Keys to Being Social: Hospitality

Part of being hospitable is simply being a warm person. It starts with a smile and a greeting.

So how do we do this digitally?

Bridget Willard

There is nothing worse than feeling unwelcome.

We’ve all been to those parties. Either the host reluctantly agreed to throw the party or we were one of those we’ll-invite-her-but-hopes-she-says-no invites.

Do you want guests?

Part of being hospitable is simply being a warm person. It starts with a smile and a greeting.

So how do we do this digitally?

Have you ever read a blog and wrote a comment that was never responded to? How about a Tweet or a comment on Facebook? These are the kinds of things that make people feel unwelcome.

People often say they don’t have time. Maybe they don’t. But if you care about people you’ll find the time.

There are people like Gary Vaynerchuk and Ted Rubin who manage their own accounts and take the time to respond to people organically. Guess what happens? People feel welcome in their community. We feel heard. We feel like we have value. That’s hospitality.

Maybe you’re that grumpy rich uncle whose behavior is tolerated in hopes that blessings will trickle down. There are always social celebrities that we give a pass to.  If that’s you, you can stop reading now.

More than Meets The Eye

We talk about community. But do we live it?

Do you make people feel valuable, wanted, and appreciated?

Even if our website is beautiful, our Pinterest Boards are pleasing to the eye, and our Facebook Cover Photo is at the current dimensions, we can be un-hospitable.

It’s like going to a well-decorated party where you still feel uncomfortable.

Sure, people can bring their own issues with them. But we are the ones who set the tone on all of our platforms.

How to be Hospitable

If you’re the person who wants to improve your skills, here are some tips to be more hospitable.

Website & Blog:

  • Navigation should be easy for the general public.
  • Make it easy for people to read about you.
  • Ask questions in your posts.
  • Make sure it’s easy to comment (without a bunch of hoops).
  • Make social buttons easy to find.
  • Respond to comments.
  • Check out their blog (bonus).

Twitter:

  • Follow back.
  • Don’t use things like TruTwit Validation.
  • List (bonus) and engage.
  • Respond to tweets.
  • Thank people for their retweets (bonus).
  • Avatar looks like us. (I know mine is a cartoon but I have two Twitter accounts so one is a photo and other is a cartoon.)
  • Some tweets are conversational (not just all links).

Facebook:

  • Post content helpful to your audience.
  • Like their comments. This is an acknowledgement.
  • Respond to their comments.
  • Like other Facebook Pages.
  • Interact on other Pages as your Page.
  • Like Pages from your personal account (bonus) and check the Pages feed regularly.

Instagram:

  • Ask a question in your post.
  • Respond to comments.
  • Check out the feed of frequent commenters and comment on their photos.
  • Follow other Instagrammers.
  • Use community hashtags (find and be found).

Do you notice a trend?

Respond.

Engage.

The same kind of thing goes for Google Plus, Pinterest, Meerkat, Periscope, and whatever new-fangled social media platform comes out next (Ello, Tsu).

What are your tips?

Where do you feel welcome? Whose behavior do you model?

This post is part of the Keys to Being Social Series. 

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