In a world where you can reach thousands of people with the click of a mouse, do you ever take the time to make a personal connection with just one person? I do, and here’s why: Because it means something. Here are a few examples:
Linked In: I meet a lot of people at events, and afterward I often receive generic requests to connect on LinkedIn. I will never understand this. It takes TWO SECONDS to delete the template invitation and write a personal note reminding me how we met. When I see “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” from Sally Smith, I feel like Sally Smith is lazy. I also usually have no idea who Sally Smith is.
When I ask someone to connect, I always include a personalized message and follow up with an email if they accept. You never know what mutually beneficial opportunities might arise through a brief email exchange!
Facebook: See above if you use Facebook for your business.
Newsletters: Anytime someone signs up for my newsletter, I reply with a personal note thanking them and asking how they found out about me and/or my novel. And I mean personal—I mention the time of day and what I’m doing so they know I’m a real person and not an autoreply. (Usually I’m in my pajamas at the time, which often leads to a few back-and-forth exchanges in which the subscriber expresses disbelief that I actually replied.) I love explaining that getting emails from fans is one of the BEST parts of being an author and that no, I don’t have an assistant! Then I send a link of easy ways to spread the word about my book, and usually that person is off and running to help―all because I took a moment to say thanks.
Twitter: If someone references you in a post, acknowledge it! It’s easy to check for “@ mentions” when you log in. If you only tweet about yourself, eventually people will get annoyed.
Social media is a great way to communicate! Just don’t forget the power of a personal touch as well.
This article is also up on the website of the 2011 Massachusetts Conference for Women, at which I’ll be giving a workshop on how to get published.