Social Media Content Pitch #Fail! Avoiding Arrogance & How To Humbly Ping Others

Posted in Content

When does social content promotion cross the line to become spam? One bright red line is when a user arrogantly pings other users.  This post highlights content pitching worst practices and offers humility-based solutions that work.

Having just attended the vaunted #NMX conference (New Media Expo/blogworld), we were moved by how deeply magnanimous speakers and attendees were. Whether the content creator was a bootstrapping blogger or Hollywood bigwig video producer, those we met had their hands extended in true friendship…asking for nothing and offering brilliant information. NMX’s unselfish community provided stark contrast to a spammy Twitter content pitch we received today.  Our team took it as continuing inspiration to be as altruistic as possible in our social content promotion tactics.

On the flight back to Minnesota, a blogger we don’t know cluttered our Twitter @ replies feed with gratuitous self-promotion.  What? This blogger is bragging up their personal writing AND pinged @aimClear in Twitter as a tactic? Yucky! The ping was probably out of respect for aimClear’s reputation for promoting content with psychographic social distribution, hoping for some retweet love. Truly we appreciate that. Still, it’s such a good example of what not to do that we decided to share. We’ve redacted names, links and other identifiable information because we have no desire to out this person. We’re in no way passing judgement on the content which was being promoted, because we didn’t read it. arrogence

Settling down into the flight we had a closer look at the Twitter user’s profile and discovered that @aimClear was one of several folks this blogger pinged with @ replies. Moreover, this person rarely tweets or blogs and has a terrible following-to-followed ratio. There’s a more important lesson here than meets the eye.

arrogent-2 It’s rare that any blogger who extends the hand in friendship saying, “Try my product,” will be successful.  Would that work on you? Here are some tips to avoid crossing the spam-line:

  • Check your pronouns. Avoid using “me,” “my,” “I,” and other self-centered words in social posts. Instead, say “We,” “Ours” and “Us.” It’s not impressive to blow your own horn in public. Let others say you’re great, unique, deep or whatever.
  • Don’t ping other users unless there’s a darn good reason to do so.
  • If you really want to ping someone in a social channel, it’s OK to reach out via Twitter and publicly use the @ sign. However, tread lightly. It’s easy to come off as spammy. Don’t tweet, “Hey aimClear YOU are featured in my blog post about “XYZ.” Instead, excerpt a thought-provoking sentence from the blog post (or even the blog headline) and include a social cc. Publicly tweet: ‘Why boldface bragging & pinging users can land you in hot water!” cc @aimClear. This is a slippery slope.  Do a gut check. Will the user you’re pinging care? Really? Why?
  • It’s even better to send a direct message if possible to alert that particular someone you’ve targeted that you’ve got content, in private. Send a DM to a pitch target in any channel where that person follows you. If your target does not follow you in any community, try the contact form on that person’s blog. Make your message magnanimous to offset the reality the correspondence is self-promotional. Research your target and include something publicly personal to illustrate you’ve done your homework:  “Marty, I’ve been following you for years. I don’t want to be presumptuous but would be grateful for your feedback on my blog post, ‘XYZ.’ Hope you’re staying warm up there in Minnesota.” 

Keep in mind subtleties matter. One blindly arrogant sentence in a pitch email can signal a recipient the person pitching is at least in some part clueless.


NMX’s generous community provided glaring contrast to an arrogant content pitch cluttering Twitter today.  Let’s all take it as inspiration to be more selfless in our content promotion.


Header image © NinaMalyna – Fotolia










  • Trevor Schain

    Couldn’t agree more. I can’t stand when people hit you up over social media and slam a promo in your face. People need to understand success comes from a genuine and authentic one-to-one interaction with a prospect. Create a conversation and deliver value from helping someone out, not an automated reply with a link to your site/offer, etc. This is the equivalent of an unsolicited email spam, in my book 🙂

    • Marty Weintraub

      Trevor, yeah, that behavior is the exact opposite of authentic :).

  • Rick Calvert

    Thank you for the kind words about our community Marty; combined with some good advice for marketers of course.

  • Ric Dragon (@RicDrag

    Well stated, Marty. There can be a great subtlety in building trust in relationships – whether it’s a romantic OR business relationship. Jumping too soon into what is only appropriate for a later stage of a relationship – it’s as though the person is simply lacking in some fundamental human ability.


  • Sarah Young

    I totally agree.These days people are in panic and have misunderstood the whole meaning of social media participation.It’s about connecting and not to push people around with promo unless it is appropriate.I can not log in to my Skype in the morning without getting the ” Do you need anything from us today ” Content? SEO? omg.People are desperate.

  • Stephen Anderson

    So true Trevor, its all about the pronouns. You can tell exactly who is on the top of the importance list by which person is being referenced. First person pronouns = I love me – and I think you should too. Third person = let’s do something together that will benefit both of us.