Keys to Being Social: Conversation

“A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years mere study of books.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

What role does a conversation have in social media?

If you are of the persuasion, as I am, that social media is about relationships, then conversation and the art thereof, is one of the major requisites of social media.

People generally understand how to comment and converse blog-style on Facebook, Instagram, and Google Plus. But with Twitter, the syntax seems to leave even experienced users perplexed.

It’s funny to me how frequently I am asked how one starts a conversation on Twitter. The answer is always the same.

“You start a conversation on Twitter the same way you do in real life.”

Hold that thought. Let’s first discuss the retweet button and your social strategy.

The Retweet Button: A Conversation Inhibitor.

I am pretty famous (or infamous depending upon whether you agree with me) for my opinion about Twitter’s Retweet Button. But it comes down to two major reasons for me: manners and conversation.

It seems that a retweet is commonly accepted as a substitute for “thank you” or “you’re welcome.” And this is why the conversation is stopped.

To make my point, I recently tweeted:

I really liked this reply:

Though, I don’t happen to agree with him entirely. But keep his thought in mind while I digress to strategy. Read more Keys to Being Social: Conversation

Keys to Being Social: Courage

Recently, at a meetup, a lovely woman (yes, not only 20 somethings are into social) confessed she was worried she wasn’t keeping up with the trends and wanted to try [insert new, fancy, social platform here] but didn’t know how. The men responded with very logical answers about making time, putting it on your daily agenda, and fitting it into your schedule. Sounds right.

As a woman, my intuition kicked in.

Raising my hand in a very non-powerful, meek way, I waited patiently for my turn to speak. I turned around, looked her in the eye, and said, “It sounds to me like you’re motivated but afraid. Maybe you need [the social media version of] a walking buddy.”

Boom.  I saw in her eyes that I had hit the nail on its proverbial head. Read more Keys to Being Social: Courage

Keys to Being Social: Responsibility

Do you ever consider the role of responsibility and digital space?

Doesn’t it seem like the internet is just fast and loose and wild and care free?

With a creation, you, as the creator, have a certain level of responsibility. That is, of course, if you want your social efforts to maintain some semblance of success.

Along with other posts in the Keys to Being Social Series, character has an impact on your branding because it shapes your entire social strategy, regardless of the platform.

What is responsibility?

Responsibility, as defined by Merriam-Webster.com. [Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 8 Jan. 2014] is:

“the state of being the person who caused something to happen, a duty or task that you are required or expected to do, and/or something that you should do because it is morally right, legally required, etc.”

When populating your real estate holdings on the internet, you are causing things to happen. Therefore, you have an obligation to honorably fulfill those things expected of you. This includes refraining from those things which are both illegal and hateful.

The responsibilities aren’t a mystery and the Little Orphan Annie decoder ring isn’t required.

Responsibility to Create

The primary reason to “put yourself out there” is to gain a following and audience with whom you can share your experience, knowledge, and insight. If you’re artistic, take photos, sketch, shoot video, or make compelling graphics. Musicians can compose and writers publish blogs. The more you publish original content, the better you will become at it and, therefore, increase your likelihood said content will be shared by your social circles. Read more Keys to Being Social: Responsibility

Keys to Being Social: Honor

A major factor in spending the time and, often, money to learn social media, harness your online presence, and maximize the effectiveness of your digital space, is to share content and establish yourself as an expert in the field. And if you want traffic, continuous, regular posting is good.

“Google loves fresh content and posting a blog regularly is one way to get crawled by the Google bots.” Ruby Rusine, “Why Is a Blog Important To Your Business.” 

Within the context of social media, we often discuss the concept of branding. Along with other posts in the Keys to Being Social Series, character has an impact on your branding. Why? Character shapes the ethics of how your social tactics will be used to achieve the goals in your overall social strategy.

Where honor most shows itself is within the content that you both share and create. Plagiarism is an epidemic with screen capturing, copy/paste, and right clicking on image. Surprisingly enough, many people believe that if they do an images search on Google, those images are free to use. Plagiarism is both unethical and illegal. This applies to both words and photos.

There are two categories of content: created and curated. Read more Keys to Being Social: Honor

Keys to Being Social: Authenticity

Authenticity. What is it? We hear it tossed around as an attainable attribute but how does it affect our social media strategy? How does it alter our online behavior?

Being authentic, or the role of authenticity, is a concept that has been used and abused like a favorite sweatshirt. It may be comfortable but it’s full of dog hair.

According to Merriam-Webster, the fifth definition of authentic is “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.” “Authentic.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 30 Dec. 2013.

The fact of the matter is that our behavior both online and off affects whether we are perceived as being authentic.

Authenticity and Rudeness

This must be addressed straight out of the gate.  

You should not, in the name of authenticity, think it’s okay to hurt other people’s feelings. This happens both online and off. 

“That lipstick looks terrible on you. Just being honest.”

Seriously, people use “authenticity” as an excuse for rude comments. If you’re not convinced, your extra credit assignment is to watch this video by Derek Sivers: “A real person, a lot like you.”

You can be a helpful person on social media by giving constructive criticism and it can resonate as authentic. You both can and should edit your comments. Inhibition is what saves friendships. Read more Keys to Being Social: Authenticity