Social Media – a limitless and untamed cyber world. It’s a land filled with mysteries and unanswered questions.
It is impossible to ignore how social media channels have grown in such a short period of time. And yet, these venues are still often seen as a misunderstood teenager – lost and confused, full of potential and filled with a rebellious spirit.
In the last decade, many have emerged as social media gurus, and often these individuals are the people you would least expect. Who would have known that Shaquille O’Neal, in all of his 7 foot 1 inch glory, would be seen as a modern social media pioneer/entrepreneur? More shocking is how Lady Gaga, a self-proclaimed “super-human” would become the “Queen of Tweet” with nearly 11 million active followers on Twitter. And who would have thought that a rapper from Detroit, Eminem, would have the most clout on Facebook with more than 41 million friends?
While none of the above mentioned examples have anything in common other than their celebrity status, they do understand the power and opportunities that come through mastering social interactions on the Internet. Physically, they are miles apart from each other. Strategically, they are neck-and-neck and practice some basic online protocols that enable them to maximize their following and engage their viewers.
As we embark on the process of understanding social media etiquette, perhaps the best thought process to take will be to separate our ideas into two categories: Do’s and Don’ts
Two Do’s and a Don’t of Social Media
1. Be Engaging and Consistent –Each and every comment the above mentioned celebrities make on their respective social media platforms, whether it’s Facebook or Twitter, is followed by hundreds and sometimes even thousands of comments from fans. Very rarely do top social media gurus ask for direct action or purchasing behavior. Rather, they focus on targeted, engaging content that gets people talking and strengthens their relationship to the brand. And just as talking to people regularly helps build and strengthen relationships in the real world, regular interaction online can be an equally effective way to expand your circle of friends, and by extension your warm market.
How Does This Apply To Me? – To be effective, individual posts can’t be blatant sales pitches or boring comments. No one is interested in boring content and no one wants to be inundated with requests to purchase product or join a business. Focus instead on building new relationships and strengthening existing relationships. As people get to know you, their willingness to listen to what you have to offer will be increased.
2. Be Authentic and Polite – In keeping with our original examples, Shaquille O’Neal is a great example of someone who is always authentic, unique and polite. Here we see a rather large man who spent the second half of his career physically injured and verbally badgered by the media. His absence from the court was mocked by foes and friends alike. Although his fame was untouched, his status as the player formally known as “Superman” or “The Big Aristotle” quickly transformed to has-been! Yet through it all, and even today amid the retirement announcement chaos, he remains polite, humorous and genuine. Just look at his posts and tweets. Each comment made by Shaq is positive, uplifting, contains a call to action, and is presented in his own unique way. That’s just who Shaq is, and his followers know it.
How Does This Apply to Me? – There is no need to pretend online. No one is interested in following lies or friending individuals who are less than genuine. On that same note, there is no need to hide who you are or what you believe in. Social media profiles and content are set up to be forgiving platforms of personal interaction. That’s the beauty of it. No one is forced to interact with others if they don’t want to. So why hide it? Be positive and stay proud of who you are.
3. Social Media Venues are Places to Build Relationships, not do Business – You’ve heard it before, and the subtitle speaks for itself. Facebook is not a sales generating platform. Sure it has some business functions, and there are appropriate times to advertise products and services, but no one is interested in being inundated with sales pitches. With each potential post ask yourself, “What am I trying to accomplish here?” If the answer is to get people to buy product or sign up as a distributor, you’re probably not in the right place. Remember, the true power of any social network is found in the relationships that it fosters, not necessarily the sales it generates.
How Does This Apply to Me? – Don’t be that annoying salesperson that pesters until communication and friendship ties are severed forever. Remember the old adage – Friends are more willing to do favors and business with friends than with strangers. Most social media venues were created in the beginning for one purpose and one purpose only…to make friends and foster relationships. Get to know others. Add insightful and humorous comments on their posts. Post pictures of your adventures on success trips or your excitement for the upcoming convention. Once a connection is made and a bond is formed, you can more easily share the joys and satisfaction you have experienced by working at, and with Nu Skin.
Believe it or not, becoming a friend in this day in age requires more than just adding someone on Facebook. As always, it takes effort. It takes time. But in the end, the results will be worth it.