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When Promotion Turns To Prostitution

Ines Hegedus-GarciaInes Hegedus-Garcia - @ines @jb140 there's a fine line bet prostituting your posts & getting quality readership - @chris_smth @phxreguy @tcar @jimmymackin

This was a tweet I received this morning from my friend Ines in reply to a conversation we were having this morning on Twitter about a recent post on HubSpot about 25 Marketing Stats for 2012.  The post to me seemed a little thin on content provided as it was basically just a list of statistics.  That however is not the purpose of this post.

The conversation started this morning when Chris, Jimmy, Jay, & Todd were discussing the completely annoying use of a Tweet This! link on every single stat on their post.  25 orange Tweet This! links in addition to the regular Twitter plugin seemed a little obsessive to me. My thoughts on the post were that they were only concerned about me sharing it out with others on Twitter. They could care less if I learned from the post, if I commented, or did anything else.

What is interesting though is that while the post is chock full of very interesting statistics that all of those mentioned above would love and share out on Twitter, (It's what we all kinda do for a living, so interesting stats that back up our points are always valuable and helpful)  the conversation turned from great stats, to poor promotion of the post by pimping it out too much.

I wish I could say this is the only example I've seen the past few days, but there are more.  Just before following the conversation above I watched a video from Gary Vaynerchuk on how poorly the Oprah Winfrey Network was promoting through social media.  Here's his rant:

Don't get me wrong, social media is a great tool to promote your products and services.  I use is solely to build and market my business. But, it has to be done in moderation.  If you try using a social network for just promoting you will get nowhere.  Some may listen for a little while, but before long, you become just noise they ignore.

Crossing the Line

What is the line where you go from successful promotion to prostitution?  That's a difficult question to answer.  I believe it varies.  Some businesses can do more promotion than others and get away with it.  Others, the slightest bit can turn off your consumers.  I think instead of trying to use a formula you need to just pay attention to your sphere.  If people are interacting with you less, your traffic is declining, and things seem to be on a downward slope, then maybe it's time to change.

I know in my business I've tested this on numerous times and have found that the minute I seem to be doing more promotion of me, my business and not others everything slows.

The Magic Formula

So, what is the magic formula to promoting things effectively?  How can I get all my stats going in the right direction?  Well, the answer is actually pretty simple.  Spend more time promoting others than yourself.  People pay attention to those who help them more than those who try to sell them something.  You can build a powerful online community by simply talking more about others good things than how great you are.  In return, you are building relationships and trust with that community of followers.  Then, when you promote something of your own, you are more likely to receive better results.

In order to get results from readers and your online community you have to first give something to them.  If not, it comes across really clear that you are just out to pimp your own products/services/things and could care less about others.

I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.  When do you feel promotion turns to prostitution?

Originally Posted at: 210 Consulting- Social Media Advisors

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Comment balloon 38 commentsJeremy Blanton • February 23 2012 07:20PM
When Promotion Turns To Prostitution
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