5 Problems with Social Networking

5 Problems with Social Networking

So many people are on social networking today. Be it Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube. It is a huge part of our lifestyle now. Business people, salespeople and insurance agents all know the potential of finding business using social networking, but almost everyone does it wrong. Here are 5  problems using social networking to help build a business.

  • Social Networking not being social. No one gets on social media just to read advertising. Would you walk into the neighborhood block party with your friends and their friends, gather everyone around and start presenting your new product portfolio before having your first hotdog? Of course not, so why would you start spewing on Facebook with how great you and your products are on a social page? The key word here is “social”. Why is it that some people think the “social” aspect doesn’t apply just because it’s on a computer? You need to be as creative online as you would be at a party. No one wants to be “that guy or gal” that everyone turns and runs when they see you coming thinking you just want to sell me something.


  •  Social Networking is not about your business. Sorry for the huge shock wave of truth. People get on social media to catch up with their friends, coworkers, acquaintances and connections. They are interested in new babies, vacations, new opportunities, other opinions and solving problems. If your post does not do one of these types of things then go walk and talk for business, it will be more productive. There are a lot of sales people and insurance agents that have huge success posting on social media but we all took the time to learn what to do. Be creative and clever by telling stories, not selling product or a service.



  • Social Networking is not about complaining. Those that are strong people and potential customers see complaining as a weakness. Complainers are seen as weak people not capable of solving their own problems. Complaining in most cases is just whining as an adult. These complainers are not looking for a solution, because they “just need to vent”. They accept their situation as hopeless or status quo, instead of working to change the situation and making it into a positive one, or at least change to a positive attitude about their situation. Does this sound like someone you would want to buy a product or service? Probably not, the complaint department should be officially closed.



  • Social Networking should not include religion or politics. If you want to sell a product or service, you need to understand money is green. Everyone’s money spends regardless of color, creed, religion or political party. Never, I mean never, discuss these things on social media. People will get offended fast and the only loser will be you. The old quote applies here, “opinions are like…” you know the rest, and “everyone else’s stinks”. Avoid your two cents on any of these subjects



  • Social Networking is about others. Every post on social media can’t be just about you. Use the same manners your mamma taught you growing up. First, be nice and polite. Compliment a posting or picture of another friend. Post something that causes people to respond, in other words, you want to be noticed, just like you’re at a party. If you have no idea where to start, read postings of people who have lots of comments. They are being noticed. What are they talking about that gets them noticed? Second be relevant or in other words helpful. If you are an expert at insurance, talk about a helpful tip, not sell something. Remember you are trying to be noticed. Give to others as well.


Try to avoid these problems and you will see an increase in your business coming from your social networking efforts. Happy networking!

“Social media is the ultimate equalizer. It gives a voice and a platform to anyone willing to engage”.— Amy Jo Martin

Image by Stuart Miles at www.freedigitalphotos.net


Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, grandfather of 1, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, employee benefit specialist, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger, author and team leader with over 29 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.

17 Responses to 5 Problems with Social Networking

  • Thanks Tim – Things for people to remember!

  • Thank you Phil, hope you are doing well my friend

  • Nice

  • Good read!

  • Even though this is short, it brings up a lot of good thinking around social media. (and, as I’m thinking about the article, luckily my brain kicked into gear and I told myself “I need to be social, so start typing!”). They mentioned social gatherings and that people get together to be social, not tell each other about their great products, which is true. They forget that in a social gathering there is always advertising (like signs on the wall where you are, or the ‘Nike’ T-shirt your buddy is wearing. Advertising is still there. But, it’s a small fraction of the whole picture. I’d suggest that social media will be successful if people can keep the social aspect at a high ratio as compared to the advertising. 80% social/20% advertising, something like that. Once it reaches 80% advertising, 20% social, then it’s failing.

    • William, that is an excellent point about subtle advertising being literally every where. Thank you for sharing that point. I do agree with your 80/20% premise as well.

  • How right that sentence is:
    People get on social media to catch up with their friends, coworkers, acquaintances and connections. They are interested in new babies, vacations, new opportunities, other opinions and solving problems. If your post does not do one of these types of things then go walk and talk for business

  • I agree-as usual- dear Tim Wilhoit. Prospecting process should never sound intrusive particularly when someone accepts ur invitation to connect that doesn’t mean ” ok, what is it u want to sell?” Or ” I’m ready to sign … Pls show me where!”… Anyways.

  • We live in a world where technology has changed the way people communicate, the way they are informed and how they do business. Traditional social networks have expanded from a few dozen acquaintances to hundreds of friends, friends of friends, connections and followers. We live in a world where people would rather communicate by sending a text message from their mobile phone, post comments on their favorite online network or send a short Tweet to inform all their friends that they have just got out of bed or they are out to dinner.

  • Lynn, very true. Makes you wonder where this will actually end doesn’t it?

  • Great!

  • Great reminder. And way to use social media as it should be!! It made the time spent reading, worthwhile.

  • Interesting post. Thanks.

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