Back to the meat of conversation. Give and take. Questions and Answers. You say, I say. You tell your story, I add bits of mine. We get to know each other. Social media is built on the question format. People love to talk about themselves. We all do. It’s human nature.
The best way to get me to talk about me? Ask me questions and be genuinely interested. It will help you get to know me (as your client, customer, colleague or friend) and how I tick, what I like, what I don’t like…and how you can solve my problems with your product or service.
If you take the time to engage with people, ask them questions, hear their answers and learn about what they want, you can then give them what they want. It’s like any other relationship – you don’t go from the first coffee date to getting married – (well most of us don’t anyway!) so give it some time to grow and develop.
I see so many people, network marketers especially who want to get right in there immediately and offer their business. What if you took the time to get to know me first before you pop the big question? When you’re in my face and aggressive I feel like you don’t care at all about me, just what I can do for you, and that’s a red flag for me – like it is for most of us.
The cool thing about social media is you can paint a picture of what you do and who you are and attract people with your story, the way you do things, how you move in the world. And, the online rule holds here: you have to contribute to build up ‘social capital’; you can’t just run in, ask for something and leave. Well, you can, but you actually lose when you do that, because unless you’ve built up your social capital by contributing, no one will pay attention, you’ll be perceived as a freeloader, or as annoying, or worse, you’ll get un-friended and lose opportunities for building connections.
You can tell a lot about someone by how they show up online – just the way you can anywhere else (!). I visit a lot of different blogs every week – some I read regularly, some I just skim to see who the person is, what they’re doing, whether they’ve got something that interests me, which might make me a regular reader.
I can tell in an article or two (usually) whether or not the person’s style works for me. I can tell you some things that really draw me in: knowledgeable, funny, open, but not too much personal detail. And, I can tell you what I click away from in a minute: arrogant, snotty, big personal agenda up front, or someone who’s trying to hard to be clever – some of those people have huge followings – I’m just not one of their followers – doesn’t matter to them, doesn’t matter to me – it’s about finding the right people, not all the people.
Keep your updates fresh, and vary them – change up what you talk about so you have a chance of appealing to more people. Provide real and valuable information. GIVE. And give your best stuff – don’t hold back. I used to feel if I gave away my best stuff, there’d be nothing left and I’d dilute all my efforts. What I found is giving as much as you can builds loyalty, it builds trust and it helps forward your brand. It’s the culture of the internet.
A quick word on giving and FREE – the internet for business is moving away from free and toward paid. Some people hate this trend, but for most of us, it’s the same subconscious experience we have everywhere: we value what we pay for. Often the more we pay, the more we value what we pay for.