Social Networks Require New Rules for Business Networking

new rules

Traditional sales strategies tell us that it’s vital to always be hustling.

You should always have business cards handy, and your elevator speech ready to launch, just in case you actually happen to end up in an elevator with a decision maker.

One anonymous Hollywood producer once encouraged aspiring writers to chase down any and all leads “like they stole your wallet.”

All good advice, and it also applies to independents in the marketing and seo writing world, where you’re only as good as the next client. Like sales, marketing writing isn’t necessarily a secure career path, but if you prove you have the skills and perseverance, you can do amazing things.

However, there’s a caveat for the online age – maybe you shouldn’t push too hard.

We’re not saying don’t try, and sit back and let the money come roll in (well, there are some iffy affiliate models that claim this).

But we are saying that marketing strategies that may have worked when Mr. or Ms. Super Salesman hit the pavement may not translate as well into online culture.

For instance, Facebook posts, Tweets or forum discussions all about someone’s super business can get super old super fast.

Social networking is sometimes compared to a cocktail party, where strangers gather to discuss the news of the world and, how they think the world should be.

If you’re a guest with basic social skills, you can check out many conversations and jump in anywhere, regardless of your knowledge of a particular subject. Everyone has an opinion, right, Internet?

We don’t always care for the people who we disagree with and vice versa, but may even become friends with someone we hit it off with — it’s the law of the land these days.

But one of the biggest party fouls out there is the guy or girl who talks about their business non-stop. Perhaps there is someone who very well may be interested in what they’re selling. Perhaps someone may find what they’re talking about absolutely interesting. Perhaps, if the subject comes up in natural conversation, it’s an opportunity to tell about what you do.

Perhaps if that’s all they have to talk about, it’s a good way to get blocked or even un-friended.

Some Internet pros recommend a 10 to 1 ratio of non-business posts to business posts, even on your business Facebook or Twitter pages.

So marketing writers for business pages can share posts about just about anything, but throw in a hard sell only every so often.

This could even be a chance to spotlight your business without a sales pitch – if you’re a restaurant, show off new art in the lobby. Talk about an employee and what they do. Mention a super customer. Chat about the local weather and local sports – you know, normal conversation topics. Give something away – people love winning stuff!

Then, as they get more comfortable, throw in “did you know we sell X?” or “spread the word about this week’s sale on Y!”

Joe B has worked in newsrooms and ad departments of newspapers, and decided the ad parties are more fun.


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