People are using the Internet to connect to information, but more importantly, to connect with people. And yet so many people seem totally confused and overwhelmed about the right way to connect through social media channels.
Here are 10 ways to really connect with others through social media:
- Focus, focus, focus. It is so easy to get sucked into the social media vortex, flitting from shiny object to tweet to update to post with a panicky feeling that if you don?t see everything, you might miss something important. Sound familiar? Stop the madness, set strict parameters designating time to review your social media channels, and stick to them. You may miss something, but you will find just what you need to find, especially if you heed the next point.
- Listen attentively. Set up alerts through services such as Google Alerts, SocialMention and Tweetbeep, or one of the many fee-based monitoring services. Go through your alerts to take care of more pressing conversations where you should be paying attention. Then spend time really listening by reading your streams on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like. You don?t have to read everything but what you do read, give it real consideration and look for ways to move to #3.
- Respond meaningfully. If you want to make an impact in these channels, make sure your responses to others are thoughtful. The occasional ?ditto? or ?uh huh? aside, every response you make ? especially if out in the public stream- ? is an opportunity for greater connection. Ask yourself: Is what I?m saying relevant? Will it resonate with my friends, fans and followers? If not, then why bother?
- Retweet or share. One of the funny things about us humans is that we love to be recognized. In social media channels, recognition comes in the form of retweets, likes, comments and shares. When any of us publishes something, we want to be noticed. By taking notice and sharing what others have posted, we are giving them kudos. Keep in mind that who you recognize is also a reflection of you.
- Provide value. In your own quest to be noticed and heard, are you giving people a reason to follow you or otherwise connect with you? So many people try to build their Twitter accounts by following a lot of people thinking ?oh, they?ll just follow me back? but they haven?t even thought about why someone would want to follow them back. They aren?t yet tweeting or if they are, it is inconsistent and unfocused. The more value you put out there, the more followers you attract.