Keys to Being Social: Generosity

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.” J. R. R. Tolkien

Have you encountered a generous person online? They’re the ones who make you feel special, though they follow thousands or tens of thousands of people. How do they do it?

Often it’s more useful to define concepts by their opposites. Being selfish or stingy is regarded as anti-social behavior both online and off. Yet, this creature manifests itself brazenly on social media all of the time. It’s your inner me-me-me dragon.

It’s possible you haven’t intended to hold back but realize you’re not getting very much engagement. Is it because you post and go?

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times:

If you want to have friends, you have to be a friend.

“…if you get on Twitter and you present yourself as a business with a reputation for helping others, guess what, the law of reciprocity is going to come back and help you at some point.”

Darren Slaughter, “Ten Ways Contractors Should Be Using but Aren’t

Tame the Stingy Dragon – Be a Generous Guru

Here are some ways to tame your inner dragon. Read more Keys to Being Social: Generosity

Leadership Through Following – A Twitter Strategy

“Leadership is a choice not a rank.”  Simon Sinek 

To follow or not to follow, that is the question and a highly debated topic.

Twitter is, in my opinion, the most public of all of the social networks. Though you can make your account private, unless you do, I feel that you should fully consider why I believe you should follow everyone* back.

It is in your following behavior that you demonstrate true leadership and, dare I say, the best way to grow your following.


Yes, there are #TeamFollowBack, #BirthdayClub, and #BuyMoreFollowers spam along with porn sites. Don’t follow them.


Yes. It is your Twitter feed. You are able to run it the way you choose. However, if you plan on tweeting for a business or for your professional life, I’d ask you to consider it fully. But if you want to be that guy who has 50,000+ followers and only follows 78, be my guest. If that’s you, you probably won’t like the rest of this article.


Yes, it is way easier to manage tweets from under a hundred people. Did you really think you’d read every single tweet? Just the thought of it makes me stressed out.

One of my favorite parts of Twitter is that reading the tweets is a low-commitment, easy-to-handle task. When I’m waiting at the doctor, or waiting for my boss to sign checks, or have a few moments to spare, I can read Twitter. It’s easy to start and easy to stop.


Generosity is a key attribute of leadership. We all respond well to those who give more than they take. And when they ask for favors (retweets, links, store purchases) many of us are happy to oblige. We’re your biggest fans, so why not follow back?

Another form of generosity is spending 5-10 minutes a day in your home feed and responding to those people. Sage advice from Scott Stratten I saw years ago. I do it daily. Guess what? I meet new people. (Imagine that!)

Read more Leadership Through Following – A Twitter Strategy

Social Media Isn’t Sea Monkeys – It’s a Long Game


People in need of a quick fix to their business problems often expect [insert social media platform here] to produce instant results.

Social media is media (read: technology) used for social reasons (read: connections). Unfortunately, there’s no short-cut to that.

There is no “instant” in social media, only in oatmeal.

“Sea Monkeys – The amazing live, instant pets.”

I been known to exclaim, sometimes loudly, that Twitter isn’t Sea-Monkeys. In fact, it’s more like a salt-water fish tank with its complicated steps, wait time, three-week nitrogen cycles, bacteria, continual care and testing and that’s before you add your heavily-researched fish.

Your social networks are cultivated communities who respond in kind.

What kind of work is involved?

In no particular order, here are some things to consider.

So you see, there is a lot involved. Put time in your schedule to handle this fragile ecosystem or outsource it. But remember, above all, social media is a commitment. It’s a long-game.


The Guru


Keys to Being Social: Introductions

“Nobody gets anywhere in life without the help of others.” ~ John C Maxwell “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect

How do you meet people?

Gone are the days when you read every randomly pinned business card on the laundromat’s bulletin board while you’re waiting for your clothes to dry. But even that is better than opening up the Yellow Pages (does anyone still have those?) and finding what you need. Your fingers would have to walk miles.

Meeting people is always challenging. Sometimes, it is our biggest question. How do you meet that special person? How do you find a plumber? Who will you know at the exciting conference next month?

Part of being social is getting to know people. (What a concept, right?) It may just be me but sometimes I think two people have more in common with each other (than with me). I simply send out a tweet.

“Hey @soandso. You should check out @whoever because you both [insert commonality]”

Not to digress, but this was the original purpose of #FollowFriday or #FF tweets – to introduce you to people who you may not know, but should.

In social media, introductions are a good way to build not just a following, but a community. These relationships develop. People know other people. Introductions can turn into connections and can become referrals. Read more Keys to Being Social: Introductions

Keys to Being Social: Grammar

I cannot even tell you how many blog posts I’ve come across over the years whose first paragraphs had so severely injured my eyes that I could not continue reading.

I’ve offered to proofread people’s posts and instead of thanking me for the free help, they’re offended.

Guess what? You’re standing in the middle of the room with your pants down and everyone sees it. I’m the one offering a belt. It’s your choice whether the belt is viewed as a tool to inflict punishment or a much-needed support system.

Yes, grammar matters.

True, a well-written post about nothing is like a waterless cloud. The need for content does not outweigh the need for its presentation to be, well, presentable.

Yes, we all screw up, too. This is not an indictment on your person. I am not condemning you to a life lived in solitary on a deserted island with only a dictionary to read. You shouldn’t be offended by the post, you should be motivated to improve your writing.

Heck! Spell check is my friend. Google helps me learn words. The issue isn’t the struggle; it’s the results.

English is hard. 85% of the words in our lexicon were borrowed without conforming their spelling to our rules. I get that. It’s for that reason that English is the only language with Spelling Bees and posts like this one from Copyblogger, “15 grammar goofs that make you look silly,” are written.

Difficulty is Not an Acceptable Excuse

Do you want to be taken seriously or do you want your ideas to be dismissed? Read more Keys to Being Social: Grammar