This weekend, I was honored to be part of an article in the Chicago Sun-Times. The reason I was honored was because it was a column about engagement – for real. And it was a great way for me to talk (again) about my smart clients.
But I struggled with the headline, which read: Ease of Making Connections.
Ease? It’s not necessarily easy. In fact, there are days it feels like real work. Don’t get me wrong, I love the people and opportunities I’ve found through Twitter, Facebook and other social media, as the article so nicely states. I have no issue with the content or the reporter. In fact, I would say Sandra Guy is about as professional as they come – including me in drafts and otherwise offering courtesies other journalists don’t. But that headline made me think: Did I make it sound too easy!?
This is the ongoing myth of social media: It’s easy and free. It’s neither. Your time is valuable, and if you’re not being strategic then it’s time to pack it up. You are wasting time.
Here are some ideas on strategic ways to use social media:
- Go forth with a purpose. The ones who claim that social media “doesn’t work” are the people who click on every link describing videos of dogs talking or Scarlett Johanson’s latest photos. Be disciplined. Don’t click!
- Don’t suffer fools. There are fools, fanatics and freaks all over these here interwebz. Believe me, they will comment, tweet back and demand your attention. You could waste a day in “dialogue” with them. Or you could just get your work done.
- Good online citizens repay kindness with more kindness. It’s nice when someone acknowledges, retweets or shares your content. Thank them, and spend a little time to see if you can help them in their endeavors, too.
- Your content may need boundaries. I rarely mention politics because that’s not why I’m here. I don’t comment just to make someone feel bad. And I enjoy a good laugh, but not at the expense of others. Bullies are already getting too much attention. Let’s not add to that online.
- If you have a topic you want to lead, then lead it. Those folks who go to the effort of setting up LinkedIn groups, online forums and Facebook pages WANT you to participate. You can’t be a thought leader if you never want to share your thoughts!
Photo Credit: HA! Designs – Artbyheather