You hear it all the time, “social media is a 2-way channel”, “it’s all about others” or “it’s like a cocktail party…”
All good concepts, but what do you actually do once in front of the screen? Social media is about Karma, I have built a little list of things to do in seven days that can get you some positive vibrations…
Day 1: Don’t Think About What To Say, Just Listen
Most of the time we are focused on what to say. Hell, half the time in a face-to-face conversation, we’re just dying to see the other person finish talking so we can give our very valuable point of view. It is often said in Sales that you can close more deals by listening to your client, because the client is providing you with the necessary tools so you can cover his/her needs. Have you ever been in front of a sales rep that is running his mouth about something you don’t need?
If you listen carefully, you will know exactly what to say and when. It is no different in social media, would you interrupt in the middle of a conversation? Or would you listen first? Besides attention is one of the most beautiful gifts you can give.
Day 2: Visit 2 Blogs And Comment
We all follow at least a couple of blogs. Instead of just enjoying a good read and then surf away, make a comment, interact, provide your opinion. That is exactly the format to do so. If you provide a valuable point, at least one person in the thread will be interested in following you back to your site to see what else you have to say, not to mention the site’s owner.
A simple comment on a blog can be the beginning of a conversation or even a friend or follower.
Day 3: Talk To 2 Complete Strangers
Remember your mom telling you never to talk to strangers? Re-wire your brain. I’m not telling you to go talk to just anybody, in real life you wouldn’t engage in a conversation about Formula 1 if you didn’t know anything about it… Find somebody that shares the same topic, that is involved in the same line of business, stay in your arena.
Exchange ideas. Provide value. Don’t think the other person will reject you, that’s what social media is all about.
Day 4: Share Somebody Else’s Content
There are people in your industry providing very useful content in different kinds of media, stuff that can also be useful to your network. Share it with them. There are a few benefits behind this practice starting with the possibility of establishing a new relationship, getting in front of the other person’s network, your network will see you as somebody that’s providing useful resources and of course you are increasing the chances of the favor been returned.
There are different ways of sharing others content, you can Retweet an article, post a link on your Facebook Wall, submit the story to Digg and many other ways. One thing to consider, always make sure you are crediting the right people and you are sharing the original story.
Day 5: Introduce 2 People That You Think Can Benefit From Each Other
This is also a practice that will get you a positive return. Be creative, there are other possibilities besides providing someone with a referral for a sale. You can introduce two people in the same industry, maybe two people that can complement each other or are simply talking about the same topics.
You will be remembered if the relationship takes off.
Day 6: Answer 2 Questions From People You Don’t Know
Questions on any kind of topics are being asked everywhere every day. When you answer a question you are positioning yourself as an expert on the matter and it is a great way of becoming part of the conversation.
How to find these questions? Let me help you with that. Search for existing conversations on whatever topics you wish, you can do this on Twitter or Yahoo! Answers, both good places to find questions. Do it with the intention of providing a service, don’t use it as a promotional vehicle to pitch your services. Provide links to resources.
Day 7: Think About What’s Needed, Not What You Need
You need to contribute to the conversation and want to do it with something of value, if you have been listening, you’ll know how to do that. When you are writing a post on your blog or simply engaging in a conversation in one of the social networks, think of others first, think about how to cover a need.
Make sure you are not using social media just to promote yourself. Do you like that guy that’s always talking about himself and never makes a pause to listen to others? Me neither…
In Other Words…
This thing is more about others than yourself and it sounds a lot like leadership to me. Apply some common sense, this really works as in real life, if you start caring about others they might just start caring about you too…
The other factor that can’t be ignored is the touch of brutal honesty. Represent yourself as yourself.
“People should be impressed by who you are, not because you’re trying to impress them.”