Building your network via social media, don’t jump in with the hard sell

Baby eating large Melon Slice

I have started to notice a growing trend of people building connections using social media and jumping right in with a hard sell message.There is no mistaking that over time, social media channels used in the right way can bring you customers and valuable business connections. But social media is an engagement tool, it is NOT a sales tool. I have been more than irritated by a few selling and spamming messages which I have recently experienced.

Let me share with you contacts from this year alone which highlight a clumsy and rude approach via social media. After having accepted a friend request from a friend of a friend, I received this personal message:

‘I develop individuals to increase their monthly salary and start earning an extra income immediately working part time from home around their other commitments. Could I send you a 5 minute video for you to have a look at and to see if this is something that could help you bring in some more money, or free up some of your time, by working from home.’

Oh dear, this sentiment takes me back a few years, are pyramid marketing schemes making the rounds again? ...big sigh. Unfriend.

I received an invitation from a lady I had met at a business networking lunch. She opened with this charming message:

Would you like to weight? I can help individuals lose weight, give me a call if you are interested in losing few pounds... BLOCK

Don’t let me forget the business contact who once connecting with me on Facebook attempted to connect with my school friends, family, good friends and acquaintances. Uncomfortable and more than a little creepy.

The way social media works and the way we use it changes all the time. I do hope that in our ever increasing online world folks don’t forget simple manners and business etiquette. I love social media, I love having that immediate contact with friends, making new friends, building business connections and keeping in touch with old colleagues.

It has taken me years to build my connections on social media. Be sure to put the time in, there are no quick wins to making ‘friends’, real or virtual. Earn it, don't forget to be nice and the rewards will come.