Why the fuss about letting people know about your services....on social media?
A Tempest in a Teapot....
This post is inspired by Matt Sanders' LinkedIn status update chastising people for contacting him with a sales offer and some of the comments on:
First, I agree that we are all inundated with unwanted sales pitches. I agree with Matt that it is frustrating when someone you don't know pitches you out of the blue or a brand new contact sends you a sales offer as soon as you have given them permission to join your network. That is definitely spam and an abuse of a connection.
I have already weighed in on:
- Why are Social Media Updates Invisible to Prospective Clients and Highly Visible to Suppliers?
The reaction to Jim Murray's post about his new business venture is disturbing on SO many levels. Jim has shared helpful tips and insights in 405 LinkedIn Publisher articles and well over 100 beBee posts. (I stopped counting because there are so many.) Jim has GIVEN and given generously.
I consider myself to be in the same boat. In addition to the blogs that I have written for clients, I have written more posts than I can count in 2 of my own blogs, HuffPost, the now defunct Event Coup, and as a guest blogger for other portals. I also managed a community of 17 LinkedIn Groups plus their 2 leadership groups for over 8 years.
Jim and I are not alone. Perhaps people are under the mistaken notion that those who share content and manage groups on social media channels are paid for their contributions. In the examples I have provided of my work and Jim's work, many of our contributions are shared without compensation of any kind. Blog posts we write for clients are, of course, a different matter. I know that I have tended to treat some of that work as a loss leader, hoping that the exposure would lead to business inquiries. It does not.
In an effort to encourage people to consider using the services of other members, during tough economic periods, I have created group discussions where members can share their services or let other members know about the services they require. I also set up 2 specific groups to encourage reciprocity.
- Event Planning RFPs
(I can't take credit for those. They were the brainchild of the community owner, Julius Solaris).
When businesses engage on social media, it is not a hobby or something they do just for fun. The purpose of business social media channels is to build brand awareness, generate leads, and engage with clients. I weighed in on this in a blog post, and a presentation:
When I want to engage just for the sake of engaging or interact with friends and family, I do that off-line or through my personal Facebook and Twitter accounts.
So, what would one suggest to business owners? The expectation in some corners seems to be that some people should always be giving and others should always be taking.
Newsflash: Businesses that don't generate business eventually go OUT of business.There is a huge difference between spam and sharing information about one's services. After years of posting tips, advice, and content for free, I think that content producers have earned the right to share information about their services without being chastised.
What do you think?
Anne Thornley-Brown, MBA, is the President of Executive Oasis International, a consulting firm that specializes in the facilitation of executive retreats, meetings, and team building. In addition to her own blogs, Anne has also written for clients including Plan Your Meetings by MPI, EventMobi, Event Manager Blog, Meetings.net, Cvent, and Elite Meetings.