As you may know, I love spending time on Twitter. I’m meeting new people every day who share similar interests. Most of the people I follow contribute to the community with information on PR, PR 2.0, Social Media, technology, marketing, branding and business. When someone requests to be my friend, I still take the time to review his/her profile and I check out any links to websites, if they are provided. I also review their tweet stream to see if they share a passion and enthusiasm for the subjects that I like and see if they discuss articles or topics that have retweet potential. It’s really important that when you make a connection with someone on Twitter, from that point forward the communication is meaningful and you’re finding value from your new friendship. After all, social networking takes time and energy. From experience, I can say that it’s worth the commitment it, if you can grow your network, learn from others and create some mutually beneficial relationships.
However, you must remember that you don’t get a second chance at a first impression. I just recently discussed with the participants of a BizSummit Teleseminar what happens when you sell me on Twitter. First of all, selling goes against the community rules. The result – I will not follow you and chances are if I did follow you then, I may block you. Let me elaborate on this thought with a perfect example. The other day I received a friend request from a person who looked interesting. She passed the first part of my friend test…profile looked good, website okay, and tweets at quick glance were good. So, I decided to follow her. Here’s where she failed the 2nd part of the test. I quickly received a DM that thanked me and stated that she looked forward to my tweets in about 90 characters. That part I didn’t mind. It was the second part (the last 50 characters) that made her fail miserably. My new “friend” referred me to a site that she recommended for great tweeps. Now, I guess I should have known better than to click the link, but she was so close to being a “friend” that I gave her the benefit of the doubt.
Clicking on that link was a big mistake! I landed on My TweetElite Pro, which welcomed me in big red, bold letters:
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It gets worse…When I tried to exit the site a pop up box appeared and said, “Wait…Click the “Cancel” button on the next window for something very special.” I wanted nothing more to do with this website, and when I tried to exit again, another pop up box appeared with a new message, “Wait, before you go, click the Cancel button to stay on the current page, because I have a special offer for YOU!! I tried to exit a third time and a voice comes on that said, “I know you really want to leave but I have something really special for you.” Finally, on the fourth try I was able to exit. By this time, I’m unhappy that I wasted time and frustrated that someone would send me useless, not to mention annoying information.
Now, I ‘m not sure what my new “friend” was thinking when she sent the link in her DM. And, I don’t even know her affiliation to this website or why she would be promoting this to me. Maybe she just liked it or found it amusing. I guess I’ll never know. However, if she looked at my profile and the types of things that I share on Twitter, then she would have realized that this information would not help me and definitely does not interest me.
Brian and I stress numerous times in our book, “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations” that you have to listen, observe and understand the community before you engage. Then, when you do, you will be able to provide valuable information. That’s the only way to connect with people and to build a relationship. Selling does not equal a relationship. If you sell the community and provide useless information…you won’t get a second chance to build that relationship with me or another member of the network.
Has this ever happened to you?