Some of the best social media advice I’ve heard came from David Jay at SoCAP09: “Don’t just talk about yourself, talk about the world and show that you’re listening.”
Here are 4 simple ways to start:
- Compliment. Affirmation has always been a powerful social currency. RTs, comments, track-backs and diggs have put flexible, convenient new denominations at our fingertips. Spend freely! Look for reasons to congratulate, to thank, to encourage and to acknowledge to efforts and contributions of others.
- Critique. Obviously not as easy or as fun as the previous option, thoughtful criticism (carefully given) can build even deeper, more active social capital.
- Coordinate. Connecting individuals and organizations with potentially synergistic interests/objectives/resources etc. can be rewarding in so many ways. A simple introduction can inspire loyalty and the oh-so-valuable (sometimes even sub-conscious) desire to reciprocate.
- Collaborate. Taking time to understand someone’s thoughts/ideas enough to actually build on them is a significant investment–one not commonly made in today’s information-saturated world. Don’t underestimate the potential impact of the effort.
The obvious corollary to this sort of strategy is that it’s not the world you’ll be listening to. The world is too big, too loud for anyone to really listen to. Listen to your tribe, that self-selected sub-population you want to lead. Get to know them, engage, and reap the benefits.
Who knows, with all this engaged listening, you might just learn something.