It’s no secret that Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social platforms want you to stay engaged on their platforms. If they could create a virtual La-Z-Boy chair with an endless supply of Slim Jims, they would. The longer you stay, the more money they make.
So it stands to reason that these social tools would strive to minimize friction for users.
Still, LinkedIn has taken this quest a step further. Figuring that people don’t know how to start a note or are too lazy to take on this onerous task, LinkedIn now offers prefab notes after you connect with someone on its platform.
A click on the box above jumps me to the Messaging function with a note to Rita locked and loaded with the words, “Rita, thanks for connecting! Hope you’re doing well.” All I have to do is add something clever like, “We have a job opening that fits your profile.” With this new feature, LinkedIn has achieved the holy grail of writing, virtually eliminating writer’s block.
Plus, let’s not forget the time savings. Our research department conducted simulations with a focus group, asking each person to write a note from a blank slate after hypothetically connecting with someone on LinkedIn and then performing the same task with the note starter. The average time to write a note from a blank slate was 37 seconds while the average time with the note starter was 21 seconds. Think about this. If you connect with 50 people in a calendar year using the starter note as follow-up, you’re going to save a whopping 800 seconds (16 seconds saved per note X 25) or nearly 14 minutes.
Duly inspired by this statistic, I have create additional starter notes as a public service to the LinkedIn community. The construction in the following notes allows for customization to cultivate an even deeper connection. They’re geared for those still getting comfortable with social media.
Everyone enjoys a pat on the back. The exclamation point accentuates the compliment.
Proves that you were actually listening to the conversation. Again, you can never go wrong with an exclamation point when communicating in social channels. Feathering an “Amazing!” into any social exchange lifts the narrative.
Here’s an onramp for someone who recently graduated.
Nice bit of affirmation that we travel in the same circles. Eases the comfort level, particularly if you’ve never met in person.
For those with advanced social media skills, these starter notes will accelerate the relationship-building process.
There’s a lot to unpack in this one. The riff on the old bar line played off with a “just joking” and the iconic smile emoji deliver a touch of levity.
Psychological studies show that we like people like ourselves.
Kids, don’t try this at home. Only those with a mastery of the platform should use this direct approach.
This one calls for an extra step. You need to like the person’s post in his/her news feed before sending the follow-up the note. There’s no getting around that it’s more work, but the combo package makes a lasting impression.
I’m sure you can find at least a few ice breakers that fit you.
Ishmael: Next time, please add more exclamation marks. Singles just don’t cut it anymore.
And since you asked . . .
“Social” media is neither “social,” nor media. Discuss.
Let’s look at the definition of social behavior that “social” media is so dependent on:
What then distinguishes social behavior? Behavior that is peculiarly social is oriented towards other selves. Such behavior apprehends another as a perceiving, thinking, moral, intentional, and behaving person; considers the intentional or rational meaning of the other’s field of expression; involves expectations about the other’s acts and actions; and manifests an intention to invoke in another self certain experiences and intentions. What differentiates social from nonsocial behavior, then, is whether another self is taken into account in one’s acts, actions, or practices.
OK – do you truly believe that another self is taken into account by a tweeter, LI or FB poster who simply wants to tout a product, service or the latest diet soft drink? Of course not. The current forms of “social media” are anti-social at best. They illustrate how society has walled itself into a belief system that everyone’s opinions and behavior are the greatest since . . . well, in a long time.
Here’s another definition: Social acts, actions, and practices: A social act is any intention, aim, plan, purpose, and so on which encompasses another self. These may be affecting another’s emotions, intentions, or beliefs; or anticipating another’s acts, actions, or practices.1 Examples of social acts would be courtship, helping another run for a political office, teaching, buying a gift, or trying to embarrass an enemy. Social actions then are directed towards accomplishing a social act. So long as their purpose is a social act, actions are social whether involving other selves or not, whether anticipating another’s acts, actions, or practices.
Sales, marketing, positive communication that leads to interactive outcomes, relies on trust. Or as author Michael Vickers states in his book, Becoming Preferred, “Your goal as a sales and service professional is to become the emotional favorite. You must make your customers feel special. Every touch should be a rose that separates you from the competition. Identify (customer) values. Respond with insight: Target specific benefits. Add your value to their value.”
Even when you include “social” media into crowd-sourcing, most buyers don’t have time or habit-compatibility with “social” media as a recommendation, background or knowledge-instantiating source that creates their decision. “Social” media is not as engaging as you think: Someone’s tweet about how good a B2B “solution” is, doesn’t do diddly to sell it to crabby Marge or nit-picker Bob in procurement. It doesn’t. They want to hear from a human being. And the “social” media hasn’t added value to their value.
I realize that none of you, including Ishmael, are going to stop doing your “social” media. Or your emailing to the person sitting in the office next to you (be sure to Copy All). But if you want to engage with people on a solution or an idea, why not call or speak face-to-face? Reduce the walls. Create trust. Hold your hand out and really BE. That’s social.
Note to people are “busy” twittering away your time: If you’re tweeting, or FBing, you’re not closing deals. Period. So get back to work.
Becoming Preferred: http://www.michaelvickers.com/
I’m getting back to work and closing deals!!!