Good networkers develop good habits. Sometimes, though, they forget that approaching strangers on social networks still requires the same etiquette as off-line. When they breach that etiquette, it’s called spamming.
A couple of days ago, one such marketer descended on me. Because she’d seen one of my posts on a social network, she sent me this private message:
“Hi Dannielle! Please let me start by saying no, this is not a spam email. I’m emailing you specifically bc from your postings in our ____ Group, I can see the potential and entrepreneurship in you. Do you keep your business options open? I have found a way to make an additional stream of income, as a single mom of # children, on a part time business from the comfort of my home. But if you’re interested, I’d like to speak with you. All I need is 2 minutes of your time. I promise I’m not here to waste your time or mine. Networking is one of the best ways to connect to others to see what kind of opportunities are out there. I would just like to share with you what’s been working for me. You never know what you may find or what you may be interested in. So please call me at 469-233-3832 if you’d like to hear more…thank you for your time and consideration. Stay blessed!”
Boy did my tongue hurt from biting it so hard! Yes, it is spam.
There’s only one instance I can think of when it’s acceptable to approach a stranger with that kind of proposition: calling business persons from their business card, which you’ve gotten from any source other than their giving it to you directly. In which case the “script” would be adjusted for that purpose. Otherwise, you would never do that in the off-line world until after you’ve chatted a bit to find out how (or if) you can help them.
On-line… Sending a private message to strangers on social networks is the same as sending email. So if there’s been no prior connection nor prior communication (conversation), you have to establish that connection first. Don’t forget this is a SOCIAL network. Send a connection request (or friend request) first, then break the ice before extending an invitation to look at your business.
Yes, we’re all prospecting for new business partners, but let’s try to be subtle about it. Everyone talks about attraction marketing, but they forget to be “attractive.” Sure it takes a little more time to establish a connection, but doesn’t that make one more attractive (as a potential partner)? “People may not remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.” While the language used was flattering, the tactic was not.
Or am I just completely out of touch and wrong about this? What do you think? Leave a comment below & let me know. Because I really do want to know if this is an acceptable practice.