and How to use Twitter.

When he is not coaching or speaking, he spends most of his time working on Custom WordPress Sites for his clients.

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  • Right on Jeremy!! love the twist at the end and the bottom line is that those that get the best results from using social media for marketing, are the ones that help others first.  Of course it’s good to know your audience, but that audience will always be in tune with your  motives.

  • 🙂 You are such an inspiration 🙂

  • Danielle Gregorich

    I love this more than I can even express!!! I am so sick of those I have labeled as “Title Fame Whores”….. Everybody is a freakin “Expert” these days!

  • Hehe, glad you approve Danielle 🙂

  • Elizabeth Cooper-Golden

    Like like like Jeremy!  When others “ask me” to share, it comes off to me as if they are a bit desperate to show off.  You said it all here: “In order to get results from readers and your online community you have to first give something to them.”.  Great job!

  • Thanks Coop 🙂 I get much better results out of my online marketing when others are doing the promotion for me instead of me trying to do it myself. Many hands make the load light!

  • Thank you for sharing your articles, I hope you have an interesting and creative new year.

  • Jeremy I watched Gary’s video when it came out and couldn’t agree more.  There are some who forget the social in social media.  It’s about interaction not about standing on a soapbox and shouting how great you are to anyone who will listen.

  • If you are leading, but nobody is following, you are just out taking a walk 🙂

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