Inspired Art and Living with Fiona Stolze

Let’s Be Friends but if You Come With the Hard Sell, I’m Off!

I’m sure you’ve all experienced it in social media at some point or other. Someone connects with you, wanting to be friends and before they’ve even taken the time to get to know you properly, they’re in your face trying to sell you something or force the  latest affiliate scheme on you.

My immediate reaction is to put that person on the back burner. I feel as if my space has been violated in some way and certainly don’t feel particularly endeared to them.

inspired art and livingI wonder what it is that gives these people the idea that it’s okay to start spamming you with offers on their products just after they’ve got to know you? It’s the unwritten law on social media sites that you just don’t do this.

Basically it’s a complete lack of awareness. I get this all the time from people I know on all the major SoMe sites and just because many do, it doesn’t mean it’s okay. There seems to be a great deal of confusion around who is friend and who is potential client. To be honest, when I click on the  ‘accept friendship’ button, I don’t remember signing the agreement that you can step into my space  to sell me your stuff.

I think it really boils down to getting an understanding of what social media really is about. If you are interacting  this way on the Facebook, you will be engaging with others first and foremost as a friend. On Twitter you want to hear what others have to say and are building your network (as well as making good friends). You’ll reply to those you’re interested in and build up a relationship. And then, the more you bond with others, they are much more likely to share what you post. This is how your network grows, a support network of people who will recommend what you do.

So just stop and take a moment to reflect on what it’s like for the other person if you immediately overstep that boundary and try to treat this new made friend as a customer.

If you did that to me, I’d find you unattractive, pushy and unfeeling. I would probably stop interacting with you so much and I would have to tell you at some point that I found it unacceptable.  As I write this I am fully aware that there are probably many people who think exactly the same way about me and so it’s always a nice reminder for me to bring awareness to where  I might be exhibiting this behaviour in some form too.

And it gets even more puzzling. There are those people who even ask me to buy reduced goods from them that are similar if not identical  to the products that I create myself.  Really? They obviously don’t know it comes across as needy and desperate and I’m sure that’s not what they are intending.

If this is a practice you use a lot, why not take a moment to think about how others may receive it. Is that really the image you want to project on others? Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and ask yourself how you’d feel if they did that to you.

So if you’d like to connect with me, please remember, I’m glad to be friends with you and be part of your network, but if you try the hard sell stuff with me, I’m off.

Have you had any experiences of so-called friends trying to get you to buy their products and how have you felt? What did you do to deal with it? I’d love to hear your experiences here.


February 17, 2011 Posted by | INSPIRATIONS | 18 Comments