Are You a Human Commercial? 7

Do your friends all cringe when they see your profile icon on their screens?

It seems odd to need to point it out, but authenticity isn’t easily attributed. It’s generally earned. So why do people out there still push their cause or products as if they’re making a hard-sell tv commercial?

Example 1: The Preacher

“Hello all my Facebook friends! I’m eager to testify to [insert religious higher power here]…”

Example 2:  The Pusher

“If you haven’t signed up for my free tax class to help you become my valued asset in my biz, wll then what’s the hold up?!!”

You have friends like this on Facebook, don’t you? Sure you do. Relatives and former chums do it all the time. We all probably have made such faux pas moves in social media before, but do we have to keep repeating our mistakes?

I recommend the following reality-check for anyone who’s never seen their social mirror-image before:

1) Log OUT of the social media platform you are using like nobody’s business

2) Create a separate new anonymous account on same afore-mentioned platform and make the two profiles friends

3) go look up your main profile from the new test profile and watch how you look on the screen.

OMG moment? Rethink how you’re spreading your ideas on social media platforms, especially to your inner circle of family, friends and casual acquaintances. The results could shock you into getting social etiquette religion.

The ad space is an accepted “necessary evil” in media. People don’t have a strictly negative experience with it. Advertisements educate people on new technologies and products with the given caveat that someone is, of course, trying to sell them something. Word of mouth in social media context means liking and retweeting, showing off the product in uploaded videos and snapshots, not giving testimonials that look as fake as any on a paid TV spot and make friends and family cringe. Affiliate relationships likewise require the right context. On a site about business or marketing, like this one, ads make sense for the B2B crowd. On a personal page on Facebook or Twitter? Not so much.


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About Mark Brimm

Mark Brimm is President of, the Founder of, and runs a personal blog on social media, marketing and entrepreneurship at He also runs a blog on SEO & SEM at