PostPoints tip: Depart from default invitations
The big social-networking sites make it easy to invite friends to join in the festivities, but if you don't take a moment to tweak their standard invitations you'll be doing so in an uncreative, unhelpful way. At Facebook, the default text for a friend request is--well, nothing. Include a message with your request unless your would-be Facebook pals know you so well that they'll instantly recognize you by your name alone. At LinkedIn, the standard greeting on an invitation to connect is "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn"--which, after you've seen that a few dozen times, becomes as informative as a blank Facebook friend request. So write a greeting that reminds your potential contact when and how you've met. And at Evite, event-invitation e-mails go out with the vague description of "Please view my invitation and let me know if you can attend"; this situation, too, calls for a more specific, creative description that will help your request stand out from all the other solicitations in the average inbox. (The same goes for e-mail subject headers, but that's a topic for another tip.)
March 9, 2010; 9:13 AM ET
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