Of all of the things that I've learned in my 6 month immersion into social media, this one is the most important. It is so important, that I'm going to break it into a series of posts, each one addressing the various rungs of the relationship ladder.
RUNG #1 - SPAM
Without any training or strategy, most everyone that wants to get across a point, get people to an event, or to somehow get them into your sales funnel, begin online at the bottom rung of the Word of Mouth media™ relationship ladder.
SPAM is not just a brand of canned mystery meat, it is what happens when you attempt to have some sort of dialogue or conversation (or what you think might appear to someone as such) without any form of current relationship.
I say current, because most of us have been building our email list (aka address book) for more than a decade. We have everyone from friends and family, to business colleagues, clients, former clients, all the way down to the guy you sat next to on an airplane in 2002, but can't even remember why you thought he was important enough to add to your address book.
We've all done it. You are in a hurry, so you send out a notice of a product launch, an event, a company announcement or even a particularly funny joke, but what you forget to do is to ensure that the person on the other end will actually (a) remember you; (b) care about what you want them to care about.
So, if you are on this rung, STOP | THINK | DON'T SPAM. Stay tuned for Rung #2.
It goes without saying that this is not only not a good idea, but it is actually counterproductive on a number of fronts.
- You stand to alienate people that you actually care about a great deal (either personally or professionally).
- You don't give them a graceful way to tell you that they don't care or more likely, don't have the time for whatever you want them to care about
- You don't sway them to your way of thinking (they hit delete or navigate away from your post, or worse, unfriend you electronically) before they figure out what it is you really want