Wednesday, June 8, 2011

3 Ways To Screen Your Followers

When it comes to social networking, not all fans are created equal. Some are stalkers, some only want to build a large friend list and could care less about you, some will never use the service after the first week, and others want things from you that go above and beyond the typical follower relationship. That's why you have to screen your Facebook Friend requests when possible. After a couple of, shall we say, unsavory experiences, here's what I do.

1. Ask yourself "How Do I Know You?" Even if you have 25 mutual Facebook friends, there has to be something more to be sure the connection is right for both of you. Unless there's a referral from a a most trusted friend, I automatically go to step 2.

2. Check out the bio, photos and posts. I always look at someone's bio first to see if he or she is in the music business or some other business that I'm in. If I can't tell from that, then I move on to the photos. If I see something like the person on stage or in the studio, you're in. If there's nothing to indicate we have a connection of some sort, then I move on to the posts. Again, if you have some posts that indicate we have a professional connection in some way, you're in. If all I see are posts about your personal life, you're not.

About the worst thing is someone who has no history of posts, won't let me see their info unless we become friends, or only has some goofy profile picture that tells me nothing about you. Next!

3. Keep it professional. If you're using social networks as a promotional tool, you've got to keep your posts professional for the most part. It's okay to post something personal, and your fans certainly want that, but never get too intimate regardless of how tempted you may be. A certain congressman just found that out the hard way.

It goes the same for your fans. If someone is coming on too strong, it's time to unfriend them. If a "friend" is coming into town and wants to meet, check them out thoroughly first. No background info, no coffee or lunch!

While we're on it, let me give you a few criteria I use when people email me to ask for help. I love to help people and I'm always there for anyone that asks, but there are a few times when I hedge a bit. The main one is "I'm doing a project for school and......." and suddenly there are 20 questions, or only one that's so broad it can take an hour to write a reply. I'm not going to write your paper for you unfortunately. Usually what I say is, "This is too complicated to write in an email. Here's my number and the best time to call. I'll tell you all you want to know then." I figure that in 15 minutes on the phone I can be a lot more helpful than taking an hour out of my day to write a reply that might not answer the question properly. It's funny though, people rarely call. Once again, I'd love to help, but I'm not going to write your paper for you.

So this is the criteria I use for accepting Facebook friends, which I've found to work very well. If I haven't accepted your Friend Request, now you know why.
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