People Aren’t Helping Us Help Them On Social Media

Back in March when I wrote what turned out to be my very popular post 31 Big Mistakes People Make Blogging And In Social Media, I broke up the thoughts about blogging and social media to make the article easier to read and understand. Lost of folks liked, commented and shared that post and I thought that was pretty cool.

Rudy's lunch

I shared lunch!

Yet, 3 months later and I’m seeing something that’s making me write another post about 3 things regarding social media that it just feels like I’m seeing more of. The funny thing is that it’s the first 3 things I talked about in that other post, which I intentionally listed as the first 3 because I thought they were important enough to get in as soon as possible when I switched to the social media topic.

Of course this means I have to go over them again, since I really believe that people are missing out on opportunities to help us help them make big inroads on social media, and even potentially their blogs, and y’all know I’m big on talking about blogs.

Marketing All The Time

“Buy my book. Buy my program. Sign up for my webinar.”

Over and over again, I see these messages in many places. I’m not connected to as many of these people because I find this sort of thing irritating, but when I look at lists I’ve created such as my leadership list, which I use as part of my Twitter marketing, there are periods where I see someone marketing their stuff at least every 5 minutes or so. True, at least they change the wording, but who wants to see that over and over regardless?

Should we be marketing on Twitter, or other places on social media? I believe if we’re doing any type of business and have either products or services we think someone might be interested in then absolutely. Is there a correct number of times to do so? Not really I’m probably say. Is there an incorrect number of times? Absolutely!

The nature of social media is to be pretty fluid and fast moving; I get that. Lots of people are trying to eek out their bit of space to get some attention.

What some folks might not realize is that if people are connected to you and you’re marketing too much, you’re being tuned out and all the effort you’re putting in isn’t going to do you any good. How do I know? Isn’t this the generation that tunes out commercials, has ad blindness on blogs and websites, and watches more things like Netflix so they can avoid commercials altogether?

The fact that you might have 120K connections on Twitter, another 100K on Google Plus, and maybe 50K on LinkedIn doesn’t necessarily mean you’re popular. It just means people are lazy and not in the mood to block you like I will.

Try to remember that a little bit of absence can go a long way. Once, maybe twice an hour if you feel the need, is plenty. Heck, did I just counter what I said earlier? lol

Not Sharing Any Of Your Own Content

I love people who share the content of others; way to go! Now, tell us something about you. For that matter, share something that you put out on your own, something that you wrote, something that you did. Please, I want to share your contributions with other people.

funny mug 01

Maybe don’t share this content lol

I can’t believe how many people I’m connected to who never, and I mean EVER, share anything of their own. I can’t even just go to their blogs to see what they might be producing because they don’t link to their blogs anywhere. I used to think it meant that lots of those folks didn’t have blogs but in my research (I can be a pitbull as it pertains to research sometimes) I find that at least half the people who don’t list their blog anywhere actually has a blog.

Why do I stay connected to those folks? Because sometimes they share something I’m interested in. I’ll read it and sometimes share it… but I don’t always give them credit for sharing it to begin with. That might seem cruel in a way, but what I do instead is look to see who created the article and I’ll add their name to the link instead. I think it’s fairer to share “talent” than share “shares”, if that makes sense.

I often wonder why people don’t share their own stuff. If they’re ashamed of it, why create it? I do know there are some people who don’t create anything that want to share things they see, especially as it pertains to politics or social issues. I guess that’s fine, but there’s little of that stuff I’m sharing with my group, since I have my own sense of things I’d rather share in that arena.

Still, I’m tired of seeing every other post going to Huffington Post or Inc or Forbes or… well, you name a popular website. I’m thinking those folks really don’t need all that much publicity… but you might benefit from getting some. Think about it.

I’m also tired of people sharing things on LinkedIn that they created that never say anything about what they’re sharing. Except for my initial post from this blog and my business blog, if I ever share anything else on LinkedIn I offer my opinion on it when I share it, or ask a question that I hope someone responds to, even my own posts.

Not Sharing The Content Of Others

So you’re not marketing, just sharing all your own blog posts; well, that’s something I suppose. Hey, I’ve got between 4,000 and 5,000 articles online, which means I could probably share just stuff I’ve created and not recycle a single thing after even a year. Sure, all of those things aren’t top quality, but would it matter if I just wanted to talk about myself all the time?

I read a lot every day. I visit all sorts of blogs, and I read articles in all sorts of places. One of the reasons I like Flipboard so much is because I can pick a category and have it show me both popular sites and sites that might not be as popular, but have owners who are on Flipboard sharing their articles. Sometimes it’s other people sharing their articles also; that’s pretty cool.

If people can do that on Flipboard, why can’t they do that on other social media platforms? For instance, I’m sharing a blog post written by a lady named Amy White titled How We Paid Off $293,000 in Debt in Five Years that I liked a lot. She has just over 1,250 followers, her blog is ranked around 5 million via Alexa, and I found it a fascinating post. I think a lot of other people will benefit from reading it, so I’m sharing it, and I feel good about it.

By the way, if you are actually sharing other people’s content and making it look like you’re sharing your own… shame on you! Not only is it misleading, but you can’t even take the time to share the names or handles of the people whose posts you’re sharing, especially if they supply it, so they can get a bit of extra bounce and feel good about what they’ve done? Shaking my head and wagging my finger… lol

As I said earlier, it’s not all about me. I want to share other people’s content, and I want to help showcase them in the best light. But if they’re irritating, or they’re not sharing any of their content, or they’re just being selfish… it’s not going to happen.

That would be a major shame. What do you think?

12 thoughts on “People Aren’t Helping Us Help Them On Social Media”

  1. What people choose to share has a psychological component. To some extent, it’s narcissistic: it’s part of the image they’re curating of themselves and the content they enjoy.

    Now, having said that, the already-popular memes, the vetted and edited content from HuffPo, the stuff that’s already garnered a thousand likes, views, and shares – all that’s “safe.” People want to be seen as interesting and engaged in what’s popular.

    It’s similar to what’s being seen in publishing, I think – large houses don’t want to gamble so much on “unproven” authors. It makes business sense, but it can be disheartening.

    I mentioned this on Facebook a few weeks ago. A couple of people shared my posts more actively for a while.

    Another problem, of course, is over-automation or poorly-done automation (which is, I think, where you’re maybe seeing some of this “sharing others’ stuff as if it’s your own.”) I use Twitterfeed to auto-share 1-2 posts a day from a total of eight other people’s blogs. I preface them with “RT @ ” (Twitterfeed lets you do that, but it’s an advanced feature many bloggers may not know how to find or use.) I ONLY share, automatically, from blogs and bloggers I trust (yeah, we know a few I wouldn’t add in there on a dare!) and you are one of the trusted. The ONLY reason I automate is to be sure I don’t forget and miss sharing when I get busy at work or at life, and am not focused on the social media aspects of blogging. It’s not because I wouldn’t PREFER to do it with the personal touch – it’s because I can’t even remember to wish all my friends a happy birthday on time, even with Facebook nagging me to do it! 😀 You’re only in there because I know I always want to share your posts.

    Are there correct numbers and times for sharing posts on various social media sites? You bet. There’s a whole area of data science devoted to figuring out what those are. And it’s not an “if 5 is good, 57 is better” kind of deal – if you’re going to do that, do it right. Each site is different, and some of it depends on the time zone the majority of your target followers are in. It’s interesting, but it’s not something I pay a LOT of attention to, beyond idle curiosity if it’s displayed to me by a site.

    1. I also use Twitterfeed, but only for my own posts, and only the originals. I like planning other people’s posts, and of course I’ll sometimes share it right after reading it. Folks seem to go to extremes rather than finding a true balance, and I’d have never noticed it if I hadn’t decided to incorporate sharing as part of what I like to do. I don’t mind sharing some of the major sites but it’d also be nice to share things from people who might not be famous yet still produce something worthy for many more people to see.

  2. Sharing content of others depends on the selfishness of the person who is gonna share. Most of the people don’t like to share other’s post, because of the egotism. Why others, even me sometimes think in that direction. In fact, I shared not more than 10 posts of others during my 1-year blogging career.
    You shared a good post Mitch and keep going.
    Have a good weekend.

    1. Thanks for your comment Thyone (why did I always think there was an “r” in your name?). I believe that when we give we get back in more ways than we can imagine. I’m the curious sort so I read a lot and I share a lot and since I got better at it I’ve had a lot more interaction with people on social media… and I feel that’s a good thing.

  3. I’d argue with most of the points that are listed in the article. I totally agree only with the thing about “marketing is everywhere”. People don’t think about the value they could produce by their content, most of them think just about numbers (likes, shares, sales, etc.).

    Now about the thing that you do not give a credit to those from whom you have learned about the content. The fact is if not they, some important information is simply passed by you.Doesn’t it deserves some credits?

    Anyways, thanks for your writing.

    1. Aaron, I had to read your comment multiple times to try to figure out what you meant to say. For instance, you said you’d argue with most of the points, but since I only made 3 points and you only argued with one I’m not sure that counts for most. lol

      As for the credit thing, I think that if people are representing content by someone else as their own stuff then they don’t deserve credit for sharing it. Trust me, if you ever follow my Twitter stream you’ll see me showing the RT on tons of things others share. So, if 5% of what I do doesn’t give attribution to someone who seems like they’re misrepresenting an article I can live with it.

  4. @Mitch Mitchell, I agree. (I also use some filters on Twitterfeed to prevent some out-of-character sharing. And I limit it to one a day per blog followed there. But like I said, I’ve whittled it down to just the people I know and believe I WANT to share any and all posts they write. I use automation to ensure I share at least one new one a day, if they post. You, Marian, DiTesco (although I don’t think he’s writing all his own posts these days)…couple of others. I’d miss a few, doing it all manually, and I don’t want to do that. But then, we can have a real conversation around them later, either on Twitter or in comments. I know people who just blast out quotations and links non-stop, and suspect no one ever reads what they post, so why bother?

  5. You’re right Holly, Frank’s not writing most of the stuff on his blog these days but I do catch some of his stuff here and there when his shows up. I like doing it manually although, as I said, it feels harder to keep up with lately.

  6. Hi Mitch,

    This is an interesting article. I completely agree with you about the advertising problem. I love the NFL but I have a hard time sitting through a game these days because of all of the commercials. It’s painful.

    With regards to Sharing. I also agree that the top articles are regurgitated to death.

    I’m not sure that there are that many people who actually create something new . Often times I run across blogs and they’re either a complete rip-off of somebody else’s work or they have slightly changed the original work to try and pass it off as their own. All in the name of creating content and building web traffic and facebook likes.

    But every now and then a gem of a website is to be found, that is original and has something to say. Too bad Google doesn’t have a way to reward people for sharing good but obscure content. Then maybe it would happen more often.

    1. Great comment Conrad. I agree, I also think fewer people are creating their own content these days and that’s a major shame. If they’re not on social media to engage or share with people what they’re all about then in my opinion they’re just wasting their time. Of course, people can do whatever they want to do; that’s what makes life great. 🙂

      1. So true but it is a shame. There has never been a time in history where just about everybody has access to the technology that will allow them to share their thoughts and ideas to the whole world for free. But so few take advantage of the opportunity.

        In my experience, everybody is an expert at something. Just imagine if everyone took the time to write down the instructions or process to grow the perfect tomato, or grill the perfect oyster, or whatever their expertise is in. What a database of knowledge that would be.

      2. You sure you haven’t been going through some of my writings here? lol I’ve said that same thing; everyone is great at something, or at least better at it than the majority of other people are.

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