Here’s the way blogging and Social Media work… We post our opinions and observations to our blogs; we create status updates for our friends to read; we tweet about where we are, what we’re doing and what is of interest to us so that our followers may know what’s happening in our lives and what we consider to be important news. That’s the “taking” part of how we use personal blogs and both Facebook and Twitter, because we’re using these opportunities to promote ourselves, to get the word out there about us and what we’re doing, and thinking, about all that we believe to be of interest to our readers, friends, followers, and the world at large. Great!
But that’s not where it ends. You can’t expect everyone out there in Internetland, will be breath-bated, awaiting your very next missive. Well, one or two might be anxious to read your every word, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that every one of those subscribers, friends or followers is actually paying any attention at all to what you’ve written, let alone that they think it will all be totally brilliant. Sorry to burst your egotistical bubble, but that’s just the reality of the Internet and Social Media in general these days.
Don’t get me wrong! I believe that blogs, Facebook and Twitter are all great methods of promoting my business and my own writing and new book and I use them extensively, and every day. But I also realized a long time ago that the only way all three work for me in effectively getting the word out is if I also give back to the system. So I have always made a point of “liking” blog posts, subscribing to blogs I enjoy reading on a regular basis, making comments on them (with a link back to my own blog), and sharing those blogs on Facebook and Twitter. And while on Facebook, I “like,” comment on, and share my friends’ status updates as much as possible. On Twitter, I retweet, mention followers, thank them for retweeting my tweets, etc. This is the SOCIAL part of social media – the giving part of Give and Take. By commenting, sharing, retweeting and liking, we’re exposing our friends’ and colleagues’ writing to a whole new set of eyes – those of our own subscribers, friends and followers! After all, if we have loyal people who like to read what we post, then they will likely be interested in anyone we’re recommending they read or learn about from our shares.
By doing this, we become part of a conversation which is really what all of this Social Media was meant to be in the first place. And a conversation means two or more people equally taking part, contributing, listening, and encouraging others to become involved. One person posting alone and never conversing with others is a monologue – and how quickly do we tire of listening to a monologue? I have hidden countless friends and followers because of their incessant Me! Me! Me!’s and their seeming inability to take any active role in the actual conversation, in the social aspect of Social Media.
So, if you are an active blogger or user of Facebook or Twitter (and I’ve only concentrated on these three here because they are what I choose to use, but the same goes for Google+, LinkedIn, etc.), think about how you interact on them. Remember that it’s not about the number of subscribers, friends and followers you have, but whether those people are actually reading what you post and sharing it with their own friends and followers. What goes around, comes around. Think of sharing as good Karma.
Give as well as take.