The 3 S’s of Social Media

What are the 3 S’s of Social Media?

social media

I watched a movie this weekend called My Best Friend, and while I won’t go into all the details, the short of it is about a guy who doesn’t have any friends (but claims he does) and makes a bet with his business partner he can prove it in 10 days.  During his “search” for his “best friend” someone taught him the 3 S’s of being friendly and making friends.  While watching this I realized, the 3 S’s apply to social media too!

1) SMILE! So you may be asking yourself how do you exactly SMILE on social media?  EASY!  Post positive comments, funny posts, make sure your avatar shows your bright smiling face! Of course you can also add the smiley faces i.e. 🙂 or :0) or even the big smile :D.  Then there are hugs and and other variations of affection.  If you have a blog like this, write posts that make people smile. (I think I need to work on that one!)  As adults, we have a tendency to be so serious, so business-minded.  It’s good to be professional, but let’s remember to have fun too and get your friends on social media smiling.

2) BE SOCIAL! You might say “Well DUH!” You’d be surprised how many people go online, open accounts, tweet about specials, or announcements, but never interact.  They spend money having Facebook fan pages created, and even make posts for a month or two, but when they don’t get the results they want, they decide it’s not worth the effort.  Social media is easy, but it’s work.  It’s simple, but it takes time to cultivate relationships.  Treat social media, social networking, social platforms in general like any other “real life” relationship and you’ll be much more successful.

3) SINCERITY! Even though almost everything is in print, people can tell a fake a mile away and they won’t hesitate to bury you in their stream or unfollow your account.  Sometimes being overly positive, or overly optimistic can come off as insincere (Yes – I have that problem – I have happy days and I really DO think people ROCK!, but I suppose I can see where that might come across as insincere if you don’t know me.)

Do YOU have an “S” you’d like to add to the ones I’ve listed above?  What’s the best advice you would give to someone in social media?

Quality is Never Measured in Quantity

Have you ever wondered how “quality” your online friends are?  Have you thought about how cool it is to have a lot of, say Twitter friends?  Do you think about and screen who “friends” you on Facebook or Twitter or do you accept invitations just as is?

Contrary to popular demand (and when I say “popular,” I say this to those that do what I’m going to speak of NOT doing, and you know who you are), quantity of social relationships should never be confused with quality of those social relationships.  Conversely, quality relationships should never be measured by the quantity of those relationships.  Let me explain more fully.

In your online social relationships, your modus operandi shouldn’t be about “whoever gets the most friends wins,” as that type of mentality won’t get you far in the social realm.  That’s really saying that thousands of acquaintances and so-called friends are going to matter most, which is totally false.  Generating tons of friends for the numbers and the things you can do with those numbers aren’t exactly the most ingenious nor integrity-based way of becoming friends online.  Taken from my own personal and professional accounts, I delete those who just add me to their list as if they’re Ashton Kutcher or Charlie Sheen.  WINNING takes more than just numbers of followers (or a handful of goddesses).  WINNING is actually a two-way conversational street.

What should be your modus operandi, or at least part of it, is the idea that quality and relevant friends will go further in long-term relationships than acquaintances that are only short-term based or only those that “farm” friends.  I’m not saying to stick with your “best buds” and not branch out, because sometimes you will never know who a good friend will turn out to be until you actually converse with them.  What I am saying though is to keep your knits tight with whoever you’re friends with now, and then build up organically on that foundation.  “But David,” so you say, “What does that mean to be ‘tight-knit’ with my online friends?” Think about what defines quality to you and start from there.  For example, here’s something that I would do:

Do My Research

Personally, I check out my pending Twitter followers’ overall profiles and tweets to make sure they’re legit.  Sometimes checking out their tweets alone won’t be good enough to analyze whether or not they’re worth following you, as that can be misleading.  Forget about what their bios say either, as most of the time that can be nothing but self-serving.  What I am most interested in is if their tweets and bio is aligned with what they present themselves on their website or any research that I do (i.e. LinkedIn, Facebook, etc).  If what they say on Twitter isn’t holistically in line with their overall persona, then they’re surely going to be denied, ESPECIALLY if they’re MLM.

It doesn’t necessarily matter if they’re in a different industry or business than what I do, although I prefer to establish relationships that are in the realm of my passions and business.  But that doesn’t mean I turn others away.  Far from it!  Again, it’s about the whole as a sum of its parts and vice versa.

Follow the 3 Principles of Social Conversation

In my previous post, I stated 3 principles on conversing socially.  These principles aren’t just something I made up; these are  exactly the methodology that I follow on a regular basis.  Once I have done my research and have welcomed my friends aboard, then I start talking, engaging, entertaining, and edifying.  That’s where I can start seeing the value of my tweets and their conversations/tweets with me.  Sometimes it’s the least of people that I would expect to respond that would respond heavily with interesting and heartfelt opinions and conversations.  Other times, my tweets will cause responses from those that I knew would be the ones that will retweet or make comments.  Those are the types of people that I know will or have become my influencers, and those are the ones that are on my list as QUALITY.

‘Tis Better to Give than Receive

In order to get influencers in your spheres, sometimes you have to be THAT influencer to start off.  Don’t be afraid to give your followers the retweets, comments, suggestions, etc.  Sparking that type of conversation ensures to them that you know or at least have an interest in their subjects, have the desire to interact with them, and makes them aware that, if anyone, you are listening to what they are saying.  Once that is established, then you start building an organic foundation that blossoms into both of you being influencers to each other.  When that blooms, you’ll see seeds being planted elsewhere while you repeat the process with other followers.

Quality is NEVER Instant

I’m sure my other social media counterparts will have a say in this, but I will make my point.  Quality is and should never be instant.  BFFs come and go (hello LiLo and her many entourages), but true social friends stay.  Building relationships online is just as hard to work on as befriending people in real life.  Don’t rush into things too fast, too often, and too soon.  Let it build and let it grow; you’ll see the differences in the type of quality relationship over time and you will fell good about it.  Trying to be like Ashton Kutcher and generating as many followers JUST to beat another dude isn’t going to get your name out there.  As a matter of fact, it’s only going to be a 1-way street, and that is to get the other guy at the top.

Don’t just be a “good” friend.  Be an AWESOME friend.  Be THAT friend that someone wants to be by your side 24/7 with.  And that type of quality takes work and time.

Best of luck!

David

3 Principles in Social Conversations

Social Conversations

I know that this may be a no-brainer to some, but I figured I’d want to establish a foundation first before I get to the more intricate and advanced details on social media marketing.  In order to tackle the building of that foundation, I’m going to ask a simple question:  What are the underlying basics of social marketing?

Well to start off, it has to be… SOCIAL. That’s a good start, right? But what does being “social” mean in the online, virtual world? Knikkolette already touched base on the fact that you have to be “conversational” in essence, which I totally agree on. In diving further, let’s take “conversational” into the next level of definition: what does that look like on different social mediums like Twitter, Facebook, etc?

3 Principles in Social Conversations

Your conversations should take on various forms and messages, depending on what you’re trying to do.  What I try to establish in most of my tweets and posts is to adhere to three different principles: Educate, Edify, and Entertain.  You most likely won’t establish all of these in one post all of the time, but I try to ensure that each post touches on at least one or two of these principles.

Educate your friends

Education in your social spheres plays out in various different forms.  Some posts can be about similar or relevant content that someone in your sphere had originally posted.  With that note, retweeting or sharing that post/tweet, including your comments and notes can be a part of that education process.  Other ways to educate is to ask questions that are relevant to what your audience/friends/users are looking for.  Jason Falls from Social Media Examiner does an excellent job on educating his audience by posting relevant content that teaches social media WHILE asking questions about that subject, whether those be questions about the content, questions about improvements on the content, and so forth.  By doing both, he gets to display the types of educational content that his audience needs while simultaneously being able to understand the other needs that his social sphere requires.  This type of social targeting makes it easier to research social relationship behavior and user needs for other types of content.

Edify your friends

Dictionary.com defines edify (and more specifically to edify as a verb) as to “instruct or benefit, especially morally or spiritually; uplift.” Why is this something that you should do, and what is the difference between educating someone and edifying someone?  Education is solely just that, to educate and instruct.  Edification goes beyond that, instructing with a purpose.  Why do I do it?  Because I want people to succeed in their understanding of marketing, and when they are instructed with a purpose to be filled in their knowledge and wisdom, not just for “education purposes,” they get a sense of fulfillment that they achieved something that is of value and substance.  I believe that helping your friends and social sphere feel awesome about what they have accomplished, what they know, and the wisdom that they’ve gained from it, makes them a more potent and substantial platform for others to learn from.

More importantly, it speaks of your leadership value, AND you get to see the fruits of your labor.

Entertain your friends

How many people here actually like to read funny articles, posts and tweets online instead of learning?  (I raise both hands!)  I’m a big fan of the LOL/Icanhascheezburger family, so entertainment is a key to staying sane in my line of work.  Posting and sharing something funny is normal conversation online, similar to telling the person next to you a funny joke.  How you communicate to your friends in any social method is no different to how you like to tell jokes or entertain on a personal level, with the exception to the obvious.  Entertainment that is fun, enjoyable, and not corrosive to any relationship actually makes it easy to relate better, and you will definitely tell who will respond to your posts.

Why are these principles important?

It all goes back to your customers/friends/sphere of influence.  When you’re doing social media marketing, it’s more than just about relationships: it’s about quality relationships.  How you educate, edify, and entertain them will have an impact on how you conduct your online relationships.  More importantly, if you’re doing SMM for your business, your ability to engage and retain users and customers in your business relies heavily on these principles.  For example:

  • Your ability to provide them relevant content that’s targeted to their needs/businesses (especially in a B2B setting) is going to help your customer funnel and ultimately your bottom line (sales/revenue).
  • Your ability to engage your audience in meaningful conversations that tailored to their business (or yours) will help you generate interest and buzz, and thus help you get more out of your marketing.  Continued engagement in this format will ultimately increase your online brand value.
  • Your ability to entertain your customers and users in their own level makes creats a more personable outlook about you, helps de-stress any potential or existing conflicts, and also makes your company/brand more down-to-earth.   Lots of people want someone they can trust and talk to that won’t treat them like a bunch of numbers or dollar signs.

Try these principles out and see what you think.  As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask and I would be more than happy to help.

David