Social media seems easy but only those who have tasted it know that it can be super-frustrating. If not used right, it can easily suck all your available time and return almost nothing.
For one, social media provides shortcuts to start a conversation. Beyond that normal rules of investing for building relationships apply in order for you to succeed in the long-run. Well, you know this but not everyone does. That complicates the matters a lot.
Since it’s easy to start conversations on social media, AND it is good etiquette to extra-nice in the social media world, you will get approached by all kinds of people. Most are nice people but some are exceptions.
Here are seven kinds of social media companions you can avoid:
1. Eternal Free Riders:
There are many who would expect you to give something for free for which you would normally charge. They believe in the magic of numbers. Their approach is that if they want something for “free” they just have to ask a dozen people and one of them will comply. It seems to work sometimes so they continue to do it eternally. You are part of that statistics for them.
There are some people who are constantly looking to temporarily capture your stage that you painstakingly built over the years. Their stage capturing approach is very subtle but since they are repeat offenders, they get caught sooner than later.
Please read: Mini Saga #30 – Opportunity
3. Fair Weather friends:
These people are readily available to you as long as you are in play. The moment you stop playing, they are gone. You can detect a fair weather friend based on how they talk about their success. If you don’t see others also playing a major role in their success (in other words, they were totally-self-made) then you can find the nearest exit quickly.
4. Lip-Service ONLY friends:
People who ask “how they can help” but really don’t mean it: They have a fantastic user interface but the magic stops just right there.
[ Thanks to Chris Brogan for this tip]
5. People Who are Plain Trouble:
They want to get your attention and drag you to a dog fight so that in the process they come to the lime-light in a bigger way. A warning sign is that trouble-mongers generally start with criticism without basis. Look below and you won’t see that they have accomplished much themselves (mostly because they don’t have the time to invest on building assets) and in general they need a lot of attention. You pay them attention and they will need it even more.
Please read: 7 Reasons why Some Smart People Criticize Others
6. Long-term, but Make-it-Fast Friends:
These people are genuinely friendly and probably with good intentions but they forgot to dig their well before they were thirsty. Now, they are thirsty and don’t have the time to dig the well.
7. “High-cost in General” friends:
You connect with them on social media and they will start sending you “free consulting requests” and take your time for granted. They generally equate ‘being connected” to “being entitled.”
Engaging with these people is an “opportunity cost” that you can’t afford to incur. Your challenge is to be nice with them, yet keep the distance.
Photo Courtesy: Mabel on Flickr