Gini Dietrich

The 10 Commandments of Online Etiquette

By: Gini Dietrich | July 23, 2015 | 

Online EtiquetteBy Gini Dietrich

How many of you love to receive spam email?

How about when you meet someone and they automatically add your to their newsletter list?

And how many of you love to get information that talks all about the sender and tells you nothing valuable?

How often do you unsubscribe to email lists and newsletters or click “junk” so they don’t hit your inbox at all?

How many of you know organizations that push their messages via the social networks, but don’t use it to engage, network, or build community?

I’d venture to guess every one of you.

If you are right with me—you hate this stuff—I want to know why you do this to others when you get behind your computer at work.

Some Examples

I ask these questions when I speak, particularly when I do three or four hour workshops. It allows us to dig deep into why people do this at work, but hate it as a consumer or buyer.

A couple of years ago, I did some research on different programs for a CRM for a client.

I spoke to five different companies.

Of the five, three added me to their newsletter list without my permission. Simply because I called looking for additional information.

I’ve received emails from companies telling me they’ve added me to their email distribution list and to let them know if that’s not OK.

These are not typically companies I’ve ever communicated with…and why would someone want to add me to their list if I’m not a potential buyer?

I’m sure this is a sales technique of some sort. Maybe it’s to see if I check my email and, if I respond (even if it’s to say no, it’s not OK they added me to their list), they know it’s a viable email address.

And, last night, my friend Abbie Fink’s Facebook status was:

I find it ironic that I would get an unwanted email from a vendor introducing me to their “latest and greatest” app to remove me from unwanted email lists.

Why do all of us hate this, but a good majority of us use this tactic, when it comes to online marketing?

The 10 Commandments of Online Etiquette

Perhaps there isn’t a one-size-fits-all equation and maybe you’re focused simply on numbers instead of conversions, but I’d like to think there is some online etiquette we all should consider.

Therefore, I have created the 10 Commandments of online etiquette.

  1. Thou shalt not add anyone to your newsletter list without their consent.
  2. Thou shalt not send a LinkedIn invite that says, “I’d like to add you to my professional network.”
  3. Thou shalt not post your news releases as blog posts.
  4. Thou shalt not talk about yourselves in your communications.
  5. Thou shalt not use your Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn accounts as news feeds for your organization.
  6. Thou shalt not create newsletters that talk about how great you, your leadership, your products, or your services are without putting them in context of the buyer.
  7. Thou shalt not build lists, fans, followers, connections, or circles just for the sake of numbers.
  8. Thou shalt not abuse your online power.
  9. Thou shalt not email bloggers, journalists, influencers, or target audiences without doing your research, building a relationship, and giving them something of value … to them, not you.
  10. Thou shalt not engage in black hat email marketing.

What else would you add?

image credit: Shutterstock

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • Amen to all of those. + a simple one: “Thou shalt not sell!” (overtly at any rate)

    •  @HughAnderson Yes! Great addition…thank you!

  • yourgreatlifetv

    @ginidietrich @SpinSucks Good morning friend!! Happy Monday and I LOVE YOU 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @yourgreatlifetv Happy Monday to you! Love you back!

    • SpinSucks

      @yourgreatlifetv @ginidietrich Happy Monday to you too!!

  • Good list. You  need to make a printable, clippable version of this so people can post it next to their computers. I have a few in mind…

    •  @KenMueller Like what?!?

      •  @ginidietrich No, no, I mean I have a few businesses I’d like to frame this and send it to…

        •  @KenMueller Ohhhh! I get it now.

        •  @ginidietrich It’s a Monday morning. We’re all a little slow. I need more coffee.

        •  @KenMueller  @ginidietrich That’s the thing – it needs to be mailed out to the people who don’t read this blog. They are the ones violating the commandments. 

  • #1 happens so much with people you meet offline. How many times have you handed a business card to someone at a meeting and ended up on their stockbroker/insurance list. Pet.Peeve.
    I will say I’ve violated #2 with people I know.
    How do you feel about auto DMs on Twitter? I generally am annoyed by them but are they bad etiquette?

    •  @Adam | Customer Experience Oooh, I hate the DMs. Oh, and if I were to add one, it would be related to the whole business card exchange that happens in person.
      #11 Thou shalt not view every human being as only a prospect.
      That mindset sees everyone as a potential customer, and once they decide NOT to be a customer, you no longer care about them or have any time for them. 

      •  @KenMueller  @Adam | Customer Experience I also hate auto DMs. Some have gotten clever by adding your first name to the DM, but it’s still jarring. I don’t give a flip about your blog or website or video if I just met you. Let’s get to know one another first. Then I’ll check out whatever it is you want to sell me.

        •  @ginidietrich  @KenMueller I had one person DM me a validation service in order to deign to follow me back. I did it, only because I had not heard of the service and wanted to learn what it was all about. I jumped through the person’s hoops, and she still didn’t follow me. Big picture, it’s one follow — big deal — but what a trash move.

        •  @Adam | Customer Experience  I refuse to click on those any more. If you want me to jump through those hoops, you don’t truly understand how all of this works.

        •  @ginidietrich  @Adam | Customer Experience That TrueTwit validation is nuts. Why do people obsess so much over who follows them? Yes, I have followers who aren’t real and are spammy, but I just choose not to follow them back. i don’t care if they follow me.

      •  @KenMueller Funny, my post today is about how we view our customers. I’m probably less down on “sales” techniques than many here, but there is a difference between viewing someone as a prospect or a potential customer. The words are just semantics but it is the underlying philosophy that matters. Most people can sense when you’re genuine anyway.

        •  @Adam | Customer Experience It’s kinda like a guy going in the bar solely for the purpose of checking out the women. they’re all the same to him: prospects to hit on. They don’t mean anything to him other than a possible fling for the night. 

        •  @Adam | Customer Experience  @KenMueller Quick tip – if you truly hate Auto DM’s you can eliminate a lot of them. I wrote a post about it a while back. Most if it comes from one company and they allow you to opt out by following these steps:

        •  @Adam | Customer Experience  @KenMueller Rule 11: Thou shalt not come onto a friend blog comment stream and drop links to your ow blog. 🙂

        •  @Sean McGinnis  @Adam | Customer Experience Interesting. I need to check that out. On the other hand, getting an Auto DM is often a nice cue to me to unfollow them….

        •  @Sean McGinnis  @KenMueller Thx Sean! Will definitely check that out.

        •  @Adam | Customer Experience  @Sean McGinnis  @KenMueller @ginidietrich I actually came over to add this exact thing.  The ultimate worst- auto dm-ing me an “invite” to like you on fb…so, so SO hard not to auto-unfollow… Thanks for your post Sean! I am going to use your auto-reply! 

        •  @Sean McGinnis  @Adam | Customer Experience  @KenMueller HAHAHAHA. Sean. LOL. Also, wouldn’t that be “Pro tip?” Just helping you with consistency.  

        •  @Lisa Gerber  @Adam | Customer Experience  @KenMueller I prefer not to tout my own blog posts as “PRO TIP’s”  😉

        •  @RebeccaTodd  @Adam | Customer Experience  @Sean McGinnis  @KenMueller  @ginidietrich Heh. It’s been months since I’ve seen an auto DM, thank heavens. 

      • mdyoder

         @KenMueller  @Adam | Customer Experience I always tell people at my networking events to lead with a conversation and leave, when asked, with their business card. Too many people use their business card as a crutch.

    • yvettepistorio

       @Adam | Customer Experience I violate #2 regularly but it is people I know. If I’ve only “talked” to them online a few times, I’ll write a message.
      And amen to #9!!!

      • magriebler

         @yvettepistorio  @Adam | Customer Experience I’ve seen the light with #2 and now I feel all superior and braggy about sending personalized invites.

        • yvettepistorio

           @magriebler  @Adam | Customer Experience Lol, Brag away!!

      •  @yvettepistorio  @Adam | Customer Experience I do the same with #2, but again only with people I know pretty well. 

    • N6LauraBean

       @Adam | Customer Experience 

    • N6LauraBean

       @Adam | Customer Experience I get so many auto DMs these days that I think I could occasionally be guilty of ignoring legitimate messages that people have taken the trouble to write to me on the assumption they are just spam.  I genuinely believe that these sort of messages have eradicated the value of this function on Twitter. 
      The only time I ever use DM on Twitter is to expand a connection (over 140 characters) by giving / receiving someone’s email address.

  • 11. Thou halt not pretend thou art my friend.

  • magriebler

    13. (I think we’re at 13.) Thou shalt not promote a blatant sales pitch as a webinar.
    Call it what it is, people. If I like what you have to offer in your little online event, I’ll learn more about you and your products. If you set me up … not so much.

    •  @magriebler And the same goes for speaking engagements. None of us want to be sold. If you give me really valuable content, I’ll check out your business.

      •  @ginidietrich  @magriebler @Lisa Gerber Well I’m going to see a speaker next month and she sure as hell better not be selling stuff…

        •  @barrettrossie  @Lisa Gerber Oh she’s totally full of hot air!

        •  @ginidietrich  @barrettrossie HAHAHAHA! I’ve got the hard sell all ready. The whole thing is about me and why you should like me on Facebook. 

        •  @Lisa Gerber  @ginidietrich Just so you know… I’m in a buyin’ mood and I’m bringin’ my checkbook. 

        •  @barrettrossie  @ginidietrich Actually, I’m very excited to meet you in person! Please save time afterwards! I did not realize you are in Spokane. That way, you can hand me the check personally. It’s G-E-R-B-E-R.

  • BKneuer

    @dariasteigman Re: Monday / Pats 🙁

    • dariasteigman

      @BKneuer Ha ha. You can blame Bobby V for the field goal. 🙂 I figured it was either Carpenters or this one (

      • BKneuer

        @dariasteigman You read my mind (or my earlier tweets) 🙂 Trying to stay a bit more upbeat…

  • I like this list.  For #2 I would say another thing I have noticed lately is people sending LinkedIn requests with the message that says something along the lines of “we are looking for custom programmers or would like to talk to you about our upcoming project where we need custom development”. Then after connecting we NEVER hear from them again, even after I reach out to further the connection.

    •  @sydcon_mktg Those spammers are getting tricky! That’s what it sounds like to me. I’d delete them out of my contact list!

  • sherrilynne

    RT @ginidietrich: The 10 Commandments of Online Etiquette via @spinsucks

  •  @ginidietrich Okay, so as to #2 I have a question. I get a ton of these, yes. I simply ignore them mostly. But, aren’t they just asking to get to know you? How else should they do it?

    •  @Carmelo A personalized invite…how we know one another or why you think we should connect. If it’s a blanket invite and I don’t remember meeting you at some point, I’m going to ignore you.

      •  @ginidietrich Yeah, I would agree. I guess since I haven’t used really started using Linked in I am not aware of the options you have. It seems to me, however, that the way they set up some of these social media sites is designed to promote themselves and it’s often dehumanizing. 
        The “normal” social graces we used to live by begin to vanish. Hence the need for your “10 Commandments.” But, as I think about it now … I guess mankind has needed 10 Commandments at least once before, huh? 😉

        •  @Carmelo LOL!! Yes…I guess we have needed them at least once before. Hilarious.

  • John_Trader1

    It’s a shame that we have gotten to the point where we need a list like this, but good info nonetheless. I hate it when people confuse minor online interactions with an interest or desire to consume another person’s content. The funny thing is that often times taking this approach damages you more than it helps you so why even do it in the first place? What ever happened to a little hard work and elbow grease to build up your content distribution lists?
    For #2 – is it ok to include that language as long as you preface it with a little personal note? If so, maybe we can tweak the language of this suggestion to say:
    “Thou shalt not send a LinkedIn invite that ONLY says, “I’d like to add you to my professional network.”

    •  @John_Trader1 If you’re going to go to the trouble of creating a customized invite, why not just delete the verbiage LinkedIn provides?

      • John_Trader1

         @ginidietrich Don’t disagree with that but also don’t see the problem with leaving it if you do customize the message. Is it so universally known to be the default language that it will turn someone off if they read your personalized message and see that at the end? It would be an interesting test to see if it does.

        •  @John_Trader1 Nah … I don’t care if someone does that. I was just playing Devil’s advocate. 🙂

        •  @ginidietrich  @John_Trader1 Because THAT’S so out of character for you. 😉 

        •  @jasonkonopinski  @John_Trader1 Zip it.

        •  @ginidietrich  @John_Trader1 Zip it good?

        •  @jasonkonopinski  @John_Trader1 Zip it real good!

        •  @John_Trader1  @ginidietrich Hmmmn, A/B split testing for Linkedin invites?

  • This one might fall into another list … but! Don’t you hate it when a marketer/blogger says: “I have another webinar for you with my good friend So-and-So! Is everyone their good friend?? I mean EVERYone??? Then you attend the webinar and its obvious they didn’t really know that person from Adam. Just so disingenuous. 
    But, of course, I WOULD like to let you all know that I’m interviewing my close buddy Donald Trump next week and would love for you all to attend. And thanks to Gini, I’ve got you all on my list. I’ll DM and email you soon with the details so “white list” me and watch out for the tweets. 😉

    •  @Carmelo HAHAHAHAHAHA! You made me laugh out loud. Literally. 

  • The reason we do it is because it’s from us; obviously it’s going to stand-out from everybody else and it’s like a badge of honor to be included on our list……..
    I don’t think those ‘unsubscribe’ buttons really work. I get so much BS I have no idea where it comes from and I know a lot keeps coming from the same place. I also hate the ones I have to manually put my e-mail address back in to unsubscribe…………..sumbich…………
    Good list; it’s hard enough for me to open something from our insurance companies because I already receive so much; if it’s random……………see ya……………
    Thanks for sharing; take care of that teacher’s strike, will ya?

    •  @bdorman264 We just had this conversation on my FB wall. If you have to put in your email address to unsubscribe, they’re feeding for new email addresses to spam. So don’t do it! The ones that are real don’t require you to input your email address.

  • sherrilynne

    @shah_meghna tx!

  • irishis98

    Though shalt not ever send something without an opt out, I see this one too.

    •  @irishis98 OMG! Yes, you’re right. Those drive me crazy. And you know who are the worst offenders? PR pros.

  • I see a lot of responses referring to #2, and I’d like to hear how people handle what I see to be a little dilemma.
    First, I don’t fire ff those “I’d like to add you” requests. I usually have found someone I’d like to connect with, and/or see that they’re connected to someone I know, I make a reference to that BUT…here’s the catch.You go to the place on LinkedIn that asks how you “know” them, but you’ve basically clicked on their LinkedIn button on their website, or some such. Now, you have to know their email address in order to not have to give a blood sample to connect, and often…no email address to be found. And if found, it’s after checking every single platform you can think of to discover it.
    I usually just bug out at this point, because if we’ve put the “connect with me on LinkedIn” button on our site, get to the blood-test-and-firstborn verification on LInkedIN, can’t find an email, it’s just not worth the trouble.
    What am I missing here? Cheers! Kaarina

    • mdyoder

       @KDillabough You actually have several options. One of the benefits of joining groups is that you can communicate with other group members. So, you may want to check and see if you and the person with whom you’re trying to connect share any common groups. The other way you can connect is by using InMail. It’s LinkedIn’s version of email. If you upgrade to a paid LinkedIn account, you get at least three included each month. You may also purchase InMail on an ala carte basis at $10 each. That may seem a bit expensive, but it does come with a guarantee. If you don’t receive a response within seven days, you get it back to use over.

    •  @KDillabough What @mdyoder said. A lot of times you will share a common group. And I have no problem with people connecting to me who I don’t already know. What I hate is when you don’t tell me how we know one another or why we should connect.

  • LeighBordelon

    Thou shalt not invite me to your local IRL event when I live 2500 miles away.

    •  @LeighBordelon SERIOUSLY! That one drives me crazy, too! Uh…I’d love to attend, but it’s tomorrow night and I live 2500 miles away!

      •  @ginidietrich  @LeighBordelon I’ve “de-friended” people over this. 

  • kelly_ahern

    So much #truth here –> RT @ginidietrich: The 10 Commandments of Online Etiquette via @spinsucks

  • Thou shalt not spam me with the same intro letter every single time just because you have my email.
    Thou shalt not auto-check me in to groups thou thinkest are prefect for me.

  • jeffespo

    @ginidietrich Am I on that post?

    • ginidietrich

      @jeffespo Of course you’re not on the bad online etiquette post!

      • jeffespo

        @ginidietrich damn it

        • StaceyHood

          @jeffespo @ginidietrich Yeah, Gini, Damn it. (wait, what happened?)

      • jeffespo

        @ginidietrich but good post

  • I knew this was going to be good as soon as I saw 10 commandments! I’m surprised that #2 is as high as it is because A.) on mobile, when you click “add connection” on the people you may know page, it just sends it w/out ability to edit invite. B.) I’ve only received a half dozen invites saying something else.

    Other than that, we’re in complete lock-step. I’d add “do not refer to yourself as an expert or guru (especially if you’re not)” because other people should be proclaiming that for you (if you really are). Also, don’t tag me in crap that either promotes your agenda or doesn’t actually involve me whatsoever (unless we’re friends and you think I’d find it funny).

    • mdyoder

       @SociallyGenius That’s just one of the many shortcomings of the LinkedIn mobile app. 🙂

    •  @SociallyGenius The expert/genius/guru thing is like proclaiming you’re the smartest – or prettiest – person in the room. If you have to say it, you’re clearly not.

      •  @ginidietrich  @SociallyGenius @mdyoder Add “ninjas” to that list please!!! I love the Linkedin App Cardmunch, but it doesn’t allow me to customize my invitation. Boo-urns! 

        •  @RebeccaTodd  @ginidietrich  @SociallyGenius  @mdyoder The only person I call ninja in this social/digital marketing space? Chris Penn. Because, well, HE IS. 

        •  @jasonkonopinski  Well. And me.

    •  @SociallyGenius I didn’t realize that mobile didn’t allow you the option of customizing your invite (Linkedin). I wonder if that’s an explanation for mountain of boilerplate Linkedin invites I’m getting? Seriously…huh,

  • Socialishnet

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing! @karlyeh721

    • karlyeh721

      @socialishnet no problems

  • bobbyisaacson

    @SpinSucks great list. Can very much relate. Only thing I have a hard time agreeing w/ is no using SM to promote your org from time to time?

  • KDillabough

    @TroyClaus @ginidietrich Thanks Troy:)

  • LouHoffman

    Agree template #LinkedIn invites are lame RT @ginidietrich: The 10 Commandments of #Online Etiquette

  • adoptiontweet

    @patmrhoads agreed! I find #2 pretty annoying too

    • patmrhoads

      @adoptiontweet Annoying, yes. I agree on that one (tho it happens to me all the time). But some of them are just downright wrong.

      • adoptiontweet

        @patmrhoads very true. Have a great day!

  • I so much wanted to send you a standard LinkedIn invite just now…
    So many great ideas in the comments. My favorites: @ginidietrich ‘s don’t give someone your email address when you’re “opting out,” and @Sean McGinnis ‘s technique for eliminating auto DMs.
    The worst part of auto DMs and the spam is the violation of my personal space. You send me a spam, I take a second to look at it… maybe it takes a total of a minute out of my day all told. It sucks, but no worse than a typical tv commercial. Yet it feels 10x worse. This is space I’m supposed to control, and not be subject to unwanted intrusions.  

    •  @barrettrossie  And we get enough email as it is…it’s so hard to dig through what you really need vs. what someone wants you to have.

  • FelicityFields

    @ginidietrich I would also add “or websites” to #6 (writing email newsletters all about the company and no buyer context)

  •  @ginidietrich , as you and I have discussed recently: thou shalt not leave your freakin’ common sense behind when you go online.
    And I am all over the Linkedin boilerplat invite issue! Grrrr….

  • I’m just really thankful for the DMs that warn me about all the people saying terrible stuff about me. What would I do without those? 

    •  @Lisa Gerber Let all those naughty photos fly about unchecked. Duh. 

    • magriebler

       @Lisa Gerber They’re performing a freakin’ public service!

    •  @Lisa Gerber You know, that’s a good point. There are LOTS of people saying bad things about me that I wouldn’t know about without those DMs.

  • jeffespo

    @Britopian who hasn’t though

    • Britopian

      @jeffespo I have multiple priors on many of those offenses 😉

      • jeffespo

        @Britopian I am sure that you are past the statutes of limitations on this…

  • HeidiZuhl

    A journalist recently reminded a PRSA-SF gathering: Known when to take conversations offline w/ reporters in order to avoid oversharing his/her story angle, sources, etc.

  • CydM

    @JeffSheehan @spinsucks …love the etiquette tips. Thanx.

  • ladylucas94

    @AmyVernon @ginidietrich I like that Amy though I know I’m guilty some of them ! Yikes!

  • Sometimes I envision you like the Virgin Mary (a sweet mid-western gal) who sits at the right hand of God with these commandments and lessons that deserve to be put on stone.
    But with your spice and robust flavor I really think you are more like a tangy  Bloody Mary, easily stirred by the stalk of social media, salty around the edge, pleasantly setting our heads in a spin and easy to swallow. And yes, we always want another. 

    •  @annelizhannan Yeah…I’d say your second paragraph is more accurate. I am not sweet or without flaw. I’m waaaaaay too cynical. But the Bloody Mary analogy? I like it!

  • Leon

    G’Day Gini,
    And….. “thou shalt shake in your shoes and bubble in your boots if  Gini D catches you  breaking one of these commandments. Love the list
    Have more fun.
    Best Wishes

    •  @Leon thank you for the comment. We just added you to the @ginidietrich candle of the month club newsletter. This months candle is a lemon verbania soy tapered candle. It will be shipped and billed to you unless you opt out. If you opt out @belllindsay will hand deliver a case and extract payment from you at that time. Thank you for your comment.

      • Leon

         @HowieG  @ginidietrich  @belllindsay 
        I’m just so flattered to have attracted you attention; not only flattered—-really honoured. Really! But I’d prefer my candle to have eucalyptus regnans aroma. I’m sure that you can arrange that. You could even write a post about ungrateful Aussie curmudgeons who peer intensely into the mouths of gifthorses.
        I’ve often wondered what an “AHA” moment was really like. Now I know. 
        I’m quite overcome. I also have a 12th Commandment “Thou shalt arrange Howie to respond to your blog comments”
        Thankyou, Thankyou

      • belllindsay

         @HowieG  @Leon  @ginidietrich And you don’t want *me* extracting anything from you. Just sayin’. #payup

      •  @HowieG  Seriously, how do you come up with this stuff?

        •  @ginidietrich your blog post comments inspire me to be the ‘valued added’ art of your blog. Think of those infomercials that say ‘and that’s not all!’

    •  @Leon Thou shall have fun!

  • When you get pissed watch out.
    The big thing I have an issue with is push content on social. It is OK to include some in your social media content. But if you aren’t going to talk WITH me see ya,
    As for email stuff I have blogged that we get so much it is all spam. We signed up for most of it bit we get so much it looks like spam. So you had better stand out from the crowd.
    But number 7 hehehehe

    •  @HowieG I wasn’t even mad when I wrote this one. I haven’t been on my soapbox in a long while!

  • Thou shalt not share with unclear motivations.

    •  @Tinu Thou shalt not expect shares without something in return.

  • rdopping

    Crap! As a casual blogger this list is daunting. I am sure I have violated some of these in some way. Live and learn. So, uh, thanks.
    No. 8 is a big, big deal because I have more that 250 twitter followers now so I have to start to watch what I do…..;-)

    •  @rdopping I’m pretty sure the only thing you’ve violated is teasing me incessantly on Facebook.

      • rdopping

         @ginidietrich I will back off……a little.

  • Britopian

    @ant0ineh me too. several … : )

  • ginidietrich

    @geoffreiner Gross. I’m a vegetarian

  • LeighBordelon

    Thou shalt not ask me to “like” your page when it’s BLANK. 

    •  @LeighBordelon Ug! Yes! I just had that happen today!

  • Excellent! A few of my pet peeves:
    1.) if you do add me to your e-mail list, don’t just have somewhere for me to unsubscribe, make it easy for me to change the e-mail address that you send to (so I can get your newsletter out of my primary business e-mail address and into the secondary one set up to receive newsletters, etc.).
    2.) If you send me a LinkedIn connection and we share a group, use that as your introduction, don’t say you’re my “friend” when I don’t actually know you.
    3.) If you want me to respect you as an online, marketing expert, do not have an AOL contact e-mail address.

    •  @write4unj HHAHAHAHAH on the AOL email address! It’s so easy to have a professional address, even if it connects to Gmail. I’m with you.

  • NeRoyMartin

    @shonali good stuff!

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  • Yes, Yes, Yes.
    I get frustrated with clients that do not understand that you cannot add people to lists without permission. I had to bring this one up with one recently. I finally got them to move their list to Mail Chimp where it is easy to set up the opt-in method for new subscribers. Which is converting a heck of a lot better.

    •  @susansilver Isn’t it amazing? That conversion thing? We’re having to not only train on the new ways of doing things, but untrain the old way of thinking.

  • dokker_miami

    @kyleplacy @ginidietrich It’s all about being relevant and creating a relationship based on trust. Trusting the source is key. #expertise

  • OasisEventsIndy

    @kyleplacy Everyone who ever uses the internet needs to read this!

  • ginidietrich

    @ShakirahDawud Or red!

    • ShakirahDawud

      @ginidietrich I know, right? Let’s plug all the loopholes…

      • ginidietrich

        @ShakirahDawud The other soapbox I’m on that you will appreciate is the writing one. Freaking learn how to write for business!

        • ShakirahDawud

          @ginidietrich Tell it!

  • How many more you want? NO seriously? How many?!
    – Thou shalt not auto-DM. Ever.- Thou shalt not pretend an announcement for a book tour or webinar is ‘content.’ 
    – Thou shalt say NO to popups.
    – Thou shalt not speak of ‘social’ and engagement whilst never leaving your own blog, ignoring the unwashed masses who don’t have the *gack* Klout.
    – Thou shalt not play hashtag bingo with tweets.
    Damn, wish I’d seen this sooner, I coulda added so, so many more. FWIW.

    •  @3HatsComm Ohhhhh….I particularly like the last one. I’d add don’t play bingo with your @ replies either.

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    Festival Raja Ampat 2012, Waisai, 18-21 Oktober 2012 @TourRajaAmpat @FortuneID @spinsucks #rajaampat

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  • I’m confused about these older posts being reposted — I’m sure I missed the memo about this? But I have a story. 
    A conference planner emailed me, saying she noticed I attended a recent conference on employee engagement and perhaps I’d be interested in registering for this other conference on employee engagement.
    I politely replied that I wasn’t attending, but speaking, at that conference, it was really well received, and her audience might like to see me on their agenda as well.
    No reply, but I was added to the company’s email marketing list urging me to register for that and other future conferences.

  • I love this post but curious about number 5. Because this goes beyond business. Without the major media outlets monitoring feeds social media’s reach would be crippled. Think of the recent Taylor Swift/Nicki Minaj blow up. Without the press running with it no one would ever know it happened. And I think its ok to use the feeds as news dissemination channels channels if done properly. BUT if you do you also can’t be upset people aren’t responding and sharing your content. And you shouldn’t have the same stuff to share all day (I hate that and quite a few major brands do this). 

    I am curious what you mean by this point. Isn’t news content and don’t some people want news, like investors, uber fans etc? And while you posting this blog post as content isn’t news…isn’t posting an upcoming event news (like a webinar). Just curious what you mean by this because no one ever goes to the press/news modules on websites especially consumers.

  • I violate a variation of Commandment Five: I use Twitter to share posts and articles from others, as well as my blog, but I don’t really engage there, beyond a “TU for the RT and Fav,”  I don’t go to Twitter regularly and share the tweets and links of those I follow, and I should! #TrueConfessions

  • RobBiesenbach So did you register for those other conferences? 🙂

  • 3HatsComm If people who sent auto-DM knew the feelings that they raise in most recipients, they’d stop sending them. Maybe we need an auto-DM that says “Thanks for your insincere auto-DM.  I’m now unfollowing you. Have a really super-terrific day!”

  • RobBiesenbach I just unfollowed Jeff Bullas and muted him on Twitter. Most of the posts he shares are over a year old sometimes 3 years old and they are old ideas that today you can toss out the window. ginidietrich wrote once about creating timeless content and if it is timeless I am ok with the repost. The problem is usually timeless content is truly timeless…meaning you can find it going back hundreds of years as timeless. For example if I write a post about why customer service is important. I bet I can find something from the 1940s about that.

  • Howie Goldfarb ginidietrich I’ve got no problem with it, and it is timeless. Just curious about the strategy. I see a new SpinSucks post in my feed, follow the link and there are already 150+ comments! Then I see it was an earlier post, but dated today?
    Anyway, I agree about timelessness. Someone in an online discussion once proclaimed that she doesn’t ready any business books that are more than a year old. Really? REALLY?

  • KensViews I am also bad with Twitter. I even have my feed broken down into lists and I STILL don’t go there often to read/share. It just doesn’t “work” for me the way Facebook and RSS feeds do.

  • KensViews No, but an ad for a PR Writing Summit just got served up to me in the banner of another site.

  • RobBiesenbach OMG. What is wrong with people!? Seriously. There is a book out that talks about doing this. It has terrible reviews, but executives buy it and read it and then tell their teams to do this. It makes me crazy.
    As for the older posts, I’m testing something because summer is slow and I want to see if my gut is right. 🙂

  • Howie Goldfarb You know how LOTS of brands use it only as their newsfeed? They don’t engage. They don’t respond. They don’t share other information. That’s what I mean.

  • RobBiesenbach KensViews To be fair, Twitter isn’t what it used to be. Facebook has become better for getting information and news. The marketers ruined it…just like they’ve ruined food trucks by introducing an Olive Garden one!

  • 3HatsComm I completely agree about the auto-DM. Don’t do it! I would add Thou shalt not send the exact same message to multiple people on Twitter in separate tweets. Your entire feed should not look the same.

  • RobBiesenbach Howie Goldfarb To be fair, I updated the heck out of this post. It’s similar to the one in 2012, but not the same.

  • ginidietrich Ridiculous! Not to mention that Seth Godin introduced the well-known concept of permission marketing 15 years ago!

  • RobBiesenbach How nice!!!
    It´s sooo annoying when you take the time to respond and people don´t have the common sense (I wanted to say education) to say: “Thank you, but…”

  • Corina Manea This is the worst. Marketers try to sell me all the time on media software and I politely explain that I don’t do that kind of PR and then NOTHING. No apology, no acknowledgment, no reply at all.

  • Ugh!

  • AbbieF

    And when I’m feeling particularly feisty, I will respond to the email and see what happens. Inevitably, no follow-up response.  If you took the time to send me something and I actually respond, wouldn’t it be advisable to then engage with me?

  • danielschiller

    ginidietrich RobBiesenbach KensViews If only there was more brand <3. Olive Garden on wheels — who knew. There’s a brand manager somewhere detailing that “innovation.”

  • ginidietrich RobBiesenbach KensViews twitter has really three uses today. 2 are like eh. And 1 is why it is the most powerful network out there. The first two are customer service. If you are responsive it works for simple questions/faqs etc. The second is the mass media monitors it so celebs, sports stars etc don’t need to hold press conferences though the media is much less likely to pick up and share business news. The 3rd is it is still the only real conversation platform where you can call out anyone with an account and talk with them. Brands can’t do that on facebook and instagram you can but it is weak since most businesses aren’t as active there. But for professionals you can talk to anyone and that is power.

  • ginidietrich yes I agree and I have blogged and ranted on that point.

  • danielschiller ginidietrich RobBiesenbach KensViews here is the power of twitter.

    Both Devils then Maple Leafs tweet news…and blam the media runs with it. But this only works for sports, celebs, and politics.

  • On the LinkedIn, I wish there was some additional option when sending a request. For example, if someone is featured in the Inquisition and they provide their social media profiles, knowing that we readers will be encouraged to connect with them, I kind of figure by virtue of agreeing to be featured, and providing the profile info, they are open to us connecting with them. If it’s a FB personal page, I don’t always connect, especially if I have had very little interaction with them. But LinkedIn seems logical — we’re all here to talk about communications & learn from one another. But it’s artificial to just go with “I’d like to add you to my professional network” and there isn’t really another category that works (except for the one that asks for the email address) which I don’t have. I usually throw in a “connecting via Spin Sucks” but it still feels odd. Long way of saying: what do you recommend instead ….. customizing? Or getting to know them via other channels first? /

  • biggreenpen I customize every LinkedIn invitation I send, even if I’m pretty sure I think the person knows who I am.  I find it tough to do so with the 300 word limit, but I find a way.

  • KensViews biggreenpen Makes sense. I just wish there were some funky in between like “I learned about you through a great blog I follow and I promise I’m not a weird stalker, just want to professionally be in touch.” 🙂

  • mercyanneg

    Gini, you’re my hero! I really dislike the spam and irrelevant information some organizations send me. Although, shamefully, I have to admit my organization is guilty of doing some of these things but we’re slowly getting to know the importance of “being human” on social media and getting away from the robotic sales voice! 
    Another commandment to add is: “Thou shall not overdue the memes and cat videos.”

  • biggreenpen  Not quite sure what you mean by “in between”.  Just click on “Send a personalized invitation” (or whatever it actually says there) and personalize away.  If you sent me a message like the one you shared above, I’d accept it!

  • mercyanneg Yes! It’s amazing. It doesn’t work in Outlook, but it does all the others.

  • AbbieF It’s crazy that that happens! I did that with a web firm that contacted me and I liked their work. Never heard from them, but I did get a second email following up on the first email. Sigh…

  • biggreenpen I always just personalize it enough so they know where I came from. It sounds like that’s what you’re doing.

  • mercyanneg

    ginidietrich mercyanneg Awesome! I’ll check it out. Thank you!

  • mercyanneg ginidietrich I also like mailstrom — not sure what it is about mailstrom that is a better fit for me than unroll but it’s been awesome.

  • ginidietrich biggreenpen KensViews yeah — I don’t think I explained my question well (and I definitely didn’t mean “The LinkedIn” as if it were “The Twitters” :-). What I mean is: yes, it is possible to personalize a request and I do that — but there’s not a good way to say ” I ran across you via social media connections we both trust.” I usually say “we did business together” and list the business connection as the fact that I am a blogger ….. but “friend” seems artificially familiar and “other” requires you to know their email address.

  • Last night I wanted to mark a LI email as spam but no, app doesn’t give you that option (like it still doesn’t let you personalize the invite). Amazing to me that platforms haven’t fixed these issues. 
    scrolling down, seeing my old comment.. yup, still true. So a la AbbieF FB comment, I must add variants of ‘walk your talk’ or ‘practice what you preach.’ FWIW.

  • 3HatsComm I’m the king of marking sell-y LI messages as such. I thought you could mark any message as “spam,” “should be in promotion” or “not appropriate”.  If they don’t offer the “spam” option, why not go for “not appropriate”….because it’s not!  (Maybe one can do so for Group postings, but not mail/messages?)

  • KensViews I did, I marked it as spam (or maybe it was solicitation?) on the web, I just don’t see that option on the mobile apps. Could be me, that I can’t find it but then, I know the apps default send the generic invite w/out giving the option. Made that mistake before, so I rarely use LI on my phone or iPad for that reason.