The Three Deadly Sins of Social Networks: Avoid Them!

Whether you prefer LinkedIn or Facebook – the former more B2B and professional, the latter more B2C and social – it is now clear to all of us that we can no longer run our businesses without Social Networks.

That does not mean, however, that we are necessarily very good at it yet.

If your company’s audience on Facebook is shrinking or the most prominent intellectuals have abandoned your LinkedIn group, one or more of these could be the reason:

Me, me, me . . .

If your posts are all about you – what a great coach you are, how your investment expertise has made you a millionaire, how your customers adore the varieties of herbs you grow in your greenhouse – it will not take long before your readers become terribly bored.

Social Networks are not about you; they are for making connections. Post a question, carefully read the answers, continue the conversation, learn from each other, create a better solution to a common problem. Give advice (when asked!) without lecturing, suggest a book to read or draw attention to a colleague’s view of a certain situation.

Selling . . . .

Social Networks are not sales platforms. They are not even information platforms. They are not the on-line equivalent of a direct mail piece or a salesman knocking on your door.  If you use your Social Network to sell or promote something in which you have a financial interest, you will soon find the door slammed in your face.

More is not more . . .

Do you remember your first web site? Maybe 3 or 4 pages, letting people know what your company does and how to contact you? Then you wrote a book and added a page to your web site. And you started giving presentations, and you added two more pages. You established a few partnerships or affiliations – more pages for your web site. Before long, it was a mess, visitors no longer felt connected and they stopped visiting.

That is now happening on LinkedIn and Facebook. The guy who every day announces that he has answered 50 questions on LinkedIn, the expert who posts 6 news comments a day in his LinkedIn updates, the woman who promotes her radio program on Facebook twice a day . . . stop already! Nobody cares how many questions you answer, your news comments’ frequency has assured that we no longer pay attention to you, and your radio programs were tuned out long ago.

If you have something to share – and it had better be good! – do it with moderate spacing, say twice a week on LinkedIn or once or twice a day on Facebook (nobody has a bright idea 50 times a day, every day!) and concisely, and show me that you care – care about me, your reader, your consumer, the buyer of your product or service.


Lya Sorano is CEO of The Oliver/Sorano Group, Inc., a 30-year old business consulting firm that specializes in marketing, public relations and Social Media strategies, with special expertise in LinkedIn optimization. She may be contacted via her web site,

Category: Marketing


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