I have to say, I love this new social, connected world we live in. Whether it’s chatting with my dad (and even my 91 year old grandma once!) on Skype, seeing pictures of my cousin’s brand new baby on Facebook (who I might not get to see in person for a while since they live in Ontario), or connecting with fellow communicators on Linked In and Twitter to share ideas, it’s just so easy to chat, stay up to date and get new ideas.
And I’ve learned a few things along the way:
- There is no one right way to do it. The biggest thing anyone who knows about social media will tell you is that it has to be genuine and real. To me, that means you have to do things your way, not try to fit into someone else’s cookie cutter idea of how you should do it. So if you want to keep your Facebook friends limited to just your nearest and dearest, go right ahead. If you want to connect with business associates on Facebook and they’re ok with it, that’s up to you. And when you talk to people online, particularly those you may not know off-line, just be yourself!
- Manners matter. Yes, saying thank you makes a difference. Thanks for following me, thanks for retweeting me, thanks for answering my question. I don’t know about you, but I’m more likely to retweet people a second time who said thank you the first time. And that leads me to my next observation…
- Getting comments feels good, so give them. Do you remember how exciting it was the first time you got a legitimate comment on your blog or had someone retweet one of your tweets? It feels good when people take notice of what we put out there, and value it enough to share it with their friends. So spread a little of that good feeling around! Comment on blog posts if the author says something that resonates with you (like this one?). Retweet tweets that you found helpful or valuable (just this morning I retweeted a link to an iPhone app that solved a problem my husband and I had been discussing last night). You will be paid back.
- There’s a wealth of information out there and lots of people who want to help, all you have to do is ask. Over the last little while, I have found Linked In, in particular, to be an invaluable resource when researching mew applications, looking for a better way to do something or just to get some new ideas from others in my field. Most people naturally want to help others, it just feels good! So take advantage of the huge wealth of knowledge that exists and the fact that you can easily connect with peers from around the world, and ask away!
And I’ve learned that it’s ok to start sentences with and. And that its ok to write in incomplete sentences if that makes things flow a bit better. So I do. A lot. Because I can. And that’s what I’ve learned about social media so far, but the fun is just beginning.
– Nancy -