Are you a giver or a taker? In terms of social media, this might be something you’ve never even thought of.
Whether we’re talking about social media for personal use or business advantage, the same principles apply. If you give first, you will never come in second.
Some people use social media for personal gain and they make no apologies for their selfish nature. These are the types who will post offensive things and then shout, “It’s MY wall/account/blog and I can say what I want!”
This is true. You can say what you want.
However, there will always be consequences. Those who take, take, take on social media will isolate themselves. Those who have a negative attitude and nothing to give back to their relationships will see those relationships dwindle. No one is obligated to stay your friend on social media. It’s easier than ever before to unfriend, unfollow, disconnect and even block.
Those people out there spamming and mass-tagging and posting nothing but promotion after promotion are going to find themselves on the blacklists of the very people they are trying to reach very quickly. Social media is not your personal sounding platform. It’s meant to be a tool for connection individuals and building relationships.
Back to the topic of giving, remember this phrase: Givers Gain
Make it your mantra.
Sit down and think about how you can be a social media giver. Give joy. Give happiness. Give advice. Give information. Give truth. Give passion. Give love. Give kindness. Give knowledge. Give patience. Give news. Give humor. Give possibilities. Give gratitude. Give suggestions. Give encouragement.
Social media is a tool to help you reach people. This could be old friends, family who live across the country (or even the world), potential clients or customers, or to share information. Are you using this tool correctly?
It’s easy to sit down at your desk and share links to your blog, your website and products and tweet about sales or promotions and then walk away and go back to your evening activities. Often this happens because you just don’t know what else to post about, not because you’re intentionally being a taker. This is why we have to make the effort to be givers (and isn’t anything worth doing worth doing correctly?) If you’re shouting to be heard over the social noise, then you’re doing it wrong.
So consider some ways you can be a social media giver. You might share the story of a colleague or business person you know. Sing their praises and tell others why they should check them out as well. You could help promote an event for a friend without being asked. Just put your mind to helping and do it a few times up until the day of the event. They will be grateful for the extra exposure.
Another idea is to share great blog posts that you enjoy reading. Don’t just post the link and run, either. Spend an extra minute to tell why you liked it. You should also post helpful information to your networks. Quick tips, industry news, how-tos and advice are great ways to give back to the community using your social.
Examples of Social Media Giving
Let’s take a look at some people who are doing it right.
Mari Smith is famous on Facebook for a variety reasons, top of them being that she is a big giver. Every post she makes is giving something back to the community. She shares great blog posts and content by others, offers her own tips and insight to using Facebook and is always first (or one of the first) to report when changes happen to Facebook. See this recent post as an example (I love this new feature).
As you can see, she is giving back to her readers by giving deep, meaty posts that really help. And she’s doing it for FREE! She does this every single day in addition to free content on her website and free webinars. So there’s no surprise that when she does put out something that costs, people are willing to sign up and pay for it. She has built trust and proven she knows what she’s talking about.
Now let’s take a look at Twitter. How much giving back can you do for 140 characters or less? Well, you might be surprised. Steve Farnsworth, a Forbes Top 50 Social Media Influencer, is a favorite of mine for marketing topics that truly add value. Here is an example:
My new post: 52 Tweetable Tips On How You Can Create More Opportunity, Adventure & Friendship With Others http://t.co/23YONaDaqg
— Steve Farnsworth (@Steveology) September 9, 2014
Another example is Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute.
I’ve never consulted for a company that didn’t have great stories – most times they just were not in “story” form. #cmworld
— Joe Pulizzi (@JoePulizzi) September 16, 2014
His feed is full of useful goodies every day, great links to content, shout outs to others and even great tips and advice from Joe himself. I’m never disappointed by what I see from him in my feed. He adds value to my network.
Then there is also HubSpot, who most everyone is familiar with. They made a name for themselves by mastering content marketing and every blog post, every tweet and every Facebook share is of value. They are an informational hub and this giving back has paid off for them in a big way.
— HubSpot (@HubSpot) September 16, 2014
So with this in mind, take some time to focus on your social strategy and see that you are a giver and not a taker.
Givers gain- how will you give this week?