Have you ever followed someone on social media who was just obnoxious? You know the type. They post constantly about themselves and how wonderful their product or service is, accompanied by endless “Buy Now!” links.
Have you ever wondered if you come across as obnoxious on social media?
The good news is that with the right attitude, you really can’t go wrong on social media. Recently, I was working with a client who worried she might come across as obnoxious or too salesy. Or perhaps that she’d post too often and annoy people. I told her, “If you are curious, helpful and willing to listen, you can’t go wrong.” That made her feel much better about venturing onto Twitter.
What do I mean by that? It’s simple.
Surely there’s something you are curious about. Use social media to follow topics you are interested in and share interesting quotes/articles/images when you find them. Curiousity leads you to search for information about topics other than yourself, and if you are sharing other people’s content, you’re not talking about yourself, which is good.
Did someone on your Facebook page or Twitter feed ask a question? Answer it. Bonus points if the question has nothing to do with your brand, product or service. Did someone post a link and ask it to be retweeted? If so, and it’s not out of line with your brand, retweet it. Is someone looking for a job? Send them links to job postings you find.
Get the idea? The more you help others, the more likely they are to help you in return. It’s difficult to be obnoxious when you are sincerely helping.
I get most of my business on social media by listening. I’m also curious and helpful, but I look for opportunities to be a good listener. Yes, it’s a challenge to sort through all the social media noise to find things to listen to, but it can pay off. Sometimes we just want someone to say, “I hear you, and I care.” Those interactions can lead to meaningful discussions, which can also lead to business.
Let me be clear. It’s perfectly okay to talk about yourself on social media. It’s not okay to do it all the time, to the exclusion of all else. If you can be curious, be helpful and listen, you’ll approach social media with the right attitude, and you won’t have to worry about which rules to follow to be seen as a good business person. People will just recognize that you’re good and gravitate naturally toward you.
Anyone have a good story about how being curious, helpful or listening on social media worked out particularly well?
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net