“Make new friends and keep the old…”
It was a song I learned as a child, but it rings true and is especially true in this interconnected Web we call social networking.
If you don't know him yet, meet Rob La Gesse, a blogger who I had the pleasure of meeting when he complained about a client. He is my personal reminder about how social media networking should function.
He also came out today to meet Shamu, and we had a great time (can't you tell?).
But you can't build this kind of rapport with a customer, even becoming friends, if your main objective includes the following instructions (An example of what not to do given by Todd Defren of PR Squared, be sure to read his post to get some excellent tips on how to properly approach bloggers. Todd obtained these strategy points from an unnamed agency):
After gaining a sense for the community at the blog/user forum, our rep (posing as a typical user) will begin to post up to 10 separate Comments over the course of a week or two, to achieve credibility – leading up to the post that will be of-value to the client.
“Then, another of our reps (also posing as a typical user), will come in a day later – using a different IP address – to thank the original poster for the ‘great find.’”
He can correct me if I am wrong, but I think that Rob (or any other sane person) would see right through such flyby posers. It reminds me of a snarky cartoon recently drawn by Hugh McLeod.
Unfortunately, there are many that are looking for a way to capitalize on this new interconnected world (me included), but they aren't taking the time to respect the culture.
It must be a very empty way to do business.