Are You Turning Away Prospects on Social Media Without Knowing It?

by Michelle Salater on December 18, 2009

How many times have you deleted that “salesy” email, rolled your eyes at the blog comment that has nothing to do with the post and everything to do with the person pushing a product or service, or stopped paying attention to a friend or follower on social media who refuses to contribute to the conversation?

You’re not one of those pushy people, are you? Are you sure about that?

Before you answer, let me ask you this: Are you struggling to streamline your online promotion and marketing efforts in a way that ensures the most effective and efficient use of your time (and money)? Are you frustrated because you have no clue if your efforts are paying off?

If you answered yes to one of these two questions, then you may be promoting your business like one of those pushy people and doing so without knowing it.

Below is a vignette that illustrates exactly how not to promote your company online.

* * *

Carla, owner of Company X, is posting between her company Facebook page and her personal page. She has ten minutes for Facebook today and has to get as much exposure as possible.

I don’t understand why no one has responded to my post about our new product launch. I really should post one more company update, but this time I’ll message all my fans and my profile friends. That should do the trick.

Didn’t I just see this update from Company X a few minutes ago?

Still no response, how strange. I bet if I wrote on a few of my friends’ walls, that would help increase exposure and get their networks interested. Let’s see, Carol and Bob have the perfect friends to hear about my new product. And so do Debbie, Karl, and a random guy named Wallace.

I didn’t know this woman was friends with Wallace. Surely he’s not a client of this annoying woman. Wallace can’t stand pushy sales people.

Peter Prospect hides all of Carla and Company X’s wall posts. Wallace deletes the post from his wall. Carla does not have any idea she’s being ignored.

Oh, look! Paula Smith says she likes my post. I should Facebook message her and tell her all about the product features and send a link to my website. I’ll do that right now.

Who on earth is this person? How pathetic. All I did was say I liked her post–just to be nice and to get exposure for myself.

Paula Prospect decides never to post on Carla’s wall again. Carla logs off Facebook and is confident she has created a buzz about her new product launch.


Carla sits down to pitch twelve bloggers with her product press release. She has not read the fine print on how each blogger wants to be approached. She just knows they will want to review her product.

BLOGGER 1-9 don’t bother opening the email. They hit delete.

BLOGGER 10 opens the email, reads over it, and isn’t sure why this woman sent him an email about a new hairbrush product when he blogs about fashion in East Asia.

BLOGGER 11 reads the email and considers emailing back, but decides the pitch is too generic–it’s clear that the sender has never read his blog.

BLOGGER 12 reads the email and is angered because he clearly states that he does not want people emailing him product news.

Carla gets no publicity from the blogosphere and has wasted two hours of her day.

* * *

While the above two scenes seem exaggerated, scenarios like these happen every day. Companies are turning away potential clients, wasting valuable time incorrectly promoting and marketing online, and burning through their budgets.

What’s the lesson here? Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes. If you, like Carla, are not listening, you can bet your prospects aren’t either.

If you like this post, you might also like:

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  2. Emerging Travel Company Sees Huge Success through Social Media Efforts
  3. Build Solid Relationships: Connect, Convert, Cuddle Your Prospects
  4. Social Media Vulnerability: Could You Be Affected?
  5. It’s A Bright and Exciting Future for Social Media Networking Sites
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