Thursday, October 28, 2010

Social Media, Not Intrusive Media

Q: When does a "foot in the door" become a "foot in your mouth?"

A: When you fail to take into account the relationship between you and the other person.

There is a kind of person who can't stop themselves from pitching their business to everyone they meet. You've met them, the person on the train who strikes up conversation and ends up handing you their business card for custom candies with your logo on them.

On LinkedIn you encounter them in the Groups and in the Answers. Not the folks who answer a question with their elevator pitch no...the really smart ones ask a question and when you answer them, they thank you with their pitch in your Inbox. "what can I do for you?" they ask in their email and you think
"What? Nothing. You were asking me for help."

You see them on Twitter all the time. "Hey," shows up in your Mentions, "We have some product that was tangentially related to a conversation you had that we didn't actually read, so how can we help you?" (In a recent case I know they hadn't read the conversation because it was about how much I *disliked* the thing they were trying to sell me.)

And on Facebook, you "Like" a business or person and the next thing you know, you're pounded with invites to Pages, Causes, Specials and Events. Um, I "like" your sandwiches, I don't feel the need to donate to your charities, attend your events and vote Sandwichian. Thanks though.

You know that one uncle? The one who - no matter what the conversation - always brings it back to whatever obnoxious topic he rants on about? (It's always an uncle and we all have them....) How everyone in the family has a ten-minute tolerance and you all would just let it drop, but one person *always* has to get into a fight with him? You're sitting there trying to eat Thanksgiving dinner and you sigh and wish they wouldn't be so intrusive about it. When you bomb everyone you meet with the pitch, that's what you've become. Intrusive.

Are you using Social Media...or Intrusive Media? Do you treat every follow as a pitch opportunity, every person who answers a question as a new contact to add to your mailing list?

No one wants a constant stream of untargeted marketing ringing their doorbell, filling their mailboxes, or clogging up their inbox. A handshake isn't a marriage proposal.

Don't Be Intrusive. Keep it Social.
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