You’re Doing Social Media Wrong

You’re Doing Social Media Wrong

Most people don’t really intend to be takers. They don’t intend to do social media wrong. But the tool kit makes it easy. It’s easy to find people with an audience. And it’s easy to find their email address. But that doesn’t mean that you are entitled to leverage someone else’s community and platform to promote whatever it is you sell.

If the very first communication you make with someone you have never met is to ask them to promote your work, you’re doing social media wrong. You are making a withdraw from an account that you haven’t even opened.

If the very first communication you have with someone that has a community to which you want access is to ask them to review your product or service, you are doing social media wrong. Your not really looking for a review. You’re looking for promotion.

If you believe that access to someone else’s community is a shortcut for developing your own community, you are doing social media wrong. There aren’t any shortcuts to relationships of value. You have to do the work yourself.

If you believe that you are entitled to claim value without creating any value, then you misunderstand how relationships of value work. You have to join the community. You have to add value to the community. You have to develop relationships by helping to create value for others in the community first.

If you do social media right, you won’t have to ask for help. Instead, you’ll find the community will ask you how they can help. Yes, it takes more time. Yes, it takes more effort. And, yes, it also produces much better results.


What are the mistakes people make on social media?

When is it okay to ask for value before you have ever created any?

What do you do to promote the work of others in your community?

How do you do enough for others that they will volunteer to promote your work?

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  • Stephen Lahey

    I couldn’t agree more, Anthony. For success in life, not just business, giving needs to come before taking.

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Funny how we can sometimes reverse these, Stephen. Makes life a lot easier to get things in the right order.

  • Robert Terson

    You just articulated my social media pet peeve, Anthony–far better than I ever have. Great writing!

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      But, then, you are a giver!

  • Richard McAfee

    Social media made easy. I like it.

  • Mike Kunkle

    I got a message through LinkedIn in early February. It was from a rep selling IT training services, which I don’t buy. It was addressed “Dear Lisa.” I get dozens of the approaches you mention, every year. Most of the approaches are not memorable, except in infamy. Certainly makes the good ones stand out, but it also makes me wonder who its taking all this social media training I hear about, or what’s being taught.

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Lisa: Thank you for your comments. : )

      Shortcuts! Sheesh!

  • Charlie Ardagh

    I totally agree and while I’m not a writer I can imagine your perspective. I’m the guy looking for the attention for my product and its tough to get it without coming across like a pain in the neck sometimes!

    What I am really looking forward to is getting over the the US to meet some of the many great bloggers, thought leaders and marketers at Social Media Marketing World and similar events.

    I think relationships based entirely online and via social media in particular are great, but its hard to replicate what can be achieved in terms of building trust and common ground by meeting people face to face at events like this. I wish I could go to more, but being based in Ireland makes it a tougher challenge.

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      It’s tough, Charlie. But you can take actions to promote other’s work and join a community. It takes more time, but the results are far greater. As to the value of face-to-face, in-real-life meetings, I’m with you 110%!

  • Tamara Norris

    I also see social media as a means to augment face to face communication. I use it to learn a little more about companies I do or want to do business with, people who I plan to see or have met, etc.

  • Media Designer

    All people really need is good manners.

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      That would help a great deal, wouldn’t it?