Now you may or may not have dated recently, but we all have had experience with someone who comes on too strongly or is self-centered. Let’s say you are at a bar and someone approaches you with the following:
I’m new in town. Can you give me directions to your place? I can drive us there in my hot new bmw.
Even delivered as a joke, statements like that will probably put you in a negative frame of mind towards deliverer. What if, instead, they said something like:
Hi. How are you doing today?
Polite and seems interested in someone other than themselves. The difference between two alternatives seems pretty obvious, but we see similar approaches in social networking (or even regular networking). Here’s some comments I’ve gotten on various social networking sites:
Great to see you here! I invite you to stop by my profile, sign my guestbook and check out my blogs! and while you’re there please add me to your list of friends 🙂 I look forward to networking with you.
I’m not trying to sell you anything, but here are my areas of expertise: ____, ____, ____
I don’t know about you, but those types of introductions are real turn offs. Information about yourself and your business should be in your profile. If someone wants more information about what you do, they’ll look it up. If you want to explore the network to find connections, don’t carpet bomb the place with what are essentially advertisements. Take a few minutes to find people who might make a good connection and leave a more personal comment asking about their business, blog or website. Read discussion posts, help people out and learn more about people from what they post. If you think of social networking like dating, by being more personable and polite, I think you’ll find much more effective contacts and not annoy everyone.
Do you have any social networking horror stories you’d like to share? Please do in the comments section below.
(photo by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com @ Flickr CC)