Remember that kid from high school, you know the one who really didn’t know how to socialize with others. He may have been home-schooled or secluded for the first 16 years of his/her life and as a result was socially challenged? You know what I mean? They would make inappropriate comments, add irrelevant content to a conversation, or just try to impress you with how smart they were by using grammar most people in college would not understand let alone a bunch of high school kids. We often refer to these types of people as, “socially challenged.” The question I have for you is: Are you socially challenged in your social media marketing?
The main reason that people become socially challenged is that they did not have the chance to experiment and see what social aspects are acceptable and which are not, what actions gained friends and what actions gained enemies, what actions got praise and which got ridicule, frankly how to not only be social but be socially acceptable.
The problem I continue to see is that with the advent of the Social Media Age and the potential power of social media, people are jumping in without understanding the rules of the play ground and have thus become social media challenged in an arena that focuses on being socially acceptable. The following is a short list to help you be more social. Think of this as the beginners guide to being social.
1 – Be Social
It is important that you are not only posting content about whatever your subject matter is, but that you are also reading and commenting on others content. There are some obvious reasons to do this, such as building links back to your site, but it is even more important that you are being social. The most important thing to remember here is that you are READING the content. Your goal should be to try and understand what the blogger is saying, then make a thoughtful and intelligent comment. Whether you agree or disagree make sure you add to the conversation. Here are some good and bad examples:
“Good Job, loved the content, keep it coming ;0)”
This is a terrible comment. It is idle praise you can save for your dog. Don’t do it on blog comments.
“Fantastic analysis of the internal propagation for insightful analysis of verbal and written interaction in a cacophony of media.”
What? Are you serious? Quit trying to impress us with how smart you are. You have offended most of the readers and all you have proven is that your are socially challenged.
“I agree that it is important to make comments on other content, but remember that you need to make comments on content that is relevant to you and what you do. It doesn’t do any good to comment on a blog about bikini’s if you are trying to sell stoves.”
Great comment. Although I don’t necessarily agree, it is an intelligent comment that adds to the conversation.
Hopefully you are starting to get the picture of what is acceptable and what is not. Remember we really are trying to be social and we want to learn from others comments that hopefully add to the conversation and get people interested in what we do and what we think. We are really looking for friends and the more friends you have the easier it is to be social.
2 – Write Yóur Own Content About Another Person
No I’m not talking about plagiarism, I’m talking about the biggest form of flattery. That’s right, if you read something that really made sense to you, share it with others. People who are taking the time to put content on the internet are excited to know that somebody read it, commented and then shared with others (just make sure you are giving credít where credít is due). Think about this from a social aspect, when people are talking they always say “well ________ said ________,” “I heard ________ say ________,” “Did you hear that ________ thinks ________?” This not only adds credibility to your conversation, but also gets the original person interested in what you are saying.
3 – Don’t Push People Down the Slide
There are a lot of people who write content that may not have been completely thought out (I’m guilty of this more than once a week), but it does not help the situation if you are the bully at the top of the playground pushing everybody down the slide. Not only is this not socially acceptable it’s just mean! Remember no one likes the bully, but most people like the guy/gal who has an opinion and is willing to help others.
In a meeting several years ago, one of my young loan officers was supposed to be giving a lesson on the Real Estate Purchase Contract or REPC. The young man had obviously not prepared for the presentation when he stood up and told us he would be teaching us about the REPC, turned to the white board and wrote in large block print “RUPC.” Most of the veteran loan officers started giggling at this obvious spelling faux pas, but one loan officer quickly commented, “Sorry James I told you the wrong spelling, it is actually REPC, which is a short abbreviation for Real Estate Purchase Contract.” It was obvious to all of us that the senior loan officer had not said anything to James, but he set the mood for a respectful conversation and diverted the ridicule from a young loan officer to one whom no one would ridicule.
4 – Become the Expert
In the world of social media there are thousands of pieces of content written daily, but only a handful of people are commenting. A recent study suggested that of all the comments that are being written 90% of them are written by the same 10% of people. Not only will you be learning how to be social (frankly the more you do it the better you will get at it), but you will soon be recognized as an expert in your field. You need to set down some specific times of the day to make sure you are researching for new content and posting comments on the content that is relevant to you and your product or service. Start by looking for the most influential people in your arena, but don’t forget to keep looking for new and fresh content.
5 – Invite a Friend Over
One of the first things we learned as young people is that you can learn a lot from a person if you invite them over to play or have dinner. You can do the same thing for your blog and content. Not only does it help you to establish better relationships and really be social, but it also exposes your content to a larger audience. By having a guest blogger you not only expose your product/service to your clients, but also the guest blogger’s clients as well.
At the end of the day you need to look at your social media as just that; being social, not just trying to sell product and services. People purchase from people. They like to know who you are and the more they know about you and your expertise they more likely they are to not only purchase from you but stay with you and refer others to you.