Here’s a lesson in what NOT TO DO in social media. Last week I made this amazing iced coffee using Starbuck’s VIA Instant Iced Coffee product. It’s pretty good. So I added the photo to my Facebook page for kicks and posted, “Honk if you like iced coffee.” It was fun. A lot of people honked, beeped and commented on their love of the dark brew. Then I thought I’d link the post to the Starbucks site which has thousands of users on it. So, I had a new friend request from someone there. Hmm, I thought, should I accept this friend request? The rule of thumb is not to accept friend requests from people you don’t know. I some times hear from people I don’t know so I usually accept the request, check them out and then if they look good (and credible) I keep them as friends. Otherwise, I delete them immediately. Well, this one guy from UK looked good and he was even working on his dissertation so I accepted (and kept) his friend request. At least for one day. You see, as soon as I accepted his friendship on Facebook, he posted a request to all my friends on my Facebook. I deleted the request and thought, well, he’s just trying to find people to answer questions for his dissertation research. Had he just sent me a personal request, I would have posted the request for him. Instead, he didn’t try to build a relationship with me, but posted on my wall annoying me. (It messed up the flow of my vacay photos. LOL.) The very next day, he saw that I deleted his post and immediately reposted his dissertation request. Annoyed again, this time I simply deleted him from my friends list so he didn’t have access to my wall. This is the take-away: just ask people for help; don’t take advantage of their new friendship. Even though we live in a social media world, the old rules of meeting people apply. You wouldn’t barge into my home and ask all my friends attending a party to come to your house for a party. That would annoy me. So don’t post to people’s walls unless it’s about them and you know you would have their permission. The best rule of thumb of all is, if you wouldn’t mention it in person, don’t mention it online. Build relationships online as you would offline. Happy networking!