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

Keys to Being Social: Humility

As an independent musician, I found out early on that if you don’t promote your music, no one will. In fact, Myspace was my gateway drug into this social media madness to promote my freshman CD. Yet, I find that it’s difficult for me to switch off the self-promoting carnival barker side of my personality and demonstrate humility. I’m not above admitting that.

Humility is a form of generosity. Humility allows us to learn. Humility gives our ego permission to fail. Humility makes us teachable.

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle

If there’s anything true about social media, it’s that the only constant is change. Platforms come and go (I deleted Myspace years ago) and trends evolve and so do best practices (#FF is passé, the retweet button is anti-social, etc).

In order to keep up-to-date, you have to be able to entertain ideas. This is one of the reasons why I admire Gary Vaynerchuk. He went all in with Vine even when people thought it was lame and started using Snapchat even though it was thought of as a teenager sexting platform. In a phrase, he’s a risk-taker. Read more Keys to Being Social: Humility

Clearing The Cache: The Joy of De-Tasking in the Age of Hyper Productivity

Windows 95 by davidak, on Flickr
Windows 95 by davidak, on Flickr

Do you sometimes know you should be more like Windows 8 but feel like a Costco-bought Dell using Windows 95 with 8 MB of RAM (and only because you went to Fry’s and bought 4 extra megs at $100 a piece and installed them yourself) running the new AOL 5.0 using a dial up modem?

Do you think you’re a Maverick but feel more like a Tiger?

Are you constantly adding apps to your phone that makes it run like a flip phone?

Am I making a point here? Yes. I may be stretching the limits of this analogy by the limitations of my knowledge of computer science but go with me on this one.

Your Brain Has a Cache

Yes. Your brain has a cache. I’d like to say it’s the background processing and may even include your subconscious. Then again, I may have abused the analogy, forgiveness is requested.

Clearing the Brain’s Cache.

Do you feel like you’re “always on?”

Do you agree to take on tasks because “it’ll just take a few minutes?”

Do you have trouble saying “no?”

A yes answer to any of these questions may mean that you need to clear your brain’s cache and delete some apps. Read more Clearing The Cache: The Joy of De-Tasking in the Age of Hyper Productivity

Keys to Being Social: Relationships (Are Long-Term Investments)

Home purchases. Marriages. Stock Market.

No one has a problem understanding these are long-term investments. But when I bring up social media, Twitter specifically, all I hear are concerns about return on investment (ROI) word one.

Seriously? So you plan on starting a relationship scheming for what you can get out of it?

Not only is that mindset self-centered, it’s short-sighted. Twitter is one of the best listening tools around. Yet there is so much social failure.

“…sometimes it feels like I’m the only one paying attention to others.” @TheFabSocial

“Send out your messages continuously, and use UPPER CASE. And lots of punctuation marks!!!!!!!!!” Carol Stephen, Your Social Media Works

Picking My Brain

The other day I had a phone conversation with a Twitter follower who wanted to feature what I’ve done with @RigginsConst on Twitter. Another friend said she wished that telephone conversation had been recorded. This is my attempt to download my Twitter strategy for business to business relationships.

Return on Investment

Everyone understands how easy it is to link a tweet with a return on your investment in retail. A tweet that says “show this tweet to the cashier and get a free cookie” can be recorded and saved. When we, as consumers, love a brand, we share it with our friends. I tweet about my deli and my ZipzShoes, for example. All of this can be measured, quite possibly, in real time.

But what about Business to Business or commercial accounts? You can rarely point to a specific tweet that brought Customer A into your brick and mortar. I talk about this extensively in “What 7-Eleven and A Billboard Say about ROI.”

The strategy for social media (I prefer Twitter) in B2B relationships is totally different. It’s about relationships. Read more Keys to Being Social: Relationships (Are Long-Term Investments)

Tweeting with Links – Best Practices

Links by rubybgold, on Flickr
Links by rubybgold, on Flickr

Do you ever find yourself scrolling through the home feed or one of your lists, looking for a little bit of conversation, only to find link after link after link? Sometimes, I just want to be able to reply to a tweet without having to read a blog post first. That got me thinking.

If I, a member of the Twitter audience, don’t always have (or want to take) the time to click on a link and read the article before responding or retweeting, then why should I expect my audience would have a different sentiment?  I came to the conclusion that only tweeting links asks a lot of your audience.

I’m guilty! This post is as much as a confession as an admonition. Including work, I have three Twitter accounts and four blogs. Though I’m not on a regular blogging schedule, I’m producing content and, of course, I want people to read it.

It’s so easy for us news junkies to read an article and tweet it out. The blogger junkies write blogs and tweet it out. And after a while, if you look at your own feed, you may realize that you are, indeed, a linker. Maybe it’s a good time to mix up your content. Carol Stephen discuses it in her blog post, “Tweeting for Engagement: Links Versus Text?” In the comments she brings up a good point:

“I like the idea of having tweets that are complete thoughts, that require very little of your audience as far as clicking and reading~that idea seems considerate.” Carol Stephen 

Read more Tweeting with Links – Best Practices