One of the things I like to do is go to LinkedIn and answer questions and take part in different discussions that are going on. It’s a great way as a business owner or specialist to show their expertise, take part in interesting conversations and build stronger networking relationships.
I recently was shocked to see people using the discussions on LinkedIn…to give a sales pitch. Some of them were advertising webinars but most were direct sales pitches starting with a question like Do you want to save your marketing dollars and revolutionize your online marketing? which after you clicked on it was a big sales pitch about how awesome this marketing firm is and how they will revolutionize your online marketing.
Out of the 20 “discussions” appearing on the first page, 18 were direct sales pitches either about events or services offered by these companies. The thing I really found disturbing about this was that it was a marketing group on LinkedIn. These are people that are supposed to help other businesses with communication and engaging online if the title from the above “Discussion Topic” is any indication. This may be a news flash but one sided communications are not discussions.
Having a discussion is all about sharing your knowledge, appropriate links and opinion with others. It’s about engaging. However using the discussion area as a personal bulletin board to advertise your services is not only tactless…it’s also destroying the art of conversation within your social media group. This comes down to moderation by the Group Owner to make sure that people are using the discussion area to actually have discussions and not diatribes about how great they are but think about this for a moment – if everyone within your LinkedIn group is shouting BUY FROM ME! YOU NEED ME! in the discussion area…who is left listening?
Instead of shouting how great you are, show it by engaging in meaningful conversations and letting your obvious expertise shine through. People probably aren’t going to hire you because you say you’ll deliver amazing results. They’ll hire you because through conversations and relationship building discussions you clearly show that you know your stuff and have built up the trust so they can rely on your brand.
What are your thought on this? I’d love to hear from others about their experiences and get a discussion started here about your experiences with this, how you’ve dealt with this or how you think this can be fixed.