I've heard Social Media venues compared to a coffee house or a bar, but it really struck me how deep the parallels are recently.
Case in point: I was reviewing my recent followers on Twitter and deciding whether or not to follow them back and was pleased to discover that one of them, whom I'll call Twit#1, lives not too far from me. Super! I'm in an out of the way sort of place, and always am pleased to find people nearby tweeting, so locals are pretty much an automatic follow. Right after following Twit #1, however, I get a Direct Message asking "Have you ever considered a Home Based Business Opportunity." Whoa! I don't even know you yet! Can't we get to know each other a little bit first?
Now, I should have seen this coming... If I would have looked deeper into their twit stream, I'd have seen this single theme coming up over and over. But Twit #1 (and by now you know who you are if you're reading this) could get a lot farther by recognizing that Social Media is a great tool to create relationships that evolve into business opportunities. Instead I got the feeling that they only wanted to sell me something.
Now juxtapose that with the response I got from @nik_nik after following her:
Woohoo! Thanks for following Matt! I made this video so you'd know what you're getting yourself into! http://tinyurl.com/8wdsfg
I hope you click the link, because Nicole (see, I know her real name already) deserves to be outed for what she is: A charming, smart person who isn't afraid to ham it up a little, and who wants to get to know me personally. She's into sharing ideas, listening to your opinion and telling you what she thinks too. She blogs, digs technology and real estate, and likes music.
Let's take this back to my pickup line analogy, and imagine I'm at Bob's Business Bar:
Me: Hi, I'm Matt
twit#1: Wanna hook up?
Me: Hi, I'm Matt
@nik_nik: Awesome to meet you! Doesn't this band rock? These are my other friends... care to join our conversation?
Now who are you going to start a relationship with?