Social Media – It’s Not a Popularity Contest

social media, popularity contestSocial media continues to grow and become popular but it is not a popularity contest to have the most “friends”, connections, subscribers.  It is about building relationships the good old fashioned way – providing value.  We are friends with people because they make our lives better.  Better being fun, lend a hand, share interests, etc.

Being popular is important in high school. Sitting at the table at lunch with the cool kids, being invited to parties, paling around or dating the kid that everyone wants to be like.  That’s trying to win the popularity contest.  It is not real different in college when joining a sorority/fraternity or an organization of interest. We are out of our comfort zone and want to be accepted.  The same holds true for social media but the rules are different. You cannot just show up to see and be seen and nod your head as a hello and people accept you.

6 Basic Fundamentals of Social Media

1. Determine your own Social Media Persona.  Where do you fit in? Are you engaging social media for business or personal or both? What are your expectations of the relationsips you will build and how will you add value?

2. Be around.  This does not mean every second of every day. Determine when is best for you and stick to it.  It is not set in stone but after a while people may forget and when you come back you may not be accepted.

3. Be Consistent.  Again it is not a popularity contest and commenting with one view and then going to another blog or forum with the complete opposite view does not make people value your opinion and trust you.  Zero value.

4. Admit Mistakes.  In social media it is so easy to ignore and move on.  You are not seeing the person face to face therefore it is easy to think that no-one will notice.  Be honest, “Hey I made a mistake.”  This will go a long way in building relationships.

5. Be Patient.  Personal relationships are not built in a day. You are not going to go up to someone you just met and ask them over for dinner.

6. Be Valuable.  Once you have developed your persona and determine where you fit it, engage people.  Seek out people with common interests and post things that they will find interesting. It is about them, not you.

A part of adding value is being in your own comfort zone.  Are you more comfortable with tweeting than leaving blog comments?  Do you find articles you like and share? How much do you share?  If you are more comfortable with tweeting or on friend feed, drop me a line @SuzanneVara. Send me articles you like or how your day is going or topics of interest you would like to see blogged.

Social media is just not a popularity contest.  How many times do you see people posting on Twitter that they got 10,000 followers by doing X. There is no engagement, no chance you can be friends with 10,000 people. Really, social media is not a popularity party, it is an opportunity to build relationships and share.

Agree?

photo credit: Hot Rod Homepage