Active Rain October 27, 2010

Social Network Abuse

I posted this on Facebook a day or two ago: 

Let’s review: Link to me on Linked In, solicit me, then count backwards from 20 while I de-link us.

I got a few comments and “likes.”

There are two recent examples of annoying behavior which are the cyber equivelant of stuffing your business card into people’s pockets at a cocktail party.

  • Ms. High Beams. This isn’t XXX spam- it is a real legit person. Ms. High Beams friends me on Facebook. We have 7 friends in common, all men. Ms. High Beams doesn’t have an over the top racy photo of herself, but suffice to say that she is making sure that we know that she’s, um, blessed. So, with 7 friends in common, I click accept. She lives and works in my market area and while none of her photos are outrageous, it is clear that she never met a tight or low cut shirt she didn’t like. After we link on Facebook, she solicits me for her home improvement business. This is not a wise move. I’ve been played. She’s twirling her hair at a few guys to get a toehold at harvesting contact information. It is subterfuge. That’s not cool on Facebook. 
  • Mr. Thank You. Mr. Thank You is a 2nd or 3rd degree connection on LinkedIn. He adds me to his network, and seeing that he is in my extended sphere and a fellow agent out of state, I accept. He sends me a “Thank You” message via LinkedIn: “Thanks for connecting! How’s business?” I answer out of politeness, and I get a hard sell response that if I really want to succeed in real estate, not just locally, but nationally, check out this hyperlink!” This is more subterfuge. First, the guy has gall to assume that he’s got the answers I need. He probably doesn’t, and as a matter of fact he should probably be asking me for a few answers. People that recruit like this are throwing mud on the wall. 
If you do this, cut it out. It is tacky. 
If this is done to you, just un-friend or de-link. 
Social networking is far better for keeping the heat on warm contacts than soliciting cold contacts. If you do good work, people will find you. Then link. If you don’t know someone but want to, don’t solicit them. 
Is this stuff the end of the world? Of course not. It is a minor annoyance. But as social networking becomes more a part of the fabric of how we all interact, it behooves us to be professional about it and avoid faux pas.