When will some people learn that connecting on a social media network doesn’t mean that their connections want to buy from them? So they should stop acting like a charging bull ready for the kill.
I usually ignore texts and direct messages that try to sell me something two seconds after I’ve followed someone on Twitter or accepted an invitation to connect on LinkedIn.
But it rankled me when a recent new connection on Twitter tried to pitch his business.
What first grated on my nerves was the text that began, “Hey!” Is that how you address someone you don’t even know? Even, “Hey, Jeannette” would be more polite.
This is his first message, and I think you’ll be able to guess why I was taken aback by his hubris:
Super excited to have you here as a follower.
I want to make sure we’re getting the most out of this connection, so from my end, I’ve put together a few helpful resources that I think you’ll find valuable…
— First, I recently wrote a blog post titled Ask Questions and Start to Convert on Twitter.* It’s a very innovative article about using Direct Messages to market on Twitter. Here’s the link (URL).
— Second, awhile back I wrote a blog post titled Ask Questions to Convert on Twitter.* It’s more for beginners but it’s also a great post. Here’s the link (URL). Let me know what you think!
— Lastly, if you have any specific questions you’d like to ask me about the resources mentioned above, or just feel like saying hello and getting to know each other better, just REPLY below. I’m always open to learn more about people’s goals & helping others. Let me know what you think!
* titles altered to protect the guilty
I read his post and his most important piece of advice is to ask questions to uncover people’s needs. Well, he does get to asking me a question at the end of his message. But at the beginning it was all about him and how great his posts are.
Note my highlighting very innovative and great post. Hey, I think that as your reader I should make that judgment.
Following Up in “Sequences”
Another piece of advice to Twitter users is to use “sequences,” a series of scheduled messages. Sure enough, two days later, I received another direct message with the real reason he wanted to connect with me.
Have you had a chance to look at the resources I sent you? If you could share any feedback with me I’d greatly appreciate it! I also wanted to add that I recently developed a cool product that converts your followers into traffic. It’s called (Name of product) and I’m really excited to share it with you today…Here’s the link: URL. Let me know how it goes!
The use of “share” is just a euphemism for “sell it” to you today. Why does he assume that I should read all his resources and then study up on his product and give him feedback? I can think of better ways to use my time.
What He Could Have Said
This caper began when I received an email message that I had a new follower on Twitter – Bill (not his real name). As is my custom, I visited his Twitter page to learn if he was posting useful information in his Twitter stream. I also visited his website.
I had a positive impression, so I innocently followed him back. That’s when the messages started.
His advice is to ask questions when you’re trying to soften someone up on the way to an eventual sale. How about asking me if I need or even want the “resources” he sent to me?
He could have written, “Hello, Jeannette. Thanks for following me on Twitter. I’m getting a lot out of the content you’re posting in your Twitter stream. I recently wrote a post about how to market on Twitter. I’m pleased with the positive responses it’s gotten and thought you might find it helpful. Would you like me to send you a link to the post?”
That teaser would have piqued my interest. I would be much more likely to respond “yes.” Now he is starting to build a relationship, the first step in the sales process.
I don’t react well to hard selling and immediately get my dukes up to fend off unwanted advances. I didn’t respond to Bill and felt it wasn’t impolite of me not to. His interest in getting to know me seemed insincere when all he wanted to do was make a sale.
Etiquette Still Matters
Etiquette still matters in the Wild West of social media. If you were introduced to someone at a networking event it’s unlikely you’d immediately say, “Hey! I’ve written a very innovative article and a great post about selling on Twitter. I’m going to send it to you and I’d like your feedback.”
You wouldn’t say that in a face-to-face meeting, so don’t do it under the cover of social media.
You asked for my feedback, Bill. That’s it.