Friday, April 16, 2010

What to be and what not to be? That is the Social Media Question.

Practically speaking, social media platforms are designed to be communication forums. Communication is an interactive, two-way, organic process. If it's forced, it's obvious; if it's natural, it can produce modicums of trust and insight that can eventually manifest phenomenal relationships with time. Here's the real kicker, investing time and building relationship can be fun. Yes, fun and rewarding.

To reap the rewards of natural communication, I'd recommend the following:
  • Listening
  • Learning
  • Conversing
  • Sharing
  • Researching
  • Following
  • Investing
  • Trusting
  • Relating
  • Acknowledging
  • Doing
  • Engaging
In reading this list, you should notice a common theme...did you catch it? These are all verbs, that require action on your part as the person behind the tweets, podcasts, updates, whatever form of content generating you are doing. This list involves organic engagement on your part.

If however, you're not a fan of engagement and wish to alienate those persons that could have potentially followed, become a fan or friend, subscriber or any other term that indicates them as consumer of your content, than try this assembly on for size:
  • Dismissing
  • Ignoring
  • Automating
  • Refusing
  • Assailing
  • Boring
  • Tiring
  • Repulsing
  • Preaching
  • Annoying
Yes, these are all active verbs as well, but the difference... your content is contentious, dry, and impersonal. Sure you'll find some folks that follow, friend, subscribe, etc; but they're usually a carbon copy of what you're doing. They're other businesses and individuals also pumping out link after link after link, brand blasting, all tools of the marketing and self-promotion machines.

So have you decided that social media is an arena in which you want to engage? Then when you step into that arena, you should do just that, engage. Yes, social media can be a waste of time, but on the other hand, it requires time of those followers, fans, friends, and subscribers. So don't waste their time. Make it worth their while, and yours too.

So, what to be? Be all that you can be, and more.


  1. Great blog post Stephanie,

    As you say the rewards of natural 'positive' and 'contributing' communication are huge, and in my humble opinion is what social media should be all about.

    I have met (virtually) some fantastic people through social media and these relationships start to form an important part of my life. What is incredible is when you finally get to meet these 'positive' social media friends it's like meeting a long lost friend ... fantastic !

    Tweet to you soon - Jon

  2. Thanks for your positive and contributing feedback, Jon!