It’s Called Social For A Reason

Stop Spam

No one likes being hit with spam. No one likes opening up their emails to find out about all the pills to enlarge body parts, vacations they won, or deals from Nigerian princes that they’ve been missing out on.

It gets old, quick.

Here’s the deal. As frustrating as it can be, we need our email. It’s necessary for us to be there. There are certain people we need to be in contact with on a regular basis that way.

So what happens when the venue is optional? Say, in a LinkedIn group or Google Plus community?

All of a sudden, you wind up with a bunch of people posting links, and no one commenting, clicking, or reading. You may find the occasional blog post to your liking, but will it be worth weeding through sales pitches?

Probably not after awhile.

I have a few LinkedIn groups I’ll float back to every once in awhile just to see what’s going on. But a lot of them have gotten so spammy with people only posting links to sales pages, and creating a whole bunch of noise.

Spammers have ruined entire communities in no time flat.


We’re there voluntarily.

When was the last time you sat down at your computer and sought out the online equivalent to an infomercial? It’s probably not something you do too often.

So why do we keep posting this way? Why has a select group of business owners ruined it for the rest of us? Why don’t they understand that we don’t want to be sold to over and over and over???

It’s OK to just float a question out there every once in awhile. It’s OK to just seek interaction, without a back link to your website, or blog. Maybe you’ll actually develop some relationships that way. That’s pretty much what this whole thing’s supposed to be about, right?


The social world isn’t entirely backwards.

There are a few places that get this right. First and foremost, Chris Brogan’s Secret Team comes to mind. I’ve developed some strong relationships with other business owners who I never otherwise would have met through this group.While I’ve only been part of the Entrepreneurs, Self-Employed and Small Business community on Google Plus for a short time, it seems to be showing some strong signs of actually being social.

There are also some industry blogs that do things right, and have strong contingents of commenters who comprise a strong community. What groups have been particularly beneficial to you? Where in the social world have you found true value?

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Leave a Reply


  1. ¡Hi, Matt!

    Nice post and right to the point. I have also found out the same thing: people retwitting my posts, the links I shared and things like that, but just a few of them interacting, just a few answering questions or follow through with conversations. I have also seen the same thing in LinkedIn and Facebook groups as well: People posting things and opening up discussions only to promote themselves.

    What appears to be the problem? It looks to me that being “spammy” is human nature. When we first got the fax machine (do you remember?) the next thing to happen was the “fax blast”. It looks as if everytime a communication platform opens, business owners / marketing agencies immediately feel the need to use it as a promotional one-way communicational thing, and there is the problem.

    Is it possible to make things differently? Definitely but a strong effort needs to be done to stop being so “selling” and being more “social”… Nice post, really nice.

    Sharing it 😀

  2. Thanks Joel! Yea, it’s a problem I’ve noticed for a long time now. Unless there’s a strong effort to change the culture of a group, they tend to drift in this direction. Naturally, all businesses and bloggers want to drive people back to their corner of the world. There’s an art to doing it right, though.

  3. I could not agree more. There are some people out there (actually a lot of them) that are being sold on using Social Media as a replacement for the Yellow Pages. They don’t get it. All is takes is one small success and they are willing to let the failure stand 98-99% of the time (because those are the ratios in traditional advertising 1-2% success rates). In the mean time we all suffer with the job of clearing away the crap to find a diamond! The solution is to create closed segmented groups like Chris’s Secret Team (love that group)… people who understand the Social in Social Networking!

    Great Post Dewd!

  4. Thanks Brian! You’re right. It’s the people who view this as advertising that ruin it for the rest of us.

  5. This was a great article! Thx for sharing!

  6. Great post Matt. You’re right. I started my blog with a genuine intention to help inspire people to follow their heart. I write with no thought to key words just a focus on sharing all the stuff I’ve learnt as a psychologist.
    I don’t do it to sell. I earn a living running training programmes as an associate (so I don’t sell those either). I give people the option of signing up for coaching with me but even that’s a little box on the side.

    I think what I write is useful but it just gets lost. Lately I’ve been wondering whether the blogging world has reached a saturation point. For now I’ll keep trying. As long as I enjoy it, there’s a benefit to keep at it.

  7. Spam will always be a problem. However, a well-designed site that has taken into consideration the common spamming techniques will be able to avoid/lessen most spam.Great article Matt!

  8. This is a great articles…Thanks for sharing most…