Friday, August 29, 2008

You seem like a great kid, but I want business contacts, not friends

The traffic experts tell us that we can drive big numbers to our websites and blogs by joining the social networking websites such as Facebook, My Space, Stumble Upon, Blog Catalog, Digg, etc etc.

I agree, and simultaneously disagree.

Yes, it is indeed possible to drive pretty reasonable numbers to your site, but too often they are very unfocused and fall well outside your target audience, even when you’ve been fairly tight on the groups, networks and neighbourhoods you’ve joined.

For example, I’ve only joined business related groups on Facebook, Stumble Upon and Blog Catalog, but I keep getting messages from kids young enough to be my offspring, telling me they’ve added me as their friend and would I please do the same. Sorry pal, I’m sure you’re really nice but if you could be a serious business contact, great, but just for socialising, I’d be a big disappointment to you. Come back when you’re a potential buyer of my affiliates’ products or in business for yourself, and we could then be the best of both – a friend and a business contact.

I’ve got plenty of friends in the real world, but online, I want good business contacts, who could, of course, become very good friends, but I want them as buyers first. Yes, mercenary, I know, but that’s the name of the game, I ain’t on Blog Catalog or Facebook for any other reason than to drive serious, potential buying, mature traffic to my website.

To do this, I’ve been a member on Linked-In for some years, and have found this pretty useful, and additionally I’m a member of several serious and not so serious forums, where 95%+ of the members are very much potential buyers. Here people are far more focused and mature, and frankly could not care less whether you want them as a friend or not. Subtle selling through discreet signatures which appear at the bottom of every one of my posts, is all that seems to be necessary.

What I would like to see, however, is all of the major networking sites add an option to their registration form which allows joiners to indicate whether or not they welcome messages from other members to be either:

I. Business contact
II. Friend
III. Both

That way everyone should be happy.

1 comment:

Susan said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.