You know how it goes in a face-to-face networking event. Someone calls you over and says, â€œSue, I want to introduce you to Tim. Tim has his own printing company and I have worked with him for years. He is looking for a business consultant to help him develop a new strategic plan.â€
Then to Tim, he says, “Sue is a consultant and told me she is looking for a new graphics and printing company to replace the standard solutions from the Big Box retailerâ€¦â€
What a nice introduction and endorsement!
The same kind of courtesies should be extended on online social networks. If you want someone to become a â€œfanâ€ of a business, shouldnâ€™t you introduce them first? Are you being a good â€œfriendâ€, â€œconnectionâ€ or â€œcolleagueâ€ when the only communication you have with someone on your contacts list is to spam them with requests that they endorse or â€œfanâ€ another business? How about an introduction first? A personal note?
In a hurry to claim their Facebook vanity urlâ€™s that began last week, many well-meaning online networkers have made Facebook look like one of the Land Rushes in the late 1800â€™s. It was truly wild. I was inundated with requests and my status stream was clogged with messages about new Fan pages.
I am more than willing to help all my colleagues and friends, those with whom I have relationships, by â€œfanningâ€ their Facebook pages or writing recommendations. I know them. We are in groups together. We email and we chat. We have coffee or plan to meet when in the same city. We exchange leads and information to help each otherâ€™s businesses.
Becoming a â€œfanâ€ has meaning. It means you endorse the product, service or business owner. It means if someone calls and asks you why you are a fan, you can give them specific reasons. It means you would recognize them at a live networking event and introduce them to someone else and have a depth of understanding of their businesses and issues. Becoming a “fan” is equivalent to giving someone permission to send you marketing and sales messages.
What is your endorsement worth?