–Relationships matter more!
I don’t know about you, but the hype over having large communities might be a little over rated. That is if you look at sheer numbers to determine influence.
Here’s what I mean, if you have recently received a “Facebook Friend” request, then ask yourself:
1) How does this person know me?
2) Why do they want to connect?
3) Do I really care?
4) What will I give back?
5) Have I tossed the ping-pong ball back by visiting them and giving a meaningful “shout-out” or acknowledged their presence?
It’s so easy to accept a request, only later to find out that you’ve been fooled by a spammer! Or worse, that you’ve become a “taker” and not a giver.
That applies to Twitter too! Really, any community that you commit to joining expects something of you–engagement. Will you “bring it” when you join?
Here are five tips to being a “giver” and not a taker while social networking:
1) Listen first. Try get a sense for what your audience likes. If it doesn’t work for you, swap out a friend or two to improve the quality of your network and relationships.
2) Think about what they need. Give them both what they want and need. You’ll only know this if you’ve grown your community in a targeted way.
3) Mix it up a little by making the shift from “marketer” to “problem solver”. Stop pushing your stuff and pull a little to figure out a solution you can respond with.
4) Stop looking for your angle. You know what I mean…you’ve got a favor “you” need. STOP! Put agendas aside and just “be here now”.
5) If you feel you have nothing of value to say, then be okay with contributing a “ditto” via RT (re-tweet). Imitation is still the greatest form of flattery. Oh, and saying nothing at all might be the wise course too.
Ultimately, never forget that social networks are just platforms, and that we must humanize the tools. A case in point, not long ago I noticed that Starbucks had a post on Twitter for a talent opportunity. Notice the human touch after I contributed a response…
At the end of the day, people care about, and want to do business with people that the know, like and trust. So be more than a “friend” or a “follower” taking up space on someones profile – be engaged and watch your influence shoot through the roof!
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© 2010, Tiffany Odutoye (@virtualpartner). All rights reserved.