ActiveRain Tutorials: When Promotion Turns To Prostitution

When Promotion Turns To Prostitution

Ines Hegedus-GarciaInes Hegedus-Garcia - @ines @jb140 there's a fine line bet prostituting your posts & getting quality readership - @chris_smth @phxreguy @tcar @jimmymackin

This was a tweet I received this morning from my friend Ines in reply to a conversation we were having this morning on Twitter about a recent post on HubSpot about 25 Marketing Stats for 2012.  The post to me seemed a little thin on content provided as it was basically just a list of statistics.  That however is not the purpose of this post.

The conversation started this morning when Chris, Jimmy, Jay, & Todd were discussing the completely annoying use of a Tweet This! link on every single stat on their post.  25 orange Tweet This! links in addition to the regular Twitter plugin seemed a little obsessive to me. My thoughts on the post were that they were only concerned about me sharing it out with others on Twitter. They could care less if I learned from the post, if I commented, or did anything else.

What is interesting though is that while the post is chock full of very interesting statistics that all of those mentioned above would love and share out on Twitter, (It's what we all kinda do for a living, so interesting stats that back up our points are always valuable and helpful)  the conversation turned from great stats, to poor promotion of the post by pimping it out too much.

I wish I could say this is the only example I've seen the past few days, but there are more.  Just before following the conversation above I watched a video from Gary Vaynerchuk on how poorly the Oprah Winfrey Network was promoting through social media.  Here's his rant:

Don't get me wrong, social media is a great tool to promote your products and services.  I use is solely to build and market my business. But, it has to be done in moderation.  If you try using a social network for just promoting you will get nowhere.  Some may listen for a little while, but before long, you become just noise they ignore.

Crossing the Line

What is the line where you go from successful promotion to prostitution?  That's a difficult question to answer.  I believe it varies.  Some businesses can do more promotion than others and get away with it.  Others, the slightest bit can turn off your consumers.  I think instead of trying to use a formula you need to just pay attention to your sphere.  If people are interacting with you less, your traffic is declining, and things seem to be on a downward slope, then maybe it's time to change.

I know in my business I've tested this on numerous times and have found that the minute I seem to be doing more promotion of me, my business and not others everything slows.

The Magic Formula

So, what is the magic formula to promoting things effectively?  How can I get all my stats going in the right direction?  Well, the answer is actually pretty simple.  Spend more time promoting others than yourself.  People pay attention to those who help them more than those who try to sell them something.  You can build a powerful online community by simply talking more about others good things than how great you are.  In return, you are building relationships and trust with that community of followers.  Then, when you promote something of your own, you are more likely to receive better results.

In order to get results from readers and your online community you have to first give something to them.  If not, it comes across really clear that you are just out to pimp your own products/services/things and could care less about others.

I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.  When do you feel promotion turns to prostitution?

Originally Posted at: 210 Consulting- Social Media Advisors

I'm a full time Myrtle Beach Real Estate Agent that focuses on homes for sale in Myrtle Beach and Carolina Forest Real Estate.


 Search Myrtle Beach Homes  


Let me help you find your next dream home here in Myrtle Beach.


I am also the Co-Founder of 210 Consulting- Social Media Advisors.  I have traveled the country as a social media speaker.  If you would like more information on any of the topics discussed in this blog, please contact me directly.  We specialize in social media training, online consulting, and the creation of your own custom WordPress site.


Get a Custom WordPress Site


Also, let's connect on these great social networks:

Follow Me on Twitter   Follow Me on Facebook   Lets get Linkedin      Follow my Photo Stream on Flickr   Myrtle Beach Real Estate Videos

Comment balloon 38 commentsJeremy Blanton • February 23 2012 07:20PM


Jeremy -absolutely. Those who are constanly selling themselves are such a turn off to many.  Be of service, help others out and see the magic happens.  But don't do for magic happening - do it because it feels good.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 7 years ago

But I want to go Viral!  Puh-leez RT, oh please Share!

   Love the Video, Jeremy.

Posted by Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) about 7 years ago

If I remember correctly, Chris mentioned that personal/business ratio should be 80/20 - well that was for Pinterest - and I think that's the new kid on the block - and everyone seems to be jumping on it.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) about 7 years ago

Jeremy - I gotta say I love Gary V....and when he gets on a rant, he does it very well.  I don't have an Phd in Twitter, so I missed the big discussion this morning - but I enjoyed your take on it.  Thanks for sharing the dirt!

Posted by Christine Bohn, The Bohn Team, Gainesville FL (RE/MAX Professionals) about 7 years ago

I feel spammy some days and have to pull back, It happens no doubt.

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) about 7 years ago

Oh yes, that post looks like it's crossing the line.  I think often forget the psychology behind this stuff...people that love to spread the word on interesting tidbits like to feel that they've made a discovery and are shaing useful info...not trying to market for another company. 

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 7 years ago




Oprah seems to resemble a train wreck in slow motion with her network. . she should call it quits because she lost her mojo



Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) about 7 years ago

Well now that's definitely a rant. It's almost as if he's taking it personally. I get what he's saying and I guess I'd have to be in the social media business to understand the level of anger he seems to possess. But I'm sure he'd say the same thing about one of our rants.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (Keller Williams Realty) about 7 years ago


Excellent point. I believe I provide a lot of service and information for my folks and then they realize I am truly trying to take care of them, rather than just serve ME, ME, ME!

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) about 7 years ago

Well he's very passionate about this subject isn't he?   I think some people are just socially awkward and if they happen to be in charge of social media, they will be socially awkward there as well.  One would think OWN would get someone who knows how to connect with real people in charge of their SM.  I am pretty shocked as well that the queen of relationships herself could allow garbage like that out there on her behalf.

I like your idea of recommending others.  Provide useful info, get conversations going and promote your listings.  It has to be a balance.

Posted by Coral Gundlach, Real Lives. Not Just Real Estate. (Compass) about 7 years ago

Jeremy there is a fine balance and some folks get it, some don't and some of us are trying hard to find the balance.  I'm still surprised at the number of folks who use their personal pages on Facebook to push their AR posts or Twitter to do the same thing.  Gary V always has something worth listening to even when it's a rant.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) about 7 years ago


Wow, that's actually very profound, but at the same time, so obvious once you hear it. It isn't all about you, it's what you have to offer and SHARE! Very good.

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) about 7 years ago

Interesting choice in words describing the overuse and under utilized conventions to create a functioning blended marketing matrix.  Nice spin Jeremy.

Posted by Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375, Real Estate Services You can Trust! (Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions") about 7 years ago

Good read, Jeremy.  I'm just getting started with Twitter, so I don't know enough to be annoying yet, but I appreciate learning what not to do along with what to do.  

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) about 7 years ago

Whenever I see that I don't. Something in me just doesn't like that. 

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) about 7 years ago

This is really a continuation of the same counterproductive self-promoting mindset that failed in print media in the past.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) about 7 years ago

Jeremy - I have to say I agree with Brian (above) - when I read a magazine, newspaper, etc.  I totally skip any advertisements and go right to the news or stories I want to read.  Promoting oneself on social media has to be done in a very subtle, non-intrusive fashion. 

A fine line indeed.....


Posted by Bill & Cyndi Daves, TeamDAVES - Your REALTORS In the GA/NC Mountains! (Hiawassee, Young Harris, Blairsville, Hayesville, Murphy and Beyond!) about 7 years ago

Jeremy, self promotion is a big turnoff today. Helping and promoting others is the only way to go.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 7 years ago

Interesting Jeremy.  It's so hard to find that perfect balance with social medie.  Thanks for the quality info here.                                       

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) about 7 years ago

When I ramped up my Tweets on Twitter and posted a steady daily stream of posts, comments, answers, and mentions, my readership disappeared.  Now that I post "once in a while" I get a steady growth in my readers and quality mentions.

Posted by Bryan Robertson about 7 years ago

This situation is really easy to deal with.

Click. Unfollow.

Posted by Dave Keys, Chief Search Strategist Real Estate SEO Expert (MOVE UP in Google Search Learn How Here) about 7 years ago

Being the source of the news in stead of being the news will always gather attention of the right type.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) about 7 years ago

I get so much crap on Twitter it's amazing.  I unfollow tons of people who feel the need to direct message me all the time about rediculous stuff.

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) about 7 years ago

Jeremy, thanks for the great post.  I really like your idea of promoting others, makes a lot of sense.  And its a great reminder for me not to do the me, me, me thing.

Posted by Teri Clardy, APSD Certified Home Stager Pro (Colorado Premier Staging, LLC) about 7 years ago

Jeremy- I so agree with this.  I often receive e-newsletters that are all about the author and what they've done.  That all fine and dandy but they really aren't providing me with some information I can use or would find interesting. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 7 years ago

As you say, Jeremy ... there IS a fine line between the two.  Finding that line can be tricky at times.  When is it enough?  When is it too much?  Personally I have no problem with receiving multiple/many bits of social media from one person, if it provides something of value to me.  I also have no problem with someone, either by value or request, asking me to pass it on.  IF the value is truly there, I'm glad to do so.  But when they're simply selling themselves out with nothing of true value to the readers ... I'm gone.  There's typically a smell of desperation around those contacts ... and that smell isn't good ...


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) about 7 years ago


I think it can happen very quickly these days given how much time people spend on social media and who all is using it. This is an age of impatience - I want it now - and to some degree WIIFM has become even more prevalent in everything we do, not just real estate, and not just on-line. The ONLY way people can quickly filter through all that they are getting hit with daily is to quickly decide, in a nanosecond, if it's of interest and will somehow benefit them. Self promotion does neither. Delet.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) about 7 years ago

Promoting others instead of screaming "look at me!" is, obviously, the better way to go.

Posted by Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758 (Chartwell Kansas City Realty) about 7 years ago

My motto is and always will be that this business is not about me.  It is about the clients that I serve.  I do not need to plaster myself all over town. 

Posted by Paula McDonald, Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury) about 7 years ago

Jeremy, it's amazing how people tweet thing and ask for us to RT them, or forward them on to our friends or whatever. That's one time that if they ask, they shall Not receive.

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) about 7 years ago

Hi Jeremy....Me Me Me,Me just turns people off, it should be what they would like to see, such as community events, art sows, things to do in the Rain, a Good Movie, New ways to to things, Localism is alive with talking about your neighborhood and yes add regular market reports.

Congratulations on your feature!

Posted by Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation, Accredited Real Estate Consultant (RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate) about 7 years ago

NIcely done Jeremy, can I put this in my Twitter stream LOL, love both yourself and Ines...

Posted by Gerry Michaels, GettysburgGerry Social Meida (Glasswork Media Arts) about 7 years ago

I just wrote a post about this. What only stands out is something that is different. If you always do or say the same thing, people will naturally stop listening/watching.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) about 7 years ago

I think too often people in this business forget that those social networks are intended to help us build relationships.  I can't remember who said it but in another post a comment said, "you wouldn't go to a networking event and just tell people about your listings over and over" so why would you do that on Twitter, Pinterest or Facebook?  Build relationships and business follows.  People buy from those they trust. 

Posted by Rich Cederberg, eXp Realty Agent Albuquerque (eXp Realty) about 7 years ago

They are doing it wrong & this guy spoke out. Wonder if they are listening? I like the idea mentioned to promote others first.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 7 years ago

I hope I never become the one people walk away from... people know what business I am in, but I try not to be overt about it

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) about 7 years ago

Jeremy great message and well presented.  Loved the video.  It is pathetic sometimes to see how poorly these "media moguls" acutally try to use the new media outlets.

Posted by Larry Story, Total Care Realty, LLC, Greensboro, NC Real Estate (Total Care Realty) about 7 years ago

Congratulations on being in the Member Spotlight.  Best wishes for continued success!

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) about 7 years ago