Ten years ago, we wouldn't have envisioned that we'd one day be photographing pictures of our dinners through an app called Instagram and putting said photos online for all 500+ of our closest friends to see and comment on in a community known as Facebook. But here we are, getting more and more tech friendly all the time as technology continues its nonstop evolution phase with smaller phones, apps for everything under the sun, and tweets at every second, on the second. As we gradually adjust our lives to balance maintaining our online selves versus our IRL (in real life) selves, we're bound to start taking transactions, meetings, and discussions from in person to over avatar.
We already do this in the workplace with GoToMeeting conferences, Outlook inboxes set up on our iPhones for on the go access, and Twitter chats using specialized hashtags to engage followers with the brand. But what about making a negotiation in fewer than 140 characters on Twitter? Can it be done or is it better to limiting that kind of twittering to the boardroom?
If you're going to start negotiating with another person on Twitter, keep the following tips in mind.
Keep your tweets on DM only. Want to tweet to your CEO that it's time for you to get a raise? Or start messaging a couple interested in buying your home with a realtor tweeting along with you? Whether you're doing it on a professional or personal Twitter page, you'll want to keep any and all negotiations strictly on the direct message side. That way your followers don't see any problems that arise or find out too many private details concerning your life.
Respond. I could probably leave this single word here without any further explanation as its powerful enough on its own. Don't leave the only party hanging for a reply - treat your tweets like emails or phone calls and reply back ASAP. This gets tricky sometimes because social media often demands an immediate response and during negotiations you might need some time to sleep on the matter. Be honest about this. Message your contact and tell them you need to sleep on it and that they can expect an answer from you in the morning. In the case of a pressing issue with a small time window to work with, offer up additional methods of contact if they don't already have any on them.
@ mention the right people. The slightest misspelling or absence of an underscore could have your tweet in hands that have no idea what's going on.
Take it seriously. You can abbreviate some of the tweet's message when negotiating but now's not the time to toss in "lol" or some hashtag you made up. Would you do that in a face to face situation? I would hope not! Social media is a lot of fun and certainly allows for you to stretch yourself creatively, but there's will always be a certain kind of etiquette called for during important matters no matter what platform you do it on.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.