Querying – Social Media Etiquette

Don’t use social media to query executives. Use email.

There’s a line you don’t want to cross when trying to do business with people. In the case of Facebook, that line is privacy. In the case of Twitter it’s feasibility (I advocate brevity, but c’mon). In the case of G+ its being taken seriously (ba-zing!). There’s no way of finessing this. There’s no “Oh, hey you use Facebook too? Crazy! Listen, while I’m messaging you, let me tell you about my screenplay.” The medium is the message, McLuhan. LinkedIn however, is an interesting one.

LinkedIn seems like it’s designed for exactly this. Networking. But it’s not really designed for upwardly mobile networking. I’ve never used LinkedIn to query. Or even tried to use it to open the door to querying. Don’t put your 2nd degree contacts in the weird position of vouching for your writing. At least not through LinkedIn. If that’s going to happen between bona fide executives, it’ll happen organically. I’ve only used LinkedIn after the fact. After a few read requests and an email relationship starts to develop, LinkedIn can be an extra assertion. Unless you don’t get that “accept”. That’ll sting. LinkedIn is also a good research tool.

If you’re reading this a year after its posted date, all of these names probably sound quaint and historic and completely irrelevant. That said, the same general rules probably still apply. Don’t be creepy. If  you can’t gauge what’s creepy, then you’re probably it. And that’s okay. Socially awkward often comes with the territory. Just don’t let it come out to people you’re trying to work with. Not right away at least.

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