7 Ways Self Promotion Hurts Yourself on Social Media

Woman sitting alone and looking at the water


Many website owners and marketers still assume that self promotion is the best way to gain links and exposure on social media.

You just dump your content on a social site and “done”. Most social media experts will disagree though.

There are at least 7 ways self promotion hurts you on social media even if there is some exposure gained. Getting links from social media works differently anyways.

1. When you share your content yourself nobody else can discover it
I often encounter this mistake where webmasters with no authority at all share their posts to niche communities.

Even on large social networking services you actually tell the algorithm that your content sucks when all that happens first is futile self-promotion with zero ensuing engagement.

They literally waste them due to their low status on social sites. Whereas I could get plenty of engagement due to my established user status.

2. Legit users don’t like you
When you share your own stuff you rarely will submit the best content so other people will view you as a selfish person.

When you are sharing low quality content just because it’s yours people don’t trust you in the future. You end up being trusted less than a completely new user.

3. Admins and moderators watch you closely
After several self submissions in a row your domain might get banned on niche communities as it will be viewed as spam.

Why? Due to the excessive self promotion. Some more disgruntled users will vote you down, report you or even bully you for that.

4. You won’t make many friends either
People you submit content of tend to befriend, like and remember you. After a while these people start submitting your stuff too naturally.

There is no vote exchange needed. When you share only your own stuff nobody will notice you and share your posts.

5. You can’t judge what works where
Social media power users know what works where, how and why. They now what people visit a platform and how a piece of content must be presented to become popular.

You don’t know. You don’t know unless you become a power user yourself, you can’t just by promoting your own content. Catch 22.

6. You gain no authority over time and throughout different social media sites
My contributions on some social sites made me so well known on social media in general that I get recognized at other sites too.

Even without a network of friends people vote for me because they trust me (and read my shares in the first place).

This works the other way as well. You might change your user name but you can’t change your website URL too often.

Some people will recognize you because they know you from elsewhere and vote you either up, down or ignore you depending on your reputation.

7. I’ll ignore you
Many people assume that just because I do SEO and they have a crappy SEO site I have to befriend and like them.

When you display solely selfish behavior by promoting your own crappy sites over and over I will ignore you or even report you as spam in some more serious cases. It works the other way too.

When I see a new user who contributes great content from day one I will eagerly check him out an visit his site. There I will pick up some good content and share it myself.

In SEO 2.0 we frown upon self promotion anyway as it reminds us of the dark ages of SEO 1.0 and low quality mass submission to social sites. SEO 2.0 works without self promotion.

It’s not selfish media, it’s social media, so you fail when you’re selfish.

You can only succeed being social, whether you want to succeed for a cause, out of ambition or for marketing purposes.

Self submission is almost as bad as blog suicide and one of the main reasons old school SEOs fail on social media.

* Creative Commons image by Lee Haywood