Dale Carnegie once said “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” So I’m taking this quote as a challenge to myself to become more social, and more interested in, those of you following me on Twitter, reading this blog or visiting me on Facebook. This goes beyond just “liking” someone’s status on Facebook, and doing something more meaningful than only re-tweeting on Twitter. I’m active in a number of locations, and here are the action steps I plan to take for each:
How do you cultivate relationships in 140 characters or less? Not sure it can be done, but I’m going to focus more on @ replies and direct messages with new and existing followers. Second, to create more fun and interaction, I’m going to add polls, quotes and other things of interest more frequently. I don’t have the biggest following, but of the people I follow who do, it’s an endless barrage of self-promotion, MLM offers and the like. I’d rather tweet the same interesting post 3-4 times a day than blast out marketing messages. Third, and maybe this should have been first, I’m going to focus on Twitter lists targeting my geographic area, monitoring for tweet-ups and participating in real world networking. It’s much easier to connect with someone when you meet face to face.
Right now, my blog posts automatically feed to Facebook, and I’ve installed the Selective Tweets application so I can tag choice tweets to appear on Facebook. This passive approach hasn’t created much interaction, other than lots of “likes” on my posts. Instead, I plan to offer exclusive material to my Facebook fans. Also, and being really careful not to abuse, send messages and content to them directly via the messaging center on the fan page. An ideal outcome would be a combined tweet-up and Facebook meet-up in the Lehigh Valley (where I live).
I used to feed my Tweets directly to LinkedIn as status updates, until a close friend told me he couldn’t keep up with me anymore. If he felt that way, I imagine many others did as well. So I’ve changed the application to only accept tweets with the #in hashtag. This way, I can be much more selective, and when linking to a recent article or post I’ve written, can leave it on LinkedIn as a status update for a day or so to get maximum viewership. Going beyond a commitment to write more recommendations, I plan to answer more questions and be more than a lurker on the groups I belong to. Finally, instead of waiting for an introduction, I’m going to turn the tables and introduce people to my network.
This goes beyond my own blog, and maybe should be labeled “commenting on blogs”. Every blogger out there, regardless of fame or perceived fame, is driven hugely by their ego. I’ve always wondered who’s reading my blog, and the only proof I have, beyond what Google Analytics tells me, are the comments made. I can assure you, I will read each and every comment that comes in. Even some of the ones Askimet marks as spam. I’d venture to guess other bloggers do the same thing. So, I’ve reached a simple conclusion — the best way to engage with someone is to leave thoughtful, meaningful comments on his or her blog. It’s also proof you’re reading the material, and regular comments on blogs are a sure sign you value and appreciate the writer’s hard work. I doubt this will go unnoticed. If you have only limited time in your day for social marketing, I’d focus 95% of my efforts on entering thoughtful comments on blogs. It’s that powerful.
So there you have my two month plan. Lots of writing, reading and typing. Buying coffee for fans and friends who want to meet in real life. And truly enjoying social marketing. Will you join me?
Photo credit by eduardtrag.