The Ps and Qs of Social Intercourse

Uncategorized Apr 21, 2020

If there is any upside to lockdown it has to be that it gives us the time and opportunity to reach out to people online and to make new and valuable business connections but because we are doing this remotely there is perhaps a temptation to leave out some of the social niceties we would adopt if we were approaching people offline.  This is a huge mistake.


Social media works because it is primarily social – people do business with each other when common interests line up and when a level of trust is established.  To get the best results from Social Media connections we need to make friends with our new contacts so lets look at how we would do this socially because the same rules should apply.


Imagine you are at a party (think Facebook Group) and you see someone you would like to connect with.  How do you start the conversation ?  In a social situation you would introduce yourself and then encourage your potential friend to tell you a bit about themselves.  You might comment on a topic that you know is of interest to them or you might share something that you think they will find valuable.  It would also help if you acknowledged something that you liked about them or their work.  What you wouldn’t do is tap them on the shoulder, tell them what you are selling and ask them to buy your products or promote your story to their friends.   Here are a few other things that you definitely shouldn’t do if you want to build a business relationship.


  1. Do not join a group and without any introduction immediately try and promote your own group or products.   That is the equivalent of going to someone’s party and telling all the guests to leave and go to your party instead.   If you want to promote a group that you feel your host’s following will be interested in then introduce yourself to the group,  show interest in what others on the group are doing and build a relationship with your host. Once you have done that you can  then email or message them privately and ask permission to share.  Most group owners want to offer value to their group but are fiercely possessive about their audiences which in some cases took many years to build.   It is good manners to give them the opportunity to check out what you are offering and to decide for themselves whether they feel their group will profit from your offer.  This is particularly important if you are sharing anything that relates to marketing!  Your content might be great but if your approach is wrong you will immediately lose all credibility.
  2. Do not invite someone to be your friend and then immediately ask them to like your page /group.   Introduce yourself and take some time to build a  relationship first.
  3. Never bad mouth your competition in any way .  It’s a hugely unattractive thing to do.
  4. If someone refuses to promote you do not take it personally.  Give it some time and then go back to them with something you feel might help them rather than help you. 


The bottom line is that we all want to make connections and build our audiences.  Creating affiliations with others who are more established than us is a brilliant way to build our own audiences but we should never forget that we are talking to human beings and we shouldn’t do anything online that we wouldn’t do offline.


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