How (Not) to Pitch Me on Social Media

With more than 100k+ followers on Pinterest, around 500 connections on LinkedIn and 7k+ on Twitter I guess I’m quite popular by now.

For many years my social media popularity was largely ignored by most people. I did not receive many pitches to share content or to become friends.

One day though the situation changed. Influencer marketing became the next big thing! The flooding began. Sadly many if not most of the requests suck. You can pitch me on social media but do it right!

Are You a Bot or Not?

In one week I got 6 messages – 5 of them seemingly offers to become friends and such – while #6 left me completely clueless as to what it was about, probably just a “keep it up” kind of comment.

While there is nothing wrong with informing people about you or your content you at least should make me believe that you’re a human not a bot.

Also I want to be contacted personally not as one of hundreds of people in a mass messaging attempt. It doesn’t really matter whether the medium of choice is mail or social media.

All the “people” who wanted to become friends with me failed to do that. They sounded like bots and they achieved the opposite of their intent. I’m short of reporting them as spam.

Social Media Pitching Mistakes

How do you convince me not to be a bot or to contact me personally? Well, take a look at the 5 messages first and try to find similarities:

  1. “hey i love your recent shares, i’d like to add you as a friend. feel free to send me some cool stuff!”
  2. “Heyas! Nice to meet you! Im just browsing through profiles, really like some of your recent favorites! I’m new to [x] to hoping to make some new and interesting friends. I hope you add me as a friend!”
  3. “Feel free to like our site – XXXXXXX is a new journal about personal productivity and self-improvement. Best”
  4. “Hi!/ I really enjoyed your shares – keep going… I’ve listed you as a friend here – do you want to make me a friend too?”
  5. “Hi,/ Would you like to my friend./ I really liked your posts./ Be in touch/ Thanx/ Sarah”

Do you see what I see?

  • They do NOT address me personally by name.
  • They do NOT mention any actual topic or share
  • They ask me to befriend them without giving any reason to do so (like it’s an old school link exchange)
  • They ask for a favor without giving first. I’ve never seen’em before and I really watch closely who shares my site and my updates
  • They fail to pique my interest whatsoever, with the slightest exception of #3 who mentions a topic of interest to me but I know enough sources already so why should I share his?

How to Become Friends Online or on Social Media

Do you really want me to visit your social media profile or page to become friends? There are some common sense ways to achieve that objective:

  • Call me by my name, Tad, onreact, Mr. Szewczyk or whatever. Look it up, it’s all on my profile or about page.
  • Mention a connection we have, may it be the tiniest there is like “I liked the x post too, thank you for pointing it out”.
  • Introduce yourself in a short sentence “I’m John of John Doe industries, we do Web design in the UK”.
  • Point out a shared interest we have like “I also love typography, seen your shares on [topic]”.
  • Do not use a young girl’s avatar like most of the above did. I won’t believe you’re real. Come on! I’m on the web since 1997! Ask Ann Smarty – she was no exception.

I’m very open minded when it comes to all kinds of projects, even topics that seem far off.

Subjects matching my most frequently covered topics are certainly a hint at what I like. Just look up my

  1. Twitter stream
  2. LinkedIn profile
  3. Pinterest boards.

How to Stay Connected Beyond the First Attempt

I do not add friends frequently as I noticed that it hurts me and them. It leads to information overload and less honest engagement.

I only will add you as friend if you share content I’m truly interested in.

In contrast I don’t add many new search industry and online marketing friends in order not to end up in a filter bubble. I already follow mostly search marketers.

Do you still want to add me as a friend? Then consider more factors:

  • Do not self-promote on your profile more than once in a row as I will check out your latest shares to find out about their value for me. Even Rand Fishkin does get this wrong.
  • Do not add popular mainstream stream only stuff. Sharing TechCrunch or Moz only is not a big discovery usually.
  • Do not share business only stuff. Social media is mostly leisure for me so I do not want to read only things that make my head work.

All in all I ‘d rather pitch a single well chosen post or stumble if I’d were in your shoes. Being my fan is no fun or solely business! ;-)

Sadly most of my fans do add me predominantly for the link exchange effect it seems.

They rarely share my content although they are shown it by the algorithm. They’re often selfish.

I have maybe 200 real engagers on social media who share more than the “will to promote”.

When promoting yourself send a message being on point and do not aim to become friends if your sole intention is to promote yourself.

Do you want to socialize with me online or get noticed? Link to me on your blog. Share my content. I’ll notice out of curiosity and vanity.

At least write an outreach message that is similar to the ones I recommend. I’m not a superstar – just an average guy.