Just finished reading my “Get to the Point” email from Marketing Profs and smiled when I saw the headline “Be Professional. Act Like It’s A Cocktail Party.” As you may know from reading my four part series “Franchise Development via Social Media” on this blogsite, I referred to social networking sites as “Virtual Party Rooms” and instructed people to act the same as they would if they were in-person at a party. Mingle. Participate in discussions. Share information. And, shhh!, sales effort should be subtle.
Anyway, I’ve reposted the Marketing Profs email below as it reinforces what we’ve been discussing all week about social media.
Be Professional: Act Like It’s a Cocktail Party
as distributed by Marketing Profs via email (May 22, 2009)
You might have seen the PSA in which a teenage cyber-bully reads her hateful words from the podium of a school assembly. The absurdity of the scene illustrates a disconnect that often exists between our online and offline behavior—when emboldened by the impersonal buffer of a social network, we might say or do things we never would in person.
In a post at his Web Ink Now blog, David Meerman Scott encourages readers to treat social-networking sites as if they’re cocktail parties. In other words, to interact with others in the same way you would at a face-to-face industry mixer. To make his point, he asks questions like these:
Do you go into a large gathering filled with a few acquaintances and tons of people you do not know and shout “BUY MY PRODUCT”?
Do you go into a cocktail party and ask every single person you meet for a business card before you agree to speak with them?
Do you listen more than you speak?
“Sure, you can go to a cocktail party and hit everyone up as a sales lead while blabbing on about what your company does,” says Scott. “But that approach is unlikely to make you popular.”
Your Marketing Inspiration: Before you say something at Facebook or elsewhere, ask yourself if you’d say it to the person standing next to you. Unless you’re really obnoxious, a “yes” means it’s probably okay.