If you’re like any other small business owner or entrepreneur you’ve done some time in the trenches doing networking and marketing. In person, online and likely both. So a LOT of people have your business card, name, email address and phone number. How many times have you found yourself added to a Facebook Group, email list or received a request from someone you’ve never even talked to?
I wonder what Emily Post and her famous Book of Etiquette would have to say about the lack of manners in our online society and specifically the networking community? When researching this article, I found the etiquette book has been republished with a more modern flare. I’ll keep you updated when my copy arrives from inter library loan. In the meantime, I thought I would enlighten you with some do’s and don’ts in the networking and online world.
Yes it’s all the craze. Yes it CAN be great for your business. NO people don’t care about what you are adding to your morning coffee. Seriously. They have better things to think about…like getting customers. If you are going to use video as part of your social media strategy I would highly suggest the following:
- Give give give…information, ideas, entertainment. Make it interesting so that people will want to watch what you have to say. Keep your thoughts short and to the point as most people are likely watching your video while they multi-task doing something else.
- Highlight these points both visually and audibly, this will help them stick in your audience’s mind.
- No one wants to watch an hour long video on toenail fungus or whatever it is you happen to be obsessed with at the moment. Short. Sweet. Valuable. Too many long winded videos and you will lose your audience, because frankly, they just don’t want to listen to you anymore. Rambling = bad. Information = good. Insta-selling = bad. Solving problems = good.
When using Facebook video or live streaming….tell your audience why they should turn the sound on as it is innately turned off unless they click on your video. Don’t give them a why and you had better be REALLY good at lip syncing.
Social Media Groups:
Just because you met someone at a networking event or at the supermarket, it does not open the door for you to begin selling or endlessly marketing to them. DO NOT add them to your social media groups without asking first. Do NOT ask them to like your social media page unless it is something of interest to them. This is the equivalent of buying someone a drink at your local bar and then asking them if they want to elope or at least consider moving in together. DON’T DO IT! I consistently tell clients the number of likes is irrelevant if not one of those people becomes a client. Work harder on providing value than on likes and people will automatically seek out more.
Reach out to all of those folks you truly think would benefit from your social media page or knowing with a personalized invitation via audio, video or messenger app or even, yes I’m going there, phone call – and ask them to be part of your community. You will know right away if they are truly interested or not and you will save your time and theirs. An extra hint, give them some reasons why being part of the community would benefit them. This DOES NOT mean that you are private messaging people to pitch your product. Relationship first. Don’t friend new acquaintances and then forget about them. It’s the equivalent of inviting someone to a party and locking them in the bathroom for the duration. Just don’t do it.
For the love of all things holy, please do not take a stack of business cards from any networking event or a list of social media “friends” and add them to your email list. First, this is a waste of time because they will likely unsubscribe immediately because it is rude and now they will never want to hear from you again. Secondly, you are wasting your time creating a list of people that are not good leads…they are people who are sending you to the junk box because they still don’t know what you do or why it matters to them.
Contact those people you spoke with or didn’t get to speak with and ask them questions about them. If you can’t work specifically together to support each other’s businesses, perhaps you know someone who could benefit from their product or service or a good power connection and vice versa. Instead of jumping to the conclusion that they want to read your prefabricated newsletter which is all about you (yes I’m making assumptions) why don’t you just ask them what problems they are having and how you can help. Don’t make assumptions. Because when you assume (you make an ass out of u and me).
Social Media Tagging:
Please don’t tag people on social media unless you acquire their permission first. It is beyond annoying because, when you are tagged as a user you then have to take time to go untag yourself to avoid being alerted when anyone comments on that post. It is frustrating and not conducive to social media etiquette. Forcefully sending people to look at a post (usually a sales pitch at that) because you have tagged the is just plain rude. Instead, see Chef’s Tip under Social Media.
Final Chefs Tip:
Before hitting publish or send ask your self these questions:
- Is this information relevant to my target market?
- Will sharing this provide education, entertainment or a reason to engage?
- Is my content interesting or thought provoking?
- Am I in alignment with my overall marketing strategy?
If the answer is no, then STOP! Reevaluate or repurpose or just hit delete.
Did I miss something? Have you experienced something that it just not classy with marketing or networking? Leave it in the comments below.