Mitch Joel from Six Pixels – Twist Image has a weekly podcast which is at the top of my regular listening list as well as a blog which I read regularly. Last week he posted a challenge to write a post about the best social media practice and I am taking him up on his challenge. He mentions that since social media is so new, the rules and best practices have not been established so he is taking this project on himself to compile a list through bloggers interested in social media such as myself.
Mitch wrote that his choice for the best practice was “consistency”. Use the same name and picture on every website, every social network, when commenting on other blogs and so on. Also be consistent in how often you participate in the conversation. If you podcast or blog, do it monthly, weekly or daily but don’t keep changing. Don’t join every social network and then just leave them idle. Instead pick one or more but participate regularly. Being consistent is extremely important because without it, you will lose your network and followers but I believe even more important is to provide as much value to your network as possible.
Providing value is what makes the conversation interesting, worth listening to and participating in. Nobody wants to hear someone talk who just wants to hear his own voice without adding anything to the conversation. If you add zero value, you will lose your network or not even be able to build one in the first place.
Traditional advertising is the company yelling out their message at you but they are only doing it for themselves. Social Media allows companies to provide value to their customers and audience so that they will be attracted to you and want to build a relationship with you. If you speak and add absolutely no value, you are just an interruption, like the other 2999 ads you see each day.
Everyone has something valuable to add to the conversation. Each person is an expert in some area and is well equipped to join conversations and add their value. Joining in, means adding opinion, insight, fact and most of all value.
We live in a “ME” world. Andy Sernovitz mentioned that “nobody really cares about your product except for you”. You have to give people what they want if you want them to listen to you. Everyone knows that one person who always needs something from you but will never reciprocate the favor. He’s the person that we try and avoid because we know he’s going to ask for something. He’s like a human “pop out” ad.
Mitch overflows with value so no matter where he is, no matter how often he podcasts or blogs, I want to hear what he has to say. There are some other podcasts and blogs that I have found which I don’t run to hear or read no matter how consistent they are. In this Social Media world, adding Value is King!
I am a typical person more or less that has always tried to get away with doing the absolute minimum to get by. In school, I did my assignments last minute, I barely passes some of my tests, I crammed for everything and didn't care about retaining any information. I always wanted to be successful and get lucky but my problem was that I thought that luck and chance were synonymous. One day, all that changed when i found out that there was more to "Luck". I learned that it was possible to make your own luck and that people that were "lucky", all had very similar characteristics. I made a conscious decision to become one of those lucky people and the world started to open up. It didn't happen overnight and I'm still not there yet but at least I know what to look for and what to do. Recognizing the opportunities to get lucky is only the beginning of the battle. Now I have to train myself to jump on every opportunity and one day be truly "lucky".
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