Recently, I was chugging along the social media train and realized my LinkedIn update from the day before didn’t receive much love.
It was an update where I was truly interested in other people’s experience and perspective, so I started to write a comment of my own for this post and was going to tag a few individuals.
Now… some people don’t like it when others do this. However, I believe that if you don’t do it all the time, it’s acceptable to tag others in order for an update to get more engagement. I’ve only done it once but it did make a difference.
Let’s face it. Social media updates come and go fast. No one can keep up with the thousands of comments and updates that scroll across our social media feeds. So it’s obvious that many updates (that would interest us) get lost in the shuffle.
However, I noticed something interesting when I tried to tag one of my connections on LinkedIn.
His name didn’t show up when I typed the “@” symbol and his first name. At first, I wondered if he had disconnected from me but after typing his name in the search bar, I saw we were still first level connections.
I then investigated further. I went to my LinkedIn settings and checked out the “Privacy” tab. Sure enough, there was a setting that allows you to turn off the ability for others to tag you (“Mentions”).
So evidently my contact had done this. This is why when I typed his name, it didn’t appear in the list of my contacts with similar names.
Okay. he’s a busy guy and might not want to spend too much time on social media. I get it. But here’s the irony: this particular person (who I really like, by the way), often posts updates and he hopes to get major engagement. I often comment on these updates when they appear on my LinkedIn feed.
But somehow I think it’s rather ungenerous when a person expects others to comment on their updates yet doesn’t want to be bothered to pay attention to anyone else’s. It smacks of “taker” behavior – when another person expects to be on the receiving end constantly, but rarely wants to reciprocate the gesture.
Years ago, when Twitter first showed up on everyone’s radar, there were some early-adopter marketing types who wisely gave this piece of advice: Don’t just use social media to blast your own message. Instead, use it as a platform to start conversations.
Social media can be useful when it comes to marketing your products and services. However, it has unfortunately become a garbage dump of toxic accusations and ugly, vicious opinions. If we want social media to change, then we’ll have to find a way to change the way we use it.
One of the best ways to do this is to comment with positive ideas that hold value. Ask questions. Make observations then ask if anyone agrees or disagrees. Ask why they believe what they do. That is the heart of meaningful communication.
Otherwise, everyone is just talking past each other.
If you’re someone who doesn’t want to be tagged on social media yet you want to receive engagement, pay attention to those who do comment on your updates. Visit their profile page. Find something to like, comment on, or share. This accomplishes several things. It shows:
1) You’re not self-absorbed and only are interested in what people can give to you
2) You care about the other person’s updates (and they know it)
3) You’re interested in helping others
Altogether, those are important traits that would be welcome in anyone’s feed.
I created my Twitter account back in 2009. It seems ages ago, but yet in just under 10 years, I’ve accumulated many connections on social media, some who have become friends and key business partners. However, these connections didn’t just “happen.”
They became something more than just pixels on a screen because we engaged each other.
I’m not a fortune teller, but here’s how I think this is going to affect your business.
People are looking for those who care about them. Period.
Those who spend the extra time to engage others, ask questions and make an effort to understand their prospective buyers are going to be the ones who win more business.
Showing you care isn’t some new marketing tactic and definitely wouldn’t fall into the “shiny new object” category. It seems boring, but only on the surface.
John Maxwell wisely said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
This quote is becoming my life’s anthem. I’m asking myself this question more often before I do anything online: How can I show this person that I care?
The world is full of mockery, derision, insults, and accusations. As business owners, we constantly face a barrage of criticism and situations that could potentially derail us. Everyone could use an encouraging word.
Why shouldn’t you be the one who gives it?
Start today by showing people you do care. I think the more often we all do this, the more social media will improve – and so will our businesses and our lives.