If you’re going to do it – do it right…..

Have you noticed how many people have made a new year’s resolution to ‘do’ social media this year?

The friend requests started to show up soon after my return to work.

And jolly well done too. A bit blinking late but not too late to join the party and get clued up (just in time to have a right royal row about Google plus – if you are interested read this .)

I really hope they stick at it because it is useful, fun and rewarding as well as being a potential time-suck!

I could offer reams of advice on how to do it, but my blogging back catalogue does that quite well, from how tos on Twitter and Facebook to blogging. But I will say one thing about LinkedIn, because so many people are doing this – please, please, please add a personal message when you ask to connect.

My husband, who takes an average amount of interest in social media says he never links up with someone if he doesn’t know who they are, and that includes lots of people he actually does know if he stops to think about it. If you are really busy you are not going to stop to realize that the person who has just asked to link with you is the woman from swimming who you know by her married name but don’t recognize from the photo because she is in her work clothes.

It doesn’t take much extra time to add a short personalized note with your request, reminding the person how they know you and why hooking up with you on social media is a good idea. I might not want to share my work life with a sporting acquaintance, but then I might be enticed by the idea that lots of their friends work in my field or that it will make sharing the results of sporting fixtures easier.

Cold approaches are always a bit awkward – why not apply some of the diplomacy to online connections that you would to real life?



2 responses to “If you’re going to do it – do it right…..

  1. Hi Lucy,

    Do you know what the etiquette is for declining a connection request? The LinkedIn notification email sends me reminders, but no option to say decline (and I can’t see anything on the site).

    Even for friends and colleagues you see regularly/all the time it only takes ten seconds to change the default “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” to something more engaging or friendly… Leaving it default suggests I’m merely a business card you want to swap. And I swear I’m going to struggle to remember the contact one day in the future when it really would be helpful!

  2. Hi Dan, I think it is perfectly fine to decline someone and that option should appear if you visit your profile and look at the matters pending. If you can’t see it straight away then just leave them until you can (this has happened to me! Why can you see some options one day and not another?) If you click – I don’t know them – you risk sending them into spam limbo which is unfair unless they have been pestering. However, a blogger pointed out that if the person wanting to connect with you sends you a thoughtful request, written in their own words, that says exactly why they want to add you to their network, then they probably deserve a hearing.

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