You’ve heard of permission marketing, right? As defined by Seth Godin, it is the transformation wrought by social media encouraging people to opt-in to rather than opt-out of marketing.
Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.
What about permission networking? How does that work and what is the etiquette?
I’m off to the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco at the end of this month (disclosure: the conference is produced by O’Reilly Media and TechWeb, a sister company of mine in the US).
Last time I was in San Francisco, I had been writing this blog for barely two months. And I had scarcely got going on Twitter. I still had the habits of a traditional broadcast editor in me, thinking nothing of emailing directly a leading and high profile social media expert.
But it takes a lot more than an email to convert a social media relationship into a telephone conversation. This social media guru very politely suggested we could speak on Skype a month later.
Now I’m surprised he even bothered to reply.
Seven months later, nine months into this blog, five months into my Twitter profile, four months into my Google Reader and ten months into social media, I know better.
Just as social media has transformed push into pull marketing so it has transformed assertive into permission networking.
As I head to San Francisco this time round, I’m not going to be sending emails. I’m not even going to be picking up the phone.
What I am going to do is
- Tweet out my preparations for the trip.
- Follow the Expo’s hashtag #w2e on Twitter Search to check on who is going.
- I will begin following people I am interested in and see if they follow me.
- Suggest a Tweetup each day.
- Update my status on LinkedIn and TripIt to alert my existing networks of my plans.
- Read Chris Brogan’s 27 things to do before a conference.
But other that those few things I will wait. I wait until people come to me.
And if they don’t, I will know that I need to spend even longer investing in my community before I try to convert social media acquaintances into face-to-face meetings. I will need to contribute even more to people’s conversations on Twitter. And I will have to comment even harder and way more intelligently on their blogs.
I’ve got a dinner booked already and a meeting, both through permission networking.
I’ll let you know how the rest goes.
Photo credit: theogeo