Wondering Out Loud

Pitch alert: Abusing LinkedIn

Holy cow, but there are a boat load of groups on LinkedIn to choose from. I’ve joined 16 – some related to my industry, others related to my profession – and have, over time, figured out which have value and which have nothing to offer. In some cases the line between treasure and garbage is quite clear and I can sum it up in one word: Pitch.

Have you ever come across a discussion that opens in a fashion similar to this: “Is your business suffering from a lack of qualified leads.” If you can answer yes to this question my advice is to drop it to the bottom of the list and leave it there.

I may be daft, and am willing to admit it in some arenas, but I’m done with people using LinkedIn as a lead generation tool – recall this post from last week – and am making a point of leaving groups that tolerate it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a marketing guy and am measured on, among other things, how many leads I can drive, but there is a time and a place for everything and far too many are abusing my time time and this place.

Last week I was reading a response to a question on LinkedIn. It was well written, well argued and, just when they had me interested out came the pitch for the beta version of their new software. The only thing missing was “operators are standing by” and “order before midnight and receive a free bamboo steamer.”

Sadly, this is not unique. I had a conversation last week with a company wanting advice on how their sales team could use LinkedIn to generate leads and they were going down the bamboo steamer path. Their strategy was to look for discussions to which they could contribute and pitch their particular products as a way to solve problems. 

 I should have invoiced them for a percentage of the sales I saved them.

Here’s the upshot – read last week’s post – then raise your right hand and swear to the following:

  1. I will never pitch my product or service to anyone on LinkedIn unless they ask me to do so
  2. I will raise my hand and be heard when I find someone trying to pitch me without my permission to do so

LinkedIn is second to none in the world of  professional networking sites (Plaxo fans can complain in the comments) and it is up to those of us who use the site to keep it that way.


August 4, 2009 - Posted by | Marketing, Social Media | , , , ,


  1. Amen brother! I’ve posted a few snide remarks to those pitching but then quickly deleted them because of the futility of it all. There’s just too much of it going on.

    I’ve actually been pairing back on the large groups; I find it virtually impossible to find any decent, thoughtful threads in groups north of 1000 members.

    I am really enjoying the B2B Roundtable because it is policed so well.


    Comment by Dale Underwood - EchoQuote | August 4, 2009 | Reply

  2. I think it is important to also mark the post as SPAM by using the “Flag answer as…” feature. I posted this write up on my Twitter Linkedin resource:


    I too want to keep Linkedin of value.
    Martin Brossman

    Comment by Martin Brossman | August 5, 2009 | Reply

  3. Hear hear! I have also left some of the larger discussion groups because the gems were too few and far between. The number of pitches is starting to dilute the value of these groups. Some moderators are very diligent about slapping offenders’ wrists — I’m sure it’s a lot of work for them, but I applaud their efforts and stick it out with their groups.

    I believe the ones who allow it may soon find that their group has devolved into a nothing more than a virtual mid-way. Hopefully some of them can clean up before it’s too late.

    Thanks for the great post Mark, I enjoy your writing style also.

    – Lisa

    Comment by Lisa Pecunia | August 8, 2009 | Reply

    • Lisa,

      Thank you for the comment and the compliment. My dream is to lure all the pitchmen/pitchwomen into one group and slam the door shut.

      Comment by Mark Palony | August 8, 2009 | Reply

  4. […] social media strikeout In earlier posts I ranted against theabuse of LinkedIn by people pushing products and services and the proliferation of top 10 lists on blogs. So today […]

    Pingback by A social media strikeout « Wondering Out Loud | August 19, 2009 | Reply

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