Social Networking Etiquette or Please Keep Your Tongue out of my Mouth

put relationships in contextDo you want to bolster your use of Facebook as a business marketing and promotion tool? If so, take heed.

I had something happen this week that was indicative of what “not to do” when using social networking as a business tool. Let me explain the situation.

A “friend” who works local to me and in a similar space – consulting with some focus on social networking – had posted a link a couple weeks ago to an article on the topic. I had commented as had another one of their friends. Their other friend who had commented also worked as an “expert.” (isn’t everyone)

Because this second person was also local and showed a similar interest, I made a friend request. One of the things I try to do is put such relationships in context. I wrote them a separate note, explaining the connection (our mutual acquaintance) and the similar professional focus.

I didn’t really think much about that connection request. More than a week passed without this person accepting my friend request and it had dropped from my mind. Then something interesting happened. It actually happened while I was working with a business associate, Freda Ramey of MIH & Associates. I was sharing my screen with her so it provided a nice opportunity to showcase some challenges in social networking approach.

Note: We had actually been discussing “competition” and I had told Freda, and I maintain, that there is very little true competition in this space. What I mean is that many people know a bit about the technologies behind social networking but few understand key ideals. As demonstrated in this story.

While showing Freda my screen, the above friend request was accepted. Then, it rapid succession, this person invited me to 8 or 9 different pages. I found this odd. There had been no message in response to my original note. There had been no hello.. No acknowledgement about what I do or might be interested in.  Just a flurry of activity pushing pages that I knew little or nothing about and mostly had no interest in.

I explained to Freda that I felt violated.. that this person should have at least bought me a drink before trying to consummate our relationship.

It isn’t that I am against promoting the pages that you are interested in. But receiving a bunch of such request without any context or desire to truly engage me is a mistake; unfortunately, a common one.

It is built on the assumption that getting people to “Like” a page is building that page’s social media reach in any meaningful way. But “Like” rarely mean “Engaged”. Actually, they rarely mean “I even thought about it much…” – usually they mean..

“Sure, whatever, it doesn’t cost anything and only takes a click.”

Some takeaways:

  1. Think engagement, not numbers
  2. Put relationships in context to make them effective
  3. Don’t slip someone the tongue until you know they are interested.

Questions? Comments?

Posted in Blog, Coaching, Social Media.

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