or…When Social Networking Feels “Too Social”

When networking successfully today, we’re told it shouldn’t be all about business. When we come out of the gate promoting our products and services, people are turned off and?tune us out. Whether at a live networking event or connecting with people through virtual social networking sites, no one want to receive sales pitches, marketing emails, and links to buy the “latest, greatest product on the market guaranteed to make you rich in just 10 days.” It is important to allow others to have a glimpse into our “real” selves in order to find?a basis for a connection (expertise, interests, location, etc.)?and then begin to build a relationship from there.

Is there risk in this? Sure there is, although I’d say it is a relatively minor one as long as we are selective about what and how much we reveal. Through virtual networking, it is easy to quickly feel comfortable with someone and assume a greater degree of familiarity than might actually be reciproacted.? We don’t often have a well-defined and clearly-communicated sense of where the line is between appropriate and inappropriate networking interactions, but I’d venture to say that we sure do know it when that line has been crossed.

What has been your experience and how have you handled it? Have you been surprised by being called “Sweetie” or “Honey” in emails from business contacts??Have you ever?felt that line has ever been crossed? Has anyone ever told you that you had taken the interaction a little too far?

While I have heard such tales from others and have experienced several myself, I’m more interested to hear your perspective. Is there such a thing as personal space in the world of virtual and business networking?