As I consult with business owners to help them them integrate social media strategies into their approach to building their business, one question continues to emerge. Aren’t I bothering people online that I don’t even know when I use tools like Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook? And OMG, what if people start to stalk me. Good grief! Please get over that now!
Hey, let me ask you a few questions.
- If I met you at a networking event and then subsequently followed up with you over email or the phone – do you consider that stalking or intrusive?
- Are you afraid to call more than once or twice for fear that you’ll be perceived as too aggressive?
- Is this the same reason you think you should only send your newsletter out once a quarter?
If you said yes to any of these questions then I’d like to suggest you give up as an entrepreneur right now. There. I said it. How can you possibly build relationships that lead to people buying your products or services if this is your mindset? The answer is…you can’t.
And why in the world are so many of you worried about the proverbial stalker coming after you? If you think that someone can’t find you in the local white pages, you are just fooling yourself. What I love about the online world is that if someone does start bugging you – guess what? You can block them. Easy as pie.
Here’s the deal…when you go online – similar to when you go to a networking function (if you do it right that is) – you are looking for commonality.
Take Twitter as an example. If you have signed up to use Twitter and don’t know how to get started, you can simply search for people who have similar interests to yours. For example, I love great wine, so I might search out other wine lovers to follow and in turn might want them to follow me. Gary Vaynerchuk is just such a person. You can check him out on tv.winelibrary.com
As you start following people with similar interests, join in the conversations taking place, you begin to build a relationship with them. In other words, the first step is to say “hello” – to shake hands. This is no different than meeting someone at a networking event and realizing that both of you have an affinity for fine dining and great wine.
People seem “scared” about who might follow them. I say the more the merrier. There is also fear about sharing “too much personal” information, but the idea online just like off line is that you want to let people get to know you – that’s why it’s called social networking. If somebody goes overboard or gets on your nerves, cut them off!
As I said, I think Gary is a pretty hip guy in addition to knowing his wines, so I want to share a video of his from YouTube that speaks to this very topic. Pretty much says it all. Thanks Gary!