Dealing with the “Anti-Social” Media Crowd

Dr. Fern Kazlow, along with Desiree Scales, was interviewed Dr. K wrote a post in response to a listener's question. Read on to find out what the question was and how Dr. K responded.

On the May 19th “Connecting Women” radio show, a thoughtful listener asked an extremely important question that I didn’t have time to answer fully and which needs to be heard and talked about. She wanted to know why people will send direct messages (automated) without first building a relationship with the other person? And why do they behave inappropriately online when they wouldn’t think of doing it offline?

The direct messages she referred to are the automated-responses on twitter that hit you with a heavy-handed sales pitch from people who you’re just meeting. These same people wouldn’t think of introducing themselves at a cocktail party with a robot following them that automatically shoved a business card in your face. But they’re doing it on social media.

Even though social media is the closest thing to face-to-face contact on the internet, when you’re sending a tweet or a DM it lacks, well, the face. No eye contact. No voice. No body language. This physical anonymity removes the social stricture for many people. The connection between their personhood and the words on a direct message is relaxed or isn’t there at all.

Also greasing the skids for this behavior is the economic climate, bad business advice, and the hype – the media or sales-related promised magic wands – of online marketing. People who are feeling desperate are more likely to buy into these “make money while you sleep” and “get rich quick” sales pitches. When translated to social media, the filter required for all things social disappears. That alone can turn perfectly nice people into perfectly not-so-nice jerks.

And now “get rich quick” schemes that target social media not only encourage but also sell the lack of connection via number generators and auto-responders as part of the package. And many people in the twitterverse use these practices simply because they believe there is an opportunity to make money by using them.

Ironically, the core of social media – people such as our thoughtful and engaged listener – participate in social media for the community and the connection it offers. And the tactics and behaviors that we’re talking about get the “anti-social” media crowd rejected by the very people they’re trying to turn into clients.

There are other aspects to this discussion which I cover in greater detail in my blog (Spamming the Twitterverse: Why Perfectly Nice People Go Bad). And that’s how these tactics and behaviors can not only ruin you branding, but kill your business.

A final thought: Whenever you sit down at your computer, whether you’re writing a tweet, a blog, an email, or a sales letter; whether you’re writing to one or thousands, remember: there’s a person on the other side. And how you connect – or don’t connect – with him or her is going to determine your success.

Thanks for asking.


  1. Thanks for following my blog. I'm following you now, too. Great post!

  2. Great post. I wish more people would realize the harm they are doing themselves and others who also represent their same companies, when they take these in-your-face aggressive sales approaches. It is such a turn off and makes the person seem totally desperate for a sale.

  3. It is important to remember that behind the computer screen are real people. If people remember that, chances are they may tend to present themselves with the proper manners.



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