Tuesday, 13 January 2015

5-Pointers for Effective Connecting via Social Media…


 Re-learning Social Media Basics

One of the real benefits for me in mentoring and coaching others on ‘Social Media’ during 2014 has been the re-visiting of some ‘established habits’, that may well be ‘poor habits’, of my own.

I have, at times, travelled a different path to those I am supporting, sometimes a shared, or parallel, one and just occasionally I believe I may well have been in a completely alternate reality – however that is another story for another day.

This journey has lead me to make a few changes with my approach to the ‘conversation’ based ‘Social Media’ platforms that I primarily engage with; Linked In, Facebook and Twitter – yes I am aware there are others, such as G+, however my time for this activity is finite and so I currently stick with the longer established platforms and just occasionally go for a paddle in ‘other’ ponds!

So what are the main matters that I have re-learned, or learned anew, that I feel are worthy of sharing? Well please read on…

  1. Regularly revisit and question why we are on these platforms; what is our purpose for being there, and what do we hope to achieve by investing our time in them? In this way we can better deliver appropriate material for the purpose that we are seeking to achieve and more effectively journey in our appropriate direction. 
  1. What is it that we are most suited to ‘giving’, and able to offer, to those who choose to follow, read and take note of that which we post? By being aware of this we are less likely to abuse their time with vane, profane and otherwise uninteresting ‘chaff’.
  1. Be ‘me’, or in your case ‘you’! Only one person can create and write posts from your heart and that is you – using third parties may be a time saver however it is my belief that your heart, your essence and your values are all lost as your personal ‘contribution’ becomes diminished – after all would a child rather receive time with, or praise from, its parent or a third party and are you being ethical and honest in passing off the work of others as your own?
  1. Heed the feedback of your followers, however also be clear about your strategy and if it is working towards points 1 and 2 above. In this I reflect that I have found that while you can ‘switch off’ a few followers with repeating messages and links to items/Blogs etc, you can also reach a far greater number of new readers as well – there is a fine line to tread, so if you are using automated posts for regular messages then revisit, refresh and update them regularly as well.
  1. Connect with those who it makes sense to connect with. When asking to connect it is only polite to explain for what purpose and where the mutual benefit in a shared connectivity comes. When being asked to connect ‘research’ the other party, ask any mutual/shared friends how they know the person asking to connect. At all times remember that, at some point, this new contact may well ask you to connect them to one of your most valued other connections – will you be able to do this in absolute faith of a match that is well made? It will be your reputation that is in danger of being damaged and remember Linked In has a reason for recommending that you only connect with those you know. NB: I now only connect with those I know, who I know off (in a positive manner), and/or who are synergistic with points 1 and 2 above, when receiving invitations to connect I ask for more than the standard minimum connection request – this way I have some idea of the authenticity of the requests and the people behind them. 
I hope these five-points will help you in your ‘Social Media’ journey and perhaps in other areas as well – please do leave some feedback and thank you for investing your time in reading this.