Social networking blah! Your family has said if you want to see the pictures of your grandchildren you need to go onto Facebook. All of your friends are using Twitter to keep in touch during the day. And the final straw is the punk-nosed kid who works for you telling you that your business will plummet 6 feet below the ground if you do not join LinkedIn this very instant. But alas this fad must end, right? Sorry there!
I once had a boss when I was in the mortgage business who told us that we did not need computers, even though clients were emailing us their documents and what loan programs they wanted. One of the loan officers asked if we should deliver the loan packages to the clients via Fedex or carrier pigeon. Assumptions about new technology have scared off more people from using social networking than anything else.
Since you are reading this article I assume that you have probably ventured onto a social network, perhaps two, maybe three, or if you are like me have some type of presence on 50 or more social networks (I will try any social network once).
What I have found is that the reality of social networking is much different than the myths surrounding it. So, let’s examine 10 myths I have found in my crusade to schmooze on social networking sites.
Top 10 Social Networking Myths
10. Social networking is not a get rich quick scheme. You do not go on there, declare your presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin awaiting ovations and money tossed asunder at your feet from the thunderous traffic that then visits your website.
9. If you want to support the Zynga foundation please just give them money. Otherwise, stop playing Mafia Wars, Farmville, Texas Hold’em, and the rest of their games out there. You want to make money on Facebook by shooting people and getting badges for it. Seriously?
8. Twitter is not all about porn stars and robotic accounts. There are real people looking to meet other real people. In fact, some of my best referral sources come from Twitter.
7. Telling people that are on Twitter that they are Twits is like telling knock knock jokes. It is not funny, never was, and we are not 5.
6. Facebook is no longer just for college kids. Please exit cave door left.
5. Providing all of your jobs back to 1973 when you were a bell hop does not impress me on LinkedIn, and does not make me want to use your coaching/consulting/marketing/accounting/lawyering/financial services. But I will allow you to open the door for me.
4. Look, when I send you a connection it is not an invitation for you to spam me. If I wanted to listen to a constant stream of BS, I would walk three blocks down to former Governor Blagojevich’s house. Social networking is for meeting people, not selling them. By the way, check out my social networking services at the services after reading this article!
3. When I send you a friend request, please do not treat it like I did an alien probe. Respond back, so we can learn more about each other. Look, I see humans interacting!
2. No you do not need to spend your entire day on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. 30 minutes a day should work for the average user. If you a miss a day, contrary to belief the earth’s axis will not flip, and Brittney Spears will not shave her head again. However, do your best to be consistent with social networking, so you can get the most out of the sites you are using.
1. I am afraid my privacy will be invaded. So do not put something stupid, like your social, pictures of your children, address, and credit card numbers up. Put your greatest adversaries information up instead, duh! Just kidding! Be smart about your information, just like any other area of your life and you will be fine. If you have a phone number up on your website for people to call you, use that same number on social networking sites.
I hope this helps to debunk all of the social networking myths. Now, what are you doing standing around listening to me. Start social networking by retweeting this post, and connect with at least 5 people on LinkedIn!
Are we networking yet 😉 LOL.
Very nice article. Good points.
I use social networking extensively, for a variety of reasons, primarily business. The most important thing about using social network accounts is be very clear about why you’re using them – and stick pretty much to it. There’s no harm in showing that you’re human (with a life away from your computer) on your social networks, but if it’s primarily a business tool, then people need to remember that, but, as you mentioned, remembering privacy at the same time.
You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and at least half a dozen other social sites. Because I have a presence there, does not mean I’m active in any but the few I’ve listed. And that’s another important point 🙂
Hi Andrew, as a social media newbie myself this post was really useful. It all takes some getting used to. For years I did my networking face-to-face which, as you know, presents its own set of challenges and anxieties. Now we have this new landscape to learn…and I’m glad there are people like you around to help guide the way 🙂
Hey Andy, wow, ya gotta just love it. The great advice, the “humor” and the raw truth about the myths of social networking. So true, so true. I know people who are appalled at the personal info that is shared on social networks. There is a balance and everyone has a different purpose for these avenues of communication.
Thanks for the great post!
Halirious! Your #9 point on supporting the Zynga foundation, was hilarious. I dont get why so many people waste their time and money playing mafia wars and cityville.
I can understand people spending a few minutes a day on these games as entertainment, but I wonder why there are so many stupid people in this world who would spend their hard earned real money to buy a virtual gun or a crate or whatever.
LOL! I do not know if they are stupid, but it is definitely not the wisest purchase I could think of.
Hey, Andrew, I also blog about social media and I LOVED this post! You’ve got a great style and I look forward to checking out more of your stuff.
Re: your myths. YES, people do think they are going to get immediate results . . . NOT. It takes time and effort to build relationships.
Re: Farmville . . . I “used” to think the same but SO MANY people do play those stupid games that some businesses can find their clients there and, thus, need to be there as well!!
Re: LinkedIN . . . for business people, LinkedIn will be MANDATORY, so smart people will maximize their profiles and learn how to build and maintain relationships through this site.
Ha.. for being so funny it is true…this will be around & around & around & worth it
I agree with Ylva. I am also a social media newbie and even though I have been active in these brand new world, I still don’t entirely grab what it’s all about. I know, I know, it’s about connections but I am still trying to get my head around this one!
This cracked me up, Andy! Very well written! And I agree with you about the Farmville/Mafia Wars (what is THAT!) craze… Oh, and the alien probe comment — good one! I’m kinda funny like you are that way — I want interaction!
Thanks for this, Andy!
Regarding #3, if you send a friend request to someone who you don’t know that well in real life, please write a few lines explaining who are you are and why you want to connect to them, rather than complain later that they don’t respond to your friend request.
Agreed! It is like you are reading my mind. I just wrote an article on that topic yesterday. LinkedIn Introduction Example. In it I detailed how you need to send people a message explaining who you are, what you want, and why they should talk to you?
I don’t get #9. Stop playing Mafia Wars and Farmville?
Those are Facebook games. A lot of people go onto Facebook for business, get hooked on playing the games, and then do not understand why they do not make money. all of those games are created by Zynga.
Understood. I play Words With Friends and dabble in Mafia Wars. Just looking for clarification on your point.