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: 322

Comment by Brian Keith on December 14, 2009 at 7:08pm
Great post Andrea. You're right too many people treat their professional networks pretty unprofessionally. I recently received a message on LinkedIn from a person that said, "I'm out of invitations" and proceeded to ask me to send them a connection request. Delete, delete, delete.
Comment by Charles Van Heerden on December 15, 2009 at 6:07am
Hi Andrea, great points! I would also include those that find your email or contact details through networking and then bombard you on a daily basis with their latest get rich quick scheme. More curiosity than anything else I am monitoring one person (as a case study) at the moment that is an expert on productivity that is sending me a email at least once a day - no wonder she is the expert on productivity...
Comment by Chris Underwood on December 15, 2009 at 9:49am
Andrea - I whole heartedly agree with your comments and have personally left networking groups on things like LI because the content of "discussions" wasn't relevant to the group and was full of job adverts or product pitches or offers etc. Rather than observing the annoying habits though how to we fix them? Publish expected behaviour from members of a group and eject those that break it? Who would mediate (or have the time to do so). Has anyone any ideas or seen an effective way to police this method without closing the doors to those that genuinely want to contribute to learn?
Comment by Jennifer Scott on December 15, 2009 at 11:30am
GREAT POST!!! Thanks for taking the time to write it out!!
Comment by Milind Naik on December 15, 2009 at 11:33am
Good one Andrea.
Comment by Chaser on December 15, 2009 at 11:42am
Finally...And a big THANK YOU for this post Andrea...Hopefully it will reach those that need it.
Comment by Barbara Leja on December 15, 2009 at 11:43am
Great Post!! Finally someone says it outloud! "those" people ruin it all for the rest
Comment by Barbara Leja on December 15, 2009 at 11:45am
Chris... I think getting posts like this one that Andrea wrote out there - gets those who do these annoying habits to hopefully Get the Hint The more Good posts get out the more people Get It I believe it can only help rather than hurt or annoy
Comment by Jennifer Brigham on December 15, 2009 at 11:45am
THANKS for these comments, and ditto . . .
Comment by Nancy Strasner on December 15, 2009 at 11:46am
GREAT POSTS Andrea! I couldn't agree more and very well said!

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