Marketing and PR pros alike are constantly on the lookout for new, innovative ways to connect with their respective audiences—whether customers, prospects, partners or media. And while social media has proven to be yet another effective channel for business or media outreach, there is a fine line in using it respectfully. Because let’s face it, no one wants to be labeled a LinkedIn stalker or a “Twammer”—one who tweets spam messages at rapid fire pace to many Twitter handles with a duplicate message.
To avoid fallout from these types of uncomfortable, over-usage social media scenarios, following are a few tried-and-true tips for staying within bounds for business outreach on social platforms.
1) Carefully Gauge Public Tweets – Using public tweets to retweet or to participate in dialogue on a relevant topic is fine, but tweeting the same pitch to a host of people one after another becomes obnoxious and shows your lack of professional courtesy. They will likely respond by tuning you out—and your credibility will certainly take a hit. Be sure to use the Direct Message option if your message only pertains to the person you’d like to contact.
2) Only Connect with Connections via LinkedIn – I cannot tell you how many LinkedIn connection requests I’ve received from people whom I’ve never met. It’s fine if a contact wants to introduce a mutual connection for networking purposes or you decide to connect with someone you just met at a conference, but the out-of-the-blue LinkedIn request is a definite no-no. Who knows how an unknown person will choose to exploit your network?
3) Avoid Facebook Fatigue – Facebook provides an opportunity to showcase both personal and professional posts, and there are appropriate times to repurpose select items from a business page on personal pages as well. However, avoid posting too many items at once as they will clog up readers’ newsfeeds and may result in an “unlike”.