The 7 Habits of the Highly Annoying Social Networkers

1. Sending spam messages selling products on professional focused social networking sites. Yesterday I received an InMail on LinkedIn with a list of recommended holiday presents and links to purchase them from a fellow group member…seriously? How is this related to professional networking?

2. Sending personal anecdotes or jokes to people you do not know personally. Such as the Constant Contact email I recently received featuring a picture of Tiger Woods beaten up and then below it information on a financial firm – do I need to say more?

3. Writing disparaging and personally mean messages to other members in comment sections of networking sites (flame wars). If you don’t agree with another member’s opinion – show some class and share your opinion, don’t take personal pot shots at the author or any other member for that matter – the only credibility questioned in these types of comments is yours.

4. Post products you are selling under group discussions. I recently saw an advertisement in an IT group I belong to under the discussions section pushing fictional books on tape – again how is the professionally relevant to developers?

5. Ignoring your audience – the reason you joined a social network is to have a voice. A message from another member should be responded to – they are listening to you, don’t turn them away.

6. Post links to anything you are promoting on someone else’s wall. I recently accepted a friend request on Facebook from someone I barely knew and they actually posted a link to my wall promoting a book they wrote – needless to say it was quickly deleted and that person de-friended. Is my wall really a place for you to promote your book?

7. Posting Profanities – If an f-bomb is really necessary to get your point across, don’t do it on a professional site and make your comments unsearchable. Keep in mind that prospective clients, employers, and colleagues are going to Google you. I am not judging you – but they probably are.

Professional networks are a great resource, yet if they are used to hawk products & services it only decreases their value. Use your network, don’t abuse it. If you do fall prey to any of these online foibles there is an appropriate way to handle it. Contact the poster directly and let them know your thoughts- don’t start an online argument. I have found the following approach to work best: Contact, De-friend or Unlink, and lastly report. Any other recommendations?

Views: 330

Comment by Andrea Persico on December 15, 2009 at 3:01pm
Thank you all for your comments- I am so happy to know I am not alone in this plight!
Comment by Marsha Keeffer on December 15, 2009 at 3:07pm
Andrea, your post makes so much sense - every behavior described is self-defeating. I hope people who think they're improving their sales, ranking, etc. get the point.
Comment by Harvey Clay on December 15, 2009 at 3:32pm
Great Post, Andrea. As you can see from the Comments, many of us have experienced 1 or more of these annoyances!
Comment by Benjamin McCall on December 15, 2009 at 3:35pm
Don't forget the constant twitter profiles that have no description, picture and having 5000 follows with no tweets or followers!
Comment by Sunil Suri on December 16, 2009 at 1:51am
Andrea: The points discussed are becoming a pain. I am noticing an increase in numbers of the so called" annoying social net workers'. We need to stop this 'We need to give push back to such postings/emails. Also report such cases to the group/site management. If anyone has some suggestions, pls share.
Comment by Brad Zirulnik on December 16, 2009 at 8:16am
How about the famous "I am looking for a job and attached is my resume and please let me know if you know anything that suits me or if you know anyone" email???? Does anyone have a template form letter to shoot back to these people that eloquently communicates the "pay-it-forward" concept? My LinkedIn profile clearly states that I am looking for a job and I still get these annoying candidates as they don't even take 1 second to see that I don't have a job, let alone a job opening to consider them for. However, when folks actually ask me for job hunting tips or advice, I always write back and offer the help. I don't mind. The problem is that most people either don't want the help or don't know how to ask so they just send a feeble cover letter with a resume asking me to essentially help them find a job. Once again, does anyone have a "pay it forward" concept form letter to send to these people in my network? I am sure that I am not the only unemployed recruiter out there that gets deluged with these kinds of requests. Thanks! Brad
Comment by Heather Gardner on December 16, 2009 at 10:44am
You are spot on! I actually had someone threaten me when I asked to be removed from his mass spam mailings..... oh don't get me started.
T'hanks for the great post!
Comment by Alex Putman on December 16, 2009 at 11:13am
As everyone here has stated, great post! I received the same LI "holiday suggestions" and have deleted a few people that constantly bombard me with junk! Thanks for the post.
Comment by Matt Jacobson on December 16, 2009 at 11:47am
Great list Andrea! LinkedIn group spam is out of control and has really decreased how often I engage in group discussions because so many threads are thinly disguised self-promotion . I recently had #1 happen to me - from a group member that I didn't even know. One thing I couldn't figure out was how to block the offending group member but still keep myself open to receiving messages from other group members. It's a relatively small local group and it would be nice to have more than "on" or "off" as messaging options.
Comment by sr on December 16, 2009 at 2:29pm
I agree!


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