I have found that “unfriending” people (in particular vendors using this mechanism to solicit) is an emotionally rewarding pastime…and I don’t think I am alone.
As you know I have been trying to get my head around this social media thing. (See “You Annoy Me”) You probably also know that I like Epiphanies. And I had one recently about the way I want to interact with my social media. Notice I said “My” because the epiphany is that I own it and that that sense of ownership is how most people feel about their own interaction with social media. It’s like having a party and being open enough to allow your friends to invite their friends WITH YOUR PERMISSION. The problem is that some of your friend’s friends aren’t really friends they are freeloaders.
The purpose of a party (at least for me) is to socialize and it’s all about fellowship. Catching up and keeping up with the folks you care about or folks you meet you might think you want to care about.
If it’s a party, the second part of my epiphany is that it’s MY party and if people are going to misbehave then I have an obligation to myself and others to set the rules so everyone who comes (and is allowed to stay) will have a good time and not have to be annoyed by freeloaders. I don’t like having to set rules and am offended that I am forced to impose them but it’s not my fault so here are:
Alan’s Social Media Rules of Engagement
You’re Outta Here if:
- You are a vendor and your sole purpose is to sell me your goods and get me to endorse your goods
- You are a vendor and you snuck in to my social media pretending not to be a vendor
- You are a friend who insists on plugging a product with which you are associated with daily posts
- You are a friend who finds it impossible to express themselves without the use of socially inappropriate language
- You are a vendor who provides good content but posts more than 2 times a week to hawk their product or seminar
- You are a friend who thinks it is important that I know where you are at each moment of the day
- You are a vendor and have just installed an expensive service or product in a client’s business and you think it will help you to tell the world how wonderful they are
- You invite me to join your group and fail to keep vendors from using the group to hawk their products. (groups are for helping each other not free advertising)
- You are generally smarmy
You can probably see a pattern here so I need to be clear. I really don’t mind at all having a vendor join my party. In fact, they are welcome as long as they provide free and worthwhile content even if it is hawking their product. After all we need some products and services. What I mind is their flooding my wall and friends with what amounts to advertising. What constitutes flooding? I think twice a week is acceptable. 3 to 4 times a day…WOW!!! Do you really think that works?
If you want to be my friend then there needs to be more than a commercial motive. I think that it is important that people at my party be authentic. So, those of you who think you can keep your visibility and public awareness up through disingenuous cheerleading for those in your target customer group need to take note. At my house I want you to feel comfortable and welcome enough to just be yourself. There is no purpose to your being my friend other than fellowship. If sales come as a byproduct then it was because someone else at the party or even me was helped by using it.
I am particularly offended when I become a member of a group in which I have an interest like “NFDA” or “ICCFA” or “CPA’s for a balanced budget” and the only communication I get from the group is from vendors who want to sell me something. And I am not overstating it when I say offended.
Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way but, again, the epiphany is that it is my party and that gives me the right to exclude people who can’t seem to get the rules right. After all when my parents come home I don’t want to have to explain anything now do I?