There’s a Person on the Other End of that Status Update

The onslaught of “join my team” and “buy my stuff” posts from direct sellers on social networks leaves me wondering…do we forget that these are PEOPLE on the other end of our messages?  This has been the problem from the beginning of online communication: the anonymity of hiding behind our computers makes us forget the basics of interpersonal communication.  You would NEVER walk up to someone on the street and begin pitching your products and opportunity without at least making an effort at small talk.  Why do we think it’s OK to do that online?

Social media is first about PEOPLE.  There is a person on the other end of every single communication that you write.

So the next time you are tempted to blast a status update pitching your products or opportunity through your profile, ask yourself…has every single person that will read this opted in for this type of message?  Have I done the necessary background work to build relationships first?  Or will I be just another “interruption”?  If it’s the latter, STOP.

Social networking is about connecting with people, understanding their needs, and providing value.  Stop with the sales pitch.  You’ll achieve much greater long-term results by meeting 5 new people per day online, and getting to know them.  Then you can provide your products and opportunity individually, in a way that’s actually relevant, and will bring you the results you’re seeking.

Your thoughts?

9 Responses to There’s a Person on the Other End of that Status Update
  1. Yusuf C
    March 29, 2010 | 5:26 pm

    Thanks Jennifer!

  2. Jill Shea
    March 29, 2010 | 2:01 pm

    So true! I’ve accepted friend requests then only receive information about their company. It sure would be nice if more people shared about themselves first to build that relationship. I’m more inclined to interact with people when they socialize not sell in the social media arena.
    Great post Jennifer!

    Love & Success,
    Jill Shea

  3. Karen Clark
    March 29, 2010 | 11:30 am

    So true. I think people get confused and think because it is in “print” that it should be approached like a print ad in a magazine. Nothing could be further from the truth! It’s better compared with a phone conversation, or networking group chatter. I think you are right, the only way to get this message across is if the leaders in a company, or corporate, invest in some training for the field. You can tell which companies are on board and which aren’t, and those that don’t get it are really turning people off.

  4. Todd Pillars
    March 29, 2010 | 10:52 am

    From the very first time “Marketing” followed the words “Social Media” my inbox and wall has been plastered with “The next pre-launch…'” or “Join the fastest growing…”. I think some people have actually been taught to use other’s walls as a billboard – reach and eyeballs and all.

    Probably the biggest disappointment is that inexperienced marketers believe that “Yes, I’ll be your friend on Facebook” actually translates to: “Tell me all about your product and opportunity”.

    I recently read an article about responding to posts and messages that are obvious pitches. Basically, you can educate the “offender” instead of ignoring it or blasting them with disdain. Because of that I’ve coined the phrase “Seek to educate – not berate.”

    Think Success!

    • Jennifer Fong
      March 29, 2010 | 11:00 am

      That is great advice, Todd! I also think that our companies need to step up to the plate and provide a lot more education on how to use these mediums effectively. While some companies are there, the vast majority aren’t yet. We all need to work together to promote this great profession effectively.

      Cheers to you!

  5. Paul Young
    March 29, 2010 | 10:09 am

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.


    Ps. Did I mention how much I agree with this?! 🙂

    • Jennifer Fong
      March 29, 2010 | 10:14 am


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