You join social media sites to connect with people, build relationships and hopefully find a way to do business together.  Don't undermine your initial efforts by looking like a spammer.  You may not even be aware of it, but some of these activities not only smell like spam, but they can make you seem CREEPY!

 social media activities that are spam, doing social media right, social marketing tips

Sending Auto Direct Messages (DMs) Inviting People to Connect On Other Social Media Sites

Don’t set up automated messages to go out to anyone who connects, asking them to join you on your other social media sites.  I see it most often on Twitter, but I have had these spammy messages on LinkedIn as well. I hate the messages on LinkedIn that ask for your email now that you are connected.  DUH—you can contact people via LinkedIn…that's the point of the connection.  The only reason I can think that you would want someone’s email address right away is to add them to a list that they didn’t ask to be added to. Look, you have just connected with the person, get to know them and let them get to know you before asking them to connect on 47 other sites to see the same stuff.

how to build relationships on social media, social marketing tips

Sending Auto Direct Messages Offering A Free Gift of Your eBook or Entry to Your Webinar

A gift is something shiny, covered in diamonds, or chocolate.  If that is the kind of gift you are sending, GREAT.  But when you send a welcome private message offering a product of yours or a discount to a product of yours, it is wrapped in spam paper. Once again, get to know your audience a bit.  Put out great content packed with value.  THEN offer anyone the copy of your eBook or webinar, and tell people how it will help them.  You're sure to get more takers at that point.  Always give a compelling reason for someone wanting to download or attend.

Packing Your Bio With Hashtags

I have seen a few LinkedIn profiles that look like a keyword-stuffed hidden page of a website.  It was not written for human eyes, but for Google eyes only.  The same goes for Twitter bios packed with enough hashtags that it could be a Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake skit.  #FollowBack #Business #Leadership #LION #Inspiration #Motivation #BYOB #ImAwesome.  KNOCK IT OFF!  Tell us about YOU. If you can sound interesting in 160 characters, we will want to know more! If you smell like spam at first whiff, you may miss the connection altogether. #EnoughSaid

(Check out our post on creating inviting and intriguing bios on your social channels.)

Social media tips to build your business

Sending a Private or Direct Message That Just Says, “Hi”

Unless you have gotten to know the person very well through social media platforms and you wanted to just stop by to let them know you are wishing them a great day, just saying “Hi” gives the feeling of being cornered at a party by a stranger with creepy staring eyes and bad breath.  Ok, so it’s happened a couple times and I still avoid chamber networking events because of them.
Ask how their week is going or if they are had a good holiday, but saying “Hi” with nothing following is a scene out of a Steven King book. Quit scaring people.

What other activities smell spammy to YOU?  We’d love to hear.


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I'd love to connect! Just make sure you say more than just “Hi.”


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Showing 10 comments
  • Christy

    Thank you for writing this — I agree with all of them — and thank you for introducing me to that SNL skit. So hilarious!

    • GinaSchreck

      Thanks Christy and yes, that Jimmy Fallon/JT skit is hysterical! We now walk around at home hastagging everything as we speak to one another! HAHAHA or should I say LOLOLOLOLOL OL OLOLOL!! :))

  • Eric Butts

    I cannot tell you how much I hate the Auto DM! Who invented this tactic and how is it still being used?!

    Sidenote: It took everything in me not to hashtag this comment. Can’t believe I hadn’t seen that yet!

    • GinaSchreck

      HA!! That’s funny. I always wonder if it’s more laziness or ignorance that causes people to use AUTO DMs. It never endures me to someone so I would think it’s better to jump in and engage than send a spammy message.

  • Bill

    I used to use auto DMs so I know why people use them:because they work. For every person who unfollowed or complained 3-4 people would reply positively.(such as “Thanks I’ll check it out” or something like that.
    I also found my traffic went up.

    • GinaSchreck

      I always knew it must work since there are so many who send those out. 🙂

  • Deb Coman

    Love this and the laughs you gave me. Sadly, too many people are still doing these things. Absolutely love the SPAM image and the rest of the ones you used here to drive home the points with humor.

    • GinaSchreck

      Thank you Deb! It is amazing that so many still don’t get the concept of building relationships on social media. Any great salesperson knows it’s all about relationships! 🙂

  • Anne T Hydock

    Thank you for sharing Gina. Love the SNL skit and SPAM! Let’s not forget the LinkedIn Auto Invitation ~ “I’d like to add you to my network”. From people we don’t know, no explanation as to why we should connect or how we can help each other. Taking the time to craft 1 or 2 sentences goes a long way.

    • GinaSchreck

      That is so true Anne! Except that LinkedIn makes it more difficult when connecting from your phone if you don’t know to click on those dots to “Personalize Your Invite.” I know recently I accidentally clicked connect to that message you see when logging into LinkedIn that wants to connect you to EVERYONE you have in your email database….Goodness! That sent out invites even to my printer and myself! HA. Gotta love LinkedIn! 🙂 .

      Thanks for your tip Anne!

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