Maybe We Should Call It “Unsocial Media”

Too often people using social media as a tool to build an audience to pitch or as a broadcast platform rather than as a relationship tool. Social media is a powerful tool when used right….but it takes time (sometimes lots of it) to generate that ROI.

5 Signs You’re Unsocial And Doing It Wrong!

  • You’re only posting your own content.
  • You’re sharing content from others but not commenting or replying first – It’s great you’re sharing and it’s better than complete self-promotion but it’s still broadcasting. (Read: Why I Don’t Use Twitter’s Retweet Button by Bridget Willard.)
  • It’s all business. Yes, it is a business account but I not only recommend you post personal content, I recommend it. There’s a reason business deals are made on the golf course, at the bar or over 2-hour martini lunches (do they even do those anymore?). You learn quite a bit about someone when they’re having fun and relaxed.
  • You don’t respond when spoken to (or you take too long) or acknowledge when someone mentions you. Ignoring people isn’t social. It’s just plain rude.
  • You use social media for cold calling. This one is prevalent on LinkedIn and Twitter and it’s one of my biggest pet peeves!

Social Media isn’t supposed to be a broadcast platform. It’s supposed to be #social.

Nothing bothers me much more than following someone on Twitter or connecting here and then getting “a buy / download / attend my….” Tweet or message (and don’t get me started on the automated direct message thing!).

A few weeks back a very unsocial Twitter conversation started with receiving a download request via Tweet within 30 seconds of following a brand:

Why wouldn’t you want fitness combined with personal safety? Download……

My immediate response (and yes, not using their handle first made this public):

Wow! @XXXXXX Followed you and secs later you’re asking me to download stuff from your site. .

The remainder of the conversation had me thinking they understood:

They tweeted an apology and stated they thought I might find it a good, useful app…

I do @XXXXXX Think it’s a great idea. builds relationships; Relationships drive biz.

‘Social’ builds relationships; Relationships drive business. #BeTactical

@RNissenbaum Thanks! Didn’t intend on being unsocial, just want to get the word out about our … tech! Downloading is up to you!

Sure thing @XXXXXX. Great app for hikers, cyclists too. Getting the word out effectively comes down to how you craft the message.

@RNissenbaum You’re right! We appreciate the input!

I even helped them by crafting a tweet and sending it out to my audience with their handle and link!

Sadly, a look back at their posts for the day showed a constant unsocial stream of tagging individuals asking them to download their app. Really?

Needless to say, I deleted my tweet.

Whatever Happened To Building Relationships And Being Social?

Are we so focused on making a quick buck? Do we see our fans and followers as merely ‘targets’? Are they just a means to an end….money in our pockets? Are we really that unsocial? I’m beginning to think we are.

I know they will likely get some to buy their app as a result of the practice, but it’s short term gains. Business runs on relationships. Social media is an incredible tool for building relationships. Use it right and you’ll see a return on your time and money. Use it right and you’ll have customers for life.

Do social right. #BeSmart and #BeSocial.


1. I will call you out (and unfollow you) if you spam me with a DM or tweet me to buy / download / visit / attend something of yours simply because I followed you. I follow because I looked at your profile and liked what I saw. What you have to offer by way of your tweets (or products / services) interests me. If you want to sell to me, fine. Just buy me a drink first.

I get enough direct solicitation via email, direct mail, TV, radio….I don’t need or want it on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social – or is that ‘unsocial’ – channel.

2. If I give you advice, you’re welcome to do with it as you please. Tell me I’m right, then resort to your old ways….UNFOLLOWED. They obviously had no intention of doing anything different and simply paid me lip service.