Recently I was browsing around Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. I saw someone in essence yelling “Buy My Stuff!”. Sigh… I wanted to scream that the user’s method was Not Working rather than Networking.
Clearly this violator hasn’t yet mastered the art of networking, offline or online. I’m certainly of the mindset that before you can just be self-promotional, you first need to build relationship, add value, help others, and connect with your ideal community members without an overt goal of making the sale.
In the instance of this person, I’ve watched the violations continue. It happens to be someone I connected with years ago and have followed since. Generally the added value is links to current news, but lately that all became “buy my stuff” and it grows louder each day.
The best option I have, short of unfollowing this connection, is to find some tactful way helping this person. I could suggest a few networking events in person, some amazing books and audio programs on the topic, and a few funny videos on what not to do. But – I think I’m going to point the person to a few ideas on measuring their effectiveness.
For instance, the links being shared repeatedly to the company’s website can be passed through a service like http://goo.gl. From there, all the links back to the site can be measured and tracked. See which links worked by posting a different variation of the http://goo.gl on Facebook vs. Twitter vs. Google+. If none of the places get any clicks, it’s not working.
What advice do you have? I can unfollow the person easily enough, but it happens to be someone I know, and I’m sure would clearly notice me unfollowing them on any or all social media platforms.
In the meantime – see Scott Stratten’s insights on Social Currency