6 or 7 years ago, when I first started using social media, it was a place where people built friendships and partnerships. I would’ve never put social media and selling together because I couldn’t ever imagine selling on social media. Here’s why…
When I first came across social media, I was in a desperate situation to gather participants for my PhD research. So I used social media to turn that situation around and ever since then, I have been personally successful in getting through what I would consider the greatest challenges and rewards in my life using social media. To name a few…
- Getting freelance opportunities on-demand / clients (just asked for gigs on Twitter or my blog by stating my availability),
- Getting a work permit here in the UK,
- Opportunities to work with some incredible people and organizations,
- Being seen as a thought leader in my industry,
- Get the free latest Google phone from Google themselves (No kidding! It’s a Nexus 6P and it’s the best phone I’ve EVER had!!)
- Be awarded the Google Fellowship award for the work I’ve done with social media in the government sector.
- Named a Facebook Marketing Star by Facebook
- Became an invited digital expert on UK’s newspaper ‘The Guardian’
- Meeting life-long friends, who value the same things in life that I do
But, it’s really important for readers to know that when I refer to social media, I’m not talking about the technology itself, the number of followers or fans or how many likes or retweets. I’m talking about the relationships and connections that I’ve made with people and the ability for it to allow people to get to know me better as a person and also put their trust in me, as a person. Social media is merely a vehicle for communication. The thing that makes communication on social media platforms effective are more basic than you might think.
10 ways to win friends on social media
When I ask for help or assistance.
When I’m sharing information about something I’m passionate about that was written by somebody I admired or knew personally.
When I listen to other people’s conversations and jump in to join in on the conversation.
When I repeat pieces of information from conversations or observations from past communications, whether it was directed to me or not.
When I’m talking about something that other people can relate to.
When I’m being totally honest about my thoughts on a subject and sharing my original content from my blog.
When I associate pieces of communication based around a past, present or future event and experiences.
When I’m talking about how I feel, how I see the world and what my viewpoint is on any particular topic or article.
When I was talking to a specific group of people, where I knew their name by hard, knew exactly what their online avatar looked like and possibly knew at least one personal detail about them – their favourite music, hot drink, hobby, food, dessert and etc. You get the idea.
When I wasn’t focusing on how the communication or message would benefit myself.
Did you notice a pattern? Most of these communications and interactions are rich in details and are of a personal and social nature. Not one of them are based around selling. Not a single one. They are types of interactions that strengthen relationships and are focused on a long-term, ‘getting-to-know-each-other’ conversations.
Now that I’ve shared what worked for me, here I have some of the things I’ve done and observed that doesn’t work on social media, in plain english.
10 ways to lose friends on social media
When people talk about things that are off-limits to others i.e. it could be taboo topic or one that is far too emotional.
When the people you’re talking to have a very different viewpoint or perspective to yours.
It’s important to know your audience, because as much as some people love to be challenged and challenge other people’s viewpoints… more people love to talk about things that they agree on when in communicating on a public platform.
When your first ‘hello’ is ‘look at me’, ‘buy from me’ or ‘check me out’.
Relationships are built on trust and trust takes time. Steady on! Get to know a person first before trying to put a ring on it!!
Always trying to be controversial for the sake of saying something to make someone else feel bad or to put others down.
People tend to shy away from fire starters. It’s OK to be controversial once in awhile, but be careful to not overdo it.
When you think the only people you need to talk to are your potential clients.
This is where most people go wrong. Social media is a social NETWORKING platform and like any offline NETWORKING event, you will network with industry peers, colleagues, other vendors and providers, commentators, experts and everyone in between. These are the people who would be most interested in talking about your business, because they are living and breathing the same air as you.
When the message is of no relevance or interest to other people because it’s not about them, but more about you.
Very ME, ME, ME orientated.
Trying to convey a message via an online channel that cannot be interpreted in the way it is intended.
This could be due to lack of body language, cultural differences, using slang that is not understood by those from a different geographical location or background and colloquialisms.
Not making efforts to take the communication offline.
This should be the goal for most relationships. You want a relationship to progress. And like any online relationship, if you get on with somebody and have a reason or excuse to meet up, the next natural progression in actually meeting in real life to give the opportunity for other people to put a face to your online persona or avatar.
When you’re ALWAYS trying to make a sale. Never providing value to other people.
If this is your ‘tactic’, forget social media. It doesn’t work and it will never provide you with sustainable results.
When using WAY TOO MUCH jargon.
As you can see, what doesn’t work in the offline world, also doesn’t work in the online world. The rules are simple. Apply the same social cues you get when you’re offline and you’ll be good to go. So the next time you tweet or update your Facebook update, ask yourself, would I say this offline to some stranger passing down the street? If your answer is no, then it won’t work online either.
Here’s a great video that demonstrates how communication can sometimes be hard but we can overcome them if we try our best to be patient and listen. Never jump to any assumptions and ALWAYS keep trying to make new genuine connections!
Hope this helps. Let me know what you think in the comments below.