Social media has made it easier than ever to connect: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other services have greatly amplified everyone’s personal brand message. This is fun, and beneficial inasmuch as we can get a sense of someone’s professionalism, character, and personality before we ever meet them in person.
Recently, though, I’ve had some less than pleasant experiences with people who seem to be interested in professional networking, but ultimately just wanted to use me to sidle up to someone else I know.
Here are some tips from me and some of my social media friends on how to connect with people (as opposed to using them):
Don’t be creepy.
If we’ve had a professional phone call, don’t use my number later for personal reasons. Texting me at 10 p.m. to ask “what’s up” is going to make me uncomfortable. My significant other won’t appreciate it, either.
If I accept your friend request on Facebook, don’t message me telling me I forgot to post to your wall for your birthday, as though I should have remembered. My mother didn’t call me on my birthday. Get over it.
Don’t come on too strong.