Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Facebook, LinkedIn, or E-Mail: How to Communicate with Your Publisher

With the enormous popularity of Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and other social media  have come an increasing number of ways for people to communicate with one another.

And that's good. But not always.

I'm finding that more and more people are contact me using Facebook or LinkedIn. I don't mean first-time contacts, which is absolutely fine, the more the better. I'm talking about people I've been consistently doing business with using social media to contact me instead of e-mail. And on weekends too.

Nuh-uhn.

Here are my Four Rules of Engagement for business communications in social media.

Rule #1: Keep typical business hours.

l'm not a fan of business contacts who try to message me on Facebook after business hours. It's bad enough they're using Facebook to communicate during business hours, much less after.

You might have time only at night to communicate with a publisher because you work at your regular job during the day, but I work during the day too. That's my time to communicate with business contacts.

Nighttime, that's mine. If you want to contact me after hours, please use e-mail.

Rule #2: Use e-mail for anything important.

It's no accident that e-mail continues to thrive even with all the other ways to contact people. It works.

If you e-mail me, I can always go back later and find the e-mail, usually pretty quickly. That's important for lots and lots of reasons, not the least of which is to remind me what I said.

I might be able to find a particular message on Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn, but it will take me waaay longer. Those sites just aren't made for archiving messages. They do archive them, but they don't make it easy to use the archive.

Rule #3: If you start with social media, move to e-mail as soon as possible.

Sometimes the only way you can find a publisher, or we can find you, is through social media. And that's peachy keen.

But get off social media as soon as you can and use e-mail.

See Rule #2.

Rule #4: Use e-mail.

Did I say anything yet about how you should use e-mail for business correspondence with a publisher?

I did?

Oh, good. Use e-mail.

Or, you know, that thing with the cord. The, um, whatchacallit? Oh, right.

A phone.