Friday, June 06, 2014

Social Media Etiquette

There is only one bible with regards to social media, the Cluetrain Manifesto!
Nothing else will do.

Why do we need social media etiquette?
Because we think that just because we are on the information superhighway, we can build relationships at the speed of thought.
The truth, is that the internet and social media, is all about conversations, not about relationships.

Most social media interactions, are more with the platform than with each other, like how you first end up talking more with your mobile service's call centre before you talk with your friends/colleagues.
So it's more like talking with a bot, where being online, we think that this is some kind of software we can hack, that we easily turn every woman we meet online, into our girlfriend.

The most important lesson in conversations, is to first listen.
Understand where the person of interest comes from, what is it that they like and what is it that they are online for.
Once you think you understand what the person is about, then start conversing about a topic which you both share in common. Approach it step by step and voila, you are in conversation.
The more conversations you are able to have with different people from various walks of life, the more adept you will become at social media.

First read, then write.

In any conversation, as my grand daddy taught me, stay away from discussion are:
  • Sex
  • Religion
  • Politics
  • Money
  • Spouse
  • Race
  • Work

This will ensure that you start on a very neutral base, because since you're not chatting with someone facetoface, it's very hard to understand when you've hurt someone. The intention with social media therefore, is to maintain the conversation, not to break it.
People have had just way too much negativity in their lives, don't add to it with your own.

Direct the conversation to the other person, that way when your turn to speak comes, it'll be more as an invitation.
Social media is not a competition, don't try to fight over someone with someone else, there are just too many fish in the sea for you to worry.

Don't use greetings like "Good morning, Good evening or Good afternoon" unless you're absolutely sure about the time zone in which your conversational partner resides?

Tailor the conversation to the listener, don't blather on about computers to someone who hardly uses a phone. Similarly you wouldn't want to talk about bikes, to someone who prefers bus-rides, cars and trains to
bikes.

Don't take yourself seriously, look at your past as a joke, if you do, you'll find lots of stories there to use to enthrall your listeners.

A good story, is one which actually transports the reader/listener into a whole new world, one filled with fantasy and intrigue.

Create  unique content, which will show more about you to the right people more as a creator than just a sharer.

Focus on your hobbies, it might become your breadwinner tomorrow.

Playing dumb is always a better option than playing smart. Playing smart would just leave you lonely.

Enjoy each conversation to the full, you'll never know when the conversation will end.

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