Monday, May 28, 2012

Nothing Personal

Say, you are at a party, a family reunion or simply hanging out with friends and somebody approaches you offering to sell their products or services. How do you take it? It is fun isn’t it? What? You don’t like it? Really?

Well, let’s imagine the same scenario in the Social Networks you use: are you trying to sell something to your peers, family and friends? If not, great. You are managing your circles in an appropriate way.
If yes, by now you should be aware that there is a place for that. Actually, there are many places for that. In the real world it is not very suitable to mix business and pleasure, and this same standard applies to Social Networks: it does not matter how polished your on-line presence or the goods you are offering are, if you are mixing potential clients with friends, the latter soon will not be there and will try to avoid you like the plague.

The least we can do when we do this is explain on our posts why we are offering such items, or re-invite people in our contacts indicating that your particular profile will be advertising and updating on products constantly. This way, the commercial-bound contacts can stay in your circle or group, and the people who have a warmer relationship with you can opt-out.

The absolute best is to put things in the proper places by:
+ Creating a Website which only intent is to do all the advertising, marketing and updating on what you are selling
+ Opening a Blog with the same intention a fully developed Website would have
+ Creating a Page –or at least a Group- within Facebook, for example; this one can do some of the basics a Website can do, and depending on your on-line ability, it probably would be easier to maintain
+ Use the appropriate ‘Social Networks’ for your service or products: Focus, Linked-In, Xing, Google+, MeetUp, etc.

Do this and you won’t have any problems knowing whether you are socializing or selling. When the lines are blurred between who is a friend or a customer it becomes difficult to establish a particular type of conversation. Trying to exchange words and information becomes awkward for them and for you, and then sooner or later they make a decision on whether you are a friend or a salesperson; once that is decided it stays like that for a long time, probably forever.

Have you had those salesperson experiences on-line? What do you think about the people that do that? Are they still your contacts or friends?

Remember, if your on-line presence in Social Networks is purely business related, do just that. Go all out on selling only, and interact just like a business person.

Nothing Personal.

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