Derek Sivers

Entrepreneur, programmer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Does your company really want to hang out with me?

Imagine you have a crush on a girl at the bank.

Every time you talk, it's only business.

But one day she says, “Here's my cellphone number. Call anytime.”

Wow! She likes you!

You call her and ask her out. She says OK.

You meet up for dinner and after talking for 15 minutes she says, “Could I interest you in a home equity loan?”

Arrgh! That's worse than if she had never given you her number in the first place!

The fact that she only wants to talk about her business proves that not only is she not interested in you, but she was trying to trick you.

Now you're insulted and will never go to that bank again, or at least never believe it when they pretend to care about you.

This is what's happening with most companies' “Social Media Strategy”.

They're acting like they want to connect directly with you, get to know you, or hang out where you hang out.

But unless they learn how to stop selling, listen, and be real - they're just permanently alienating potential crushes.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alessandropinna/2232582341/