|Posted by Donnaleigh on July 10, 2014 at 8:30 AM|
The Internet can be a great place to bring inexpensive exposure to your product, services, or events. But not evey place is considered a a polite place to post announcements to your latest, greatest offerings.
Just like you would never nail a billboard to the sides of random people's houses to advertise a class or product you're offering, it is wise to respect personal space on the interntet. On social networking spaces, overstepping a boundary can create strained relationships and even negatively impact your brand.
Here are some suggestions to prevent overstepping someone's boundaries in your enthusiasm to announce your offerings.
Let's Talk Internet Etiquette
for Advertising your Wares
Truthfully, it all comes down to two DOs:
1) Do use your own wall/space (not others') as your personal billboard.
2) Do recognize that others don't necessarily want to pimp your wares. Other people's walls and networking spaces should not become your personal Craigslist site. You may be excited about your stuff. But people likely have different purposes for social networking than advertising your product.
Want more details? Here we go!
1) Respect Social Networking Walls.
Please do not post advertisements for your own products, podcasts, events or services on another person's wall... especially without their permission. You have a wall. This is your billboard. Populate your own space with your own announcements. Consider this: It's not polite to randomly barge into someone's house, find the dinner party and start a random sales pitch, right? The same concept applies with people's walls: avoid becoming a walking billboard. Create your own dinner party: put your information on your own page or group (create one if you do not have one), blog, etc. Don't litter others' networking space because you want to sell something. This can feel violating to the person whose wall has been hijacked for sales pitches. Are you wondering if someone can help you in your advertising goals? See Tip #7.
2) Compliments don't constitute permission to start spamming.
If someone comments that you your product is nice, please to not take this as permission to then start posting every update about it on their wall. Again, you have a wall. That is your space. Use it well.
3) Honor Blogs and YouTube spaces as a person's personal networking space.
Do not post advertisements for your product, services or event on another person's blog comments or YouTube comments. This also is considered spam. On rare cases it may be appropriate when related to the discussion, but note this word: rare. Rarely is this appropriate. Create your own stuff and post it to your own blog or YouTube space. Kindly be respectful of people's established networking sites. They've usually worked hard to get there.
4) Tag Tactfully:
Tagging should be used judiciously when you're doing it for the purpose of self-promotion. This can be a spammy and frustrating experience for the site owner. They now have to make a decision on whether to allow the spam on the wall to try not to hurt the poster's feelings, or to remove it because their wall's purpose does not include not include someone else's wares.
5) Public Groups & Forums:
Before posting adverstisements for your latest podcast, event, product, or blog in a forum group page that you do not own, check with the moderators or forum owner for rules about self-promotion. Even if you consider your offering free and a wonderful public service, when people are trying to have discussions, over-zealous postings of advertisements can feel intrusive, amateurish, and pushy. If the site you have is educational and related to the subject matter of the specific forum, it may be appropriate to post it, but again, check forum rules.
6) Respect Relationships.
If you do not already have a relationship with someone, some people feel like they are being used if another person steps in out of nowhere to expose a product when you've never met. Also, a few random friendly emails do not constitute the right to advertise on someone's wall. To be quite honest, I wouldn't even post an advertisement on my best friend's wall; I would be overstepping even that boundary. Please be respectful of relationships that are formed through social networking and avoid invasive sales moves.
7) Always ask first, accept a polite "no," and don't abuse permission when granted.
Always ask before advertising on anyone's wall. Many of us enjoy helping bring exposure to other people, especially when done tactfully. Often I'm happy to post links to my wall for other people. I often prefer to post the link myself so people know I'm endorsing the product. However, if the page owner says no or "just this once," please don't take it personally, as advertising is not the reason most people have set up social network pages. And please don't post constant updates or new wares on someone's page. Your personal wall is your friend.
What have you experienced?
What advertising faux pas habits do you find impolite or violating?
How have you handled this? Did it work?
Here's wishing you polite self-promotion,