Two things about this. Actually, tons of things, but I'll stick to two. One, I totally get that you're trying to drum up business for yourself - good for you. The social media industry is one to get into if you know what you're doing and can provide value to your clients. However, if you're going around just soliciting business with one-liner tweets directed at people who you've never spoken with before on the networks, you're doing it wrong - and I'll tell you why in a second. My second point is, can you do me a favor and spice it up a bit by not sending the same message to everyone else you're trying to get business from, too? Now I feel a lot less special than I did when I was originally hit with your annoying reply.
I won't get into the fact that you should probably take a look at what someone does for a living when it's readily available in their Twitter bio before you ask if you can...well...do what they do for a living for them. Or maybe you should check to see if that business you were soliciting to do a website for for under $700 isn't a national brand that already has a huge website in place. But that's just me.
I know what you're thinking: These people are bots, why are you ranting on your blog about it? Get over it.
No! I wouldn't be so upset if they were bots. One of the Twitter users uses Twitter not only to send replies to people she has never interacted with before with single sentences trying to get them to let her build their website or run their Twitter operations. She also uses it to feed (read: overwhelm users with) check-ins from her FourSquare account to completely ordinary places like Sam's Club and the grocery store.
Now, here's where I get upset. Like, ALL CAPS upset.
So, you want to run my social media campaign, but you're not even doing what you should be for your own brand when reaching out to me? You're not taking the time to get to know me, develop a relationship with me and figure out who I am as an individual? You're not trying to figure out what makes me tick? How we can successfully partner together to do something awesome? That's what social media is for. It's for learning about a person, not just the dollar signs behind that person. It's for getting to know someone and building a relationship that removes the threat of you just wanting to sell me something. And if you can't do that for yourself, I'm positive I don't want you running my social media marketing campaigns - or everyday exchanges - for me.
The bottom line is, you'd never go to an in-person event and say the same line to everyone. You'd, in fact, ask someone their name, where they work, what they do, if they like it, etc. You'd get the ball rolling in the conversation, and lay the building blocks for a relationship that would sustain those immediate exchanges. That's exactly what you should be doing on social networks.
I recently explained this concept on my Twitter feed to another person trying to solicit my social media-related business. Their response? An incredulous "So, I'm really suppose to start a conversation with everyone?" And yes, they put it out there as a public reply, not a direct message, for all of their followers to see.
Why yes, you are suppose to start conversations and be engaging on social networking. It's not another outlet for you to throw out the same sentence you have on your billboard on the interstate.
What I can't wrap my head around is people are more than happy to change their marketing behavior and tactics between television, billboards, print, etc. They know they can't relay the same exact message across all the mediums, so they tweak it for each, but still stay true the brand.
But when it comes to social media, it seems as though people have zero issue with regurgitating the same work they've done in the past and just shooting it out through the cannon that is status updates and tweets.
It makes me so sad to see such good opportunities for businesses to finally have that one-on-one conversation, for free mind you, completely squandered. These are the tools that marketers have wanted all along - instant reaction, a way to gauge an audience - it's here and it's free! In a social age, with the ability to be well....social, and what are we doing? We're shooting out the same message over and over like it's a PPC advertisement. Yuck.
By drumming up a conversation with your followers, you'll notice how quickly you'll grow relationships. True, it won't happen overnight, but that's not what social media is about. It's about forming those relationships even if you can't be there in person. It's finally connecting you with the customers and business owners you've so desperately wanted to be connected with. And look, I'm not saying I'm the best social media marketing that has ever lived, because I'm definitely not. I'm not even in the top 50% of awesome social media people. But I do know what works and what doesn't. And being a walking advertisement never, ever works on social media.
If you're reading this from my Twitter account and think that I may or may not be writing about you, I probably am. But I forgive quickly, so why don't you shoot me a tweet getting to know me versus trying to immediately sell me something and we can have a do-over? @LisaDiVirgilio.