Social media 101

24.10.11 | Posted in Entrepreneurship General


Over the weekend I found five minutes to look at my LinkedIn account. There were 84 requests sitting there waiting for me, and I found myself hitting delete over and over again.

I’m just amazed that people still don’t understand basic social media etiquette. When you’re wanting to add someone to your network that you don’t know on LinkedIn, it’s essential that you give some context as to why you’d like to connect.

I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again: adding someone to your network that you’ve never met before, and expecting them to respond positively is like going to a cocktail party or a networking event and thrusting your business card in their hands without saying anything. You’re expecting them to take that card and give you a smile and accept you as a contact, but really – would you? I’d be a bit creeped out, just as I am when people send me that dreaded message ‘I’d like to add you to my network on LinkedIn’ with nothing else. Um, yep, ok, but I have no idea who you are, so no thanks.

No essay is required with your request – just a line or two explaining why you’re reaching out. Easy!

Anyone got any other social media pet peeves that they’d like to share?


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  1. Anita

    Spot on Emma. Short, sharp and to the point! (Lucky we’re already connected on LinkedIN too :-))

  2. Suzy Byrne

    Em I totally agree that it’s creepy when someone you don’t know sends you a connect request – I always imagine they are spammers. My second social media peeve is people who post private conversations on Twitter or FB. I recently saw one that said “don’t forget to bring home the milk honey”. Also posting more than one comment per medium per day should be OUTLAWED.

  3. Lynette Scott

    Totally agree Em, even just a little note, to say the reason behind your contact always works.
    If I have met someone before I always use the standard XXX would like to connect with you on LinkedIN, but someone I have never met but know I could work with in the future I always write a little note.
    I feel the same as Anita too (glad we are already connected) :-)
    Will try catch you and say Hi too at Business Chicks Perth Breakfast next month. x

  4. Bec

    I hate when someone indicates you are a ‘friend’! We haven’t even ‘e’met’ yet – you are not my friend!!

  5. Bek

    Not only is it people you don’t know, its people who worked at the same company who you may have not even had cross over time with at all… or worst still, a not so good relationship with. I find this especially pertinent when I not only get the request, but then the email spruiking products and services sales style.

    I think the sooner people realise social media is actually peer marketing, and therefore you need to have some kind of peer relationship, the better off they will be. Or is that just because I see having actual connections as opposed to the business equivalent of great aunt judy’s second cousin twice removed defacto boyfriend’s pet hamster ones as pointless and annoying? :)

  6. Emma

    100% agree…. Adding someone to your database (without permission) is one of the biggest mistakes people make. It’s an absolute violation of trust. And, it happens all the time!

  7. Emma

    Thanks so much for your comment Jo and for sharing your blog post – I loved reading it. Your comment about not being negative on Facebook struck a cord with me. I’ve hidden all posts from people who are negative on Facebook – I don’t need or want negativity in my life and choose to surround myself with people who are uplifting and positive. Sure, we can’t all be positive ALL the time but like you said, there’s no need to run to Facebook when something doesn’t go your way and have a rant there. Thanks again for sharing – your knowledge and expertise is so appreciated!

  8. Sal

    Emma, I’d like to add you to my…just kidding!
    The other pet peeve for me is then not working on your connections…congratulate them on their new job (experience updated) or agree with a post (like updates)
    If you do not work on connecting with your network why hook up in the first place?

  9. Anna

    Very good points from everyone, I was wondering though, as I have a small business that I’m trying to grow, which involves going on sales trips and I have sent out emails to certain shops that may be interested in my work, explaining a little about myself what I do where I’m from and some photos of my work is this wrong? And what would you do?

  10. k

    i am in total agreement, I often also get random people requesting to be my friend on FB, or people i havnt seen for years doing the same without even a small, hi, i dont know if you remember me but……an introduction is essential and just common courtesy really!

  11. Bernie

    This is so true! I also hate on Linked in when people ask for your expertise and you spend time replying (e.g. how to get a job in a particular industry) and then you get no response. No thankyou… nothing.

    I also groan when I see people check in to places. I don’t totally hate it, but it makes me think “Yess, I’m sure you are popular and have a social life… “

  12. Ken

    You are so right. Even if I know the person I want to get linked in with I add something personal to the request.

  13. Donna

    Hi Emma,
    great to see your smiling face again (in the photo above). I totally agree and I also stretch it to Facebook. In all honesty, if we weren’t that friendly back in school and I haven’t seen you for years and years, why would I want to know all about you, and have you knowing all about me now??!! It’s one of my pet peeves!

  14. Jen

    I agree about people who ‘check in’ everywhere – I don’t need to know that you’re at the supermarket/post office/dentist…all it’s really telling me is that youre not at work or at home! Post about the wonderful day you had by all means, but don’t describe it minute by minute – why not just invite me along?

    I also dislike being tagged in others photos or post “I’m at X Bar with Jane and John” – I think it should be up to individuals to tag themselves or post where they are. I find it a little pushy.

  15. Cheryl

    I hate it when people I met years ago (maybe college but who knows) or even just once recently, don’t provide a personal note with a reminder as to where I would know them from. Unless I’ve met with or spoken with a person on more than one occasion, or just yesterday, I can’t always remember. Personal notes are appreciated then too.

  16. Catherine

    Agree! BUT a lot of people don’t understand how this works and when you have a blog, as you do, and at the bottom of it – you ask people to follow YOU – giving 3 options – facebook, linked in and twitter….then maybe a little bit of forgiveness is required for those 84 people that don’t know any better? Just a thought….

  17. Jess

    I definately agree with the invitations on LinkedIn – I have had so many I cannot even count them, but as a recruiter, I want to remain open and approachable so I generally accept them. One thing that is annoying however on social media is posting every single little thing that someone does on a daily basis that really – no-one needs to know, and the “Sad Sally’s” constantly posting things that are wrong with them – it is depressing and it really drags people down – and nasty comments about other people – things like that should be done in private – not a public forum! Great post Em!

  18. April Neylan

    I agree with Jen. I can’t stand it when I’m “tagged” at a location with someone via Facebook without my knowledge or consent. I don’t want the world knowing where I like to have a drink or spend time. Social media has certainly made it more difficult for people to have private lives.

  19. Elle

    Also along the lines of a lack of introduction…

    My pet peeve is when online businesses and stores don’t say where they are based! This one really drives me bonkers!!! It’s really not that hard, yet SO many fail to do so.

    All I want to know is that you are a real person, that you live in a real place and that I can easily contact you if there are any problems or questions. I just want to know who I am talking to and that ‘s a legitimate business. Simple.

  20. Barreta

    You’re right about this. It’s not that hard I mean it basically comes down to adding a genuine message with every friend request you send, at least so that you don’t come across as spam. Social media has just gotten a bit out of hand. My example of a good use of social media is Eric Bailey. Look for him on Facebook, he runs contests for fans of the weeks and so on. He’s really creative with it is his main site and his e-book (don’t worry it’s free) is great to build your relationship skills.

  21. Fiona

    I’ve written on the Linkedin issue before but lately i’ve been so time poor I’ve ignored my own advice and connected to people without sending them an email first. What did I expect? Next minute spamming offers. I try and always put a message but I have found that the app on iphone has caught me out a few times because it doesnt give you time. My bad on that considering I’m really for etiquette online! All you have to do is write a note, or ask for an intro. Your post has reminded me to sharpen up again! Thanks Emma.