Social Media: Where the Love Is
It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. Regardless of your relationship status, you can share the social media love with your family, friends, colleagues and social media contacts. Even better, you don’t need a holiday as an excuse to communicate how you feel.
Social media serves the purpose of the old fashioned greeting card to show you care. The difference is social media’s distribution is broader and more inclusive.
To show your social media love, 365 days a year, here are seventy-seven suggestions.
Respect people’s boundaries. Remember social media has a social responsibility.
- Obey social media guidelines. This is particularly important if you’re representing your firm or other organization.
- Know your facts. Don’t publish information you’re not sure about on social media. It can quickly take off beyond your control.
- Be your real self. Don’t be fake on social media. It doesn’t work. Know that someone will find out.
- Keep your language PG. You never know who’s reading your conversation or what someone’s feelings are regarding foul language.
- Show your face. Don’t hide behind an avatar that people can’t recognize. Include a photograph so friends and followers can recognize you.
- Tell us about yourself. Complete your profiles on various social media sites. Don’t forget to link to your blog and websites where appropriate.
- Show respect for others. Acknowledge and demonstrate that you value other people’s opinions.
- Respect other people’s privacy. Even if it’s someone you’ve known for years, it’s critical to keep private information private. If you’ll share these small tidbits what else will you share publically?
- Give people a reason to connect with you. Don’t assume people will remember where they met you, especially if it’s been a while. Include a short note to jog their memory.
- Don’t hound people to connect with you on social media. Some people either don’t use social media or only want close connections. The bottom line is that social media is about relationships.
- Recognize differences in background and language. Understand people who read your conversation and posts may not speak your language.
Be there for family and friends. Use social media to be more engaged with each other.
- Show your love. Let those you care about know it. (Of course, avoid blatant public displays of affection.)
- Share your photos and videos. This is a great way to let those close to you be a part of your life. Of course, if there are other people in the photos, make sure you’ve got their permission to share the photos.
- Don’t gossip. While people exchange small talk with friends and family on social media, don’t be the source of the saucy details and rumors.
- Don’t embarrass others. Know what’s “in the family” and what’s okay to share. Remember anything shared on social media can become public.
- Keep your whining and complaining off social media. Face it – no one wants to hear you kevtch.
- Let people know what’s happening in your life. Give regular status updates. This doesn’t mean telling everyone what you had for lunch.
Engage with colleagues via social media platforms.
- Connect with colleagues and employees on LinkedIn. Your goal should be to stay in touch even if your careers take you to other firms.
- Write recommendations on LinkedIn for employees and consultants. Share positive interactions. If you didn’t get along, why are you staying connected?
- Let colleagues know what you’re up to. Provide informational status updates where appropriate. Think LinkedIn status updates.
- Help people network. Introduce members of your network to each other where there’s a mutual benefit. You don’t need to wait until one of them is looking for a new job
- Give colleagues and mentors a shout out. Think #FollowFriday.
- Share job postings. Help others in your network to learn about new job openings.
- Create a live event to share business knowledge. Use Meetup (or other social media platform) to develop live events to exchange information and get together.
- Tape presentations. Extend your knowledge to an online audience through live streaming or videos.
- Use event hashtags. Let Twitter followers gather input from your conference or event through unique hashtags.
- Live blog real life events. Give others an information dump of the presentation. (Lee Odden does a great job of live blogging.)
- Share your presentations. Give a powerful presentation recently? Why not let others get the benefit of your insights?
- Use podcasting to broadcast information. Do you have content to share via audio? Create an on-going podcast.
Respect your customers. Here’s a place every marketer should share the love!
- Educate your customers. Create information to show them how to use your products through blogs, videos and photographs.
- Show them the basics. Offer customers and the public patterns and recipes that involve your product.
- Connect with customers at every point in the purchase process. Don’t just be there for the sale. Help customers with their needs, as well as yours.
- Develop customer relationships over time. Remember, relationships take time and effort on your part.
- Give customers a shout out on social media platforms. Everyone likes to be noticed. Why not acknowledge your customers?
- Provide online forums. Help customers with their problems in real time. Also allow customers to help each other.
- Make your customers feel special. Give them the velvet rope treatment.
- Offer customer service on social media. Be there for your customers when they need you, not just 9 to 5 in your time zone.
- Let your customers strut their stuff. Provide a place where customers can share their work. This is useful for crafts and cooking.
- Make your customers stars. Give them recognition. Oreos does a great job of this by highlighting customers on their Facebook page with, you guessed it, oreos!
Brighten my day. Use social media to let others know you care.
- Send birthday wishes. Who doesn’t want everyone to remember their birthday? Use Facebook to post a quick greeting.
- Thank people. While this is old fashioned good manners, it makes people feel good. It’s particularly useful for businesses engaging on social media.
- Reconnect with people from your past. Seek out your high school and college buddies.
- Tell your friends and followers about events and other useful information. Become a source of useful information. Be the go-to person.
- Send a private message to say you’re thinking of them. Let someone know you’ve been thinking about them. Take a cue from younger users who use social media to exchange messages.
- Create an entertaining video. Who doesn’t need to be amused? Of course, this shouldn’t be done at someone’s expense.
Actively participate in the social media ecosystem. Get out and participate.
- Listen to the conversation before you jump in. Take time to understand the context of the social media exchange before adding your two cents.
- Don’t pass someone else’s material off as your own. Give credit where it’s due. Be clear and don’t just change a few words.
- Stop lurking. While 90% of social media participants don’t take any public action, at least show you’re engaged.
- Follow people back on Twitter. While it’s polite, it’s okay to be selective in the people you choose to follow. (Follow good Twitter etiquette!)
- Retweet other people’s tweets. Where possible, add your own commentary so your followers know what to expect.
- Thank people for retweeting your information. Everyone likes to know that they’re appreciated. A short thank you encourages this behavior.
- Socially share content you think is worthwhile. Be a curator of useful information. It’s a good idea to focus on a few important categories so your followers know what to expect. Use a variety of social media platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+ and Pinterest. (Here’s how to extend social sharing.)
- Show you like! Become a fan of a business or other entity on Facebook or other social media network. (Here’s some information on the value of a Like.)
- Create a blog. Share your knowledge on a topic where you’re the expert. Of course, it’s helpful to blog at least 2-3 times per week.
- Interview your mentors and others you respect. Shine the light on people you feel have something to offer your social media colleagues.
- Offer your blog content via RSS. While not mainstream, RSS or feeds have their devotees. Give them a convenient way to read your content.
- Provide an email version of your blog posts. Let readers consume your blog posts when and where they want.
- Participate in a Twitter chat. Be part of the conversation around a specific topic. At a minimum, it can help you build relationships and get questions answered.
- Reach out to your favorite blogger. Take the time to send him (or her) a quick email to let them know you appreciate their work.
- Share link love. Link out to other blogs and websites where appropriate.
- Spotlight fans on your blog, Facebook page or other social media platform. Give your customers their fifteen seconds of fame
- Offer unique insights. Make your social media followers feel like they’re part of the excitement. Enhance their ability to share your life.
- Get out from behind your computer. Engage with people in real life. Meetups can be a great way to engage.
Help other people out. Remember social media is about paying-it-forward.
- Answer other people’s questions on social media. Become the go-to-resource on your area of expertise. It can be Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Quora, or YahooAnswers.
- Comment on a blog post or article. Do you have an opinion or did you think that the writer made a good point? If so, why not contribute to the conversation. (If you’re a blogger, here’s how to get massive comments.)
- Respond to comments on your blog and other content. If someone’s taken the time to read and comment on your blog, it’s good manners and extends the conversation to respond.
- Contribute to a group post. Offer your perspective on a topic if asked. Here’s a great example on this blog.
- Write a guest post. This is the gift that keeps on giving. It helps expose you to a wider audience and gives you a link back to your blog.
- Create an ebook. Provide insights on a subject where you’re the expert.
- Review a product or service. Contribute to the collective knowledge. Consumers always check ratings and reviews.
- Rate the products and services you use. Let other consumers understand how these offerings rank.
- Give your support to a good cause. Where possible go beyond just liking them on Facebook. Take an action that requires effort on your part.
Remember the Internet is forever. Whatever you post can be found by others including partners, spouses, children and employers now and into the future.
- Be aware of social media privacy settings. Take the time to know the rules. That said, know that anything posted could easily become public without your knowledge or control.
- Be transparent. To the extent possible, be open and truthful.
- Know when to take a time out. Instead of responding hastily when you may be very emotional and your feelings bypass your brain on the way to your fingertips.
- Keep off-color photos off social media. You never know who may be watching your posts. Have fun but don’t bare all on social media.
- Stay off the negativity bandwagon. Don’t just follow the gang in bad mouthing a person or business because others are doing it. Think about your actions. Let your thoughts sit before you share them. You don’t know how someone may react to your comments!
No matter which way you decide to do it, share the social media love with others. It will come back to you in positive ways. (That said, you shouldn’t do anything on social media platforms expecting something directly in return.)
Are there any other ways you like to share the social media love? If so, what are they?
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