Welcome to a new series about how to be more than mildly successful in social media. Today’s lesson: Stop Thinking. The more you think about a Tweet or a Facebook post, the more it becomes convoluted and uninteresting. The good news is that most of us are already naturals at speaking without thinking. The bad news is that with social media we have a tendency to check how many “followers” or “friends” a user has and then change our answer accordingly. Don’t do that.
Back to the good news: You can access your natural ability to communicate by verbally replying to the Tweet or post, and then tap what you just said into the computer. Now if your verbal reaction is, “What an asshat!” then you may want to turn on your brain for a little editing, but keep it honest. The trick to remember is that you, in real life, reply with heartfelt conversation all day.
Example 1: Be You
There’s no difference between this verbal dialogue:
Person in real life: “I love cheese!”
You in real life: “I love cheese too!”
And this Twitter back and forth:
Twitter Follower: “I love cheese!”
You: “I love cheese too!”
You’ll note they are completely identical. You might think that proclaiming your love for cheese is trivial and unnecessary, and it is, but what you’re doing when you reply is…relating. And if social media has given us anything, it’s the ability to interact and relate with people we would have otherwise never known existed. If you have a business and want customers, do yourself a favor and talk to them.
Side Note: If you don’t like cheese, then take a stand. When you take a stand and either have fun with it or defend it well, then you’re going to gain many more people than you lose. Plus, you’re developing quirks. We’ll discuss more about quirks and their importance later.
Side note 2: This is a good opportunity to ask, “Who doesn’t love cheese? Do you not like cheese?” Or give your hard working office something fun to do by asking them and reporting, “Here at Big Bill’s Insurance twelve of us like cheese. Two don’t. We’re calling an emergency meeting.”
Example 2: Cocktail Party
Think about the best jokes. When they’re quick and left to the imagination, they are much funnier than the guy who explains in detail what happened with the nun and the monkey and the cowboy (for example). Here’s the rule: Think about yourself at a cocktail party. When the conversation is rolling and everybody is hip to the dialogue, the best one-liners are casually slipped in with no explanation at all. In this Socially Connected world, we are all already hip to what’s going on in this big cocktail party called the Internet, so let ‘er fly. Side Note: Type out a reply. If it doesn’t suit your company or reputation, then “Favorite” and “Like” are your friends.
If you’re using your Twitter and/or Facebook (and sure, Google+) do your customers a favor and HAVE FAITH IN THEM. You can write long posts on Facebook and hit the maximum 140 on Twitter, but make sure it doesn’t lumber along unsure of itself and anyone who reads it. It’s good for you and your business if you’re not condescending (often unwittingly) to the people who want to know more about you. So if you’re scrolling through your feed, and think of something to say, get it down. Even if it’s just a ‘Thank you’. If you don’t get that initial (positive) impulse down then, like a dream, the chance to meet a new customer will float away with the day.