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Are you Networking or Stalking?

Are you Networking or Stalking?

Network stalking is the word I use for careless networking. By careless, I mean that kind of action someone takes when they see someone post on a friends Facebook page and without a though hit “friend request” like it’s no big deal.

The problem with that is what if that person was their child or sister, best friend or aunt? Do you really need to bombard their family with requests? Of course not. Yet, it happens to me, my family, friends and network more often than I care to admit. Sadly, what ends up happening is that some of the people closest to me don’t feel comfortable commenting on my posts because my there are some people in the networking arena that do not have good “social media manners.”

Sloppy networking practices sometimes come from inexperience but I believe that more often than not it’s just laziness or eagerness. A person that sees activity on a social network and does not bother to ask for an introduction obviously doesn’t care what you think. Perhaps it’s an avoidance thing. They think they will get ignored if they ask, or maybe they don’t want to get turned down. Who wants to waste the time sending a note every time they want to connect anyway? That is the mentality that causes network stalking.

The only cure for network stalkers is to educate them as to how they are making people feel and how it serves them to modify their behavior. We all understand it is social networking and if it is on someone’s business page that is a different story however on someone’s personal page I would advise to proceed with caution and do your homework.

Here is my favorite way to handle making connections with other people’s social networks. Ask for the introduction. ALWAYS ASK. Believe me when I say I can serve you better by doing an introduction and telling my connection WHY they should connect with you and give my endorsement. Asking saves you face and makes you look like you are a professional that cares about maintaining a good status with their current connections. You may not get an immediate reply, you may even get ignored but that is far better than being put in the creepy stalker list, don’t you think?

The best way to meet people when you are commenting in someone’s thread is to be interesting, relevant to the conversation, entertaining and give value. Share great content, post funny comments, like peoples posts and share, share, share. This way you will naturally find yourself in the middle of a conversation and be able to feel your way around if you want to make the connections on your own. Sharing connections is what social networking is all about but when you are on someone’s personal wall, tread lightly and professionally as it is a delicate process. Don’t be the bull in the china shop. People are very protective of their loved ones and if you are in their business network and they have invited you into their personal space give them and their loved ones the respect they deserve. After all, you wouldn’t want someone to connect to your teenager or Mom without you introducing them would you?

Patty Farmer, “The Networking CEO” is a multi-award winning and highly sought after marketing professional, public speaker, radio show host and author. As the CEO of Patty Farmer & Associates, Inc. she has been the Recipient of 2011’s International Women’s Day Business Service Award as well as 2010’s “Best Business Connector in Dallas” award and a 2010 and 2011 “America’s Most Influential Business Connector” nominee. Patty has created a network of over 100,000+ connections while teaching thousands of business owners how to effectively network and market to grow their businesses using a non-competitive and dynamic collaboration strategy.

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  1. Arwen
    1957 days ago

    Yikes. I’m guilty of this in that I see someone who looks fun so I send them a request. Normally it is someone that I’ve seen several times and interacted with on some level. Appreciate this “blinder” removal, Patty.


  2. Lynn Baillie
    1956 days ago

    You make a really good point about social media etiquette. I’ve only recently got started on the likes of Facebook and Twitter so it has been really useful to pick up some advice on how to connect with the contacts of those you personal know or have chosen to connect with re business.

    I’ll share this on Facebook and hopfully educate a few more.

    Thanks again for sharing,

    Lynn


  3. Carolyn M
    1956 days ago

    Excellent article and oh so true! One gal from this blog group that we’re on just went through the whole list “friending” everyone and I asked her in pm if there was something she needed because I had no clue as to whom she is and she just said that she was friending everyone. What in the world for? Thanks!


  4. Andrew Szabo - The Marketing Chef
    1923 days ago

    Great article! I find I’m sometimes guilty of this when trying to generate business or build influence.


  5. Yusuf Chowdhury
    1889 days ago

    Thank you for writing about this topic. Till this day I still see these types of behaviors and your tips on how to utilize it professionally is awesome. What would you do in a situation if the person’s message option is not turned off? Do you still add them and when they accept then you do the intro?


  6. Lorii Abela
    1888 days ago

    You clearly stated a great point here about etiquette in using social media here. When I add a new friend in FB, it’s not that I am asking, but I am sending them a private message that contains I want them to add in my list of friends. Hope it’s alright though.
    Lorii Abela recently posted..How Can You Find Your Soulmate: UnclutterMy Profile


  7. jean
    1888 days ago

    Thanks for reminding us all that we are on peoples personal pages.
    jean recently posted..Female Entrepreneur Jessica Swanson Shares How to Explode Your Business Income on a Shoestring Marketing BudgetMy Profile


  8. Chef Katrina
    1888 days ago

    I love how you call them lazy for not writing a message. I usually ignore invites if they don’t let me know where they know me from. And I really dislike the individuals that try to push an opportunity. There are much better ways. Thank you for this awesome post.
    Chef Katrina recently posted..How To Create a Lead Generation Ad on BetternetworkerMy Profile


  9. Estelle
    1888 days ago

    Great article – I try not to be a stalker!


  10. Meryl Hershey Beck
    1888 days ago

    Patty–I had not heard of network stalking and had not given much thought to the kind of careless networking that you discussed. Thanks for bringing it to my awareness.
    Meryl Hershey Beck recently posted..Personal Energizers = Natural HighsMy Profile


  11. NormaDoiron.net
    1888 days ago

    Yikes… Sorry, but I think I might have done this. You are right, it is not done with wrong intent. You gave me something to chew on… Great post!


  12. Helena Bowers
    1887 days ago

    This is such great advice Patty! I know I am always leery, and most often refuse friend requests from people I don’t know or don’t have any shared connections with that I can check out.
    Helena Bowers recently posted..Five Signs Your Blog is Doing What It’s Supposed To – How Effective is Yours?My Profile

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