Social Media – It’s the Little Things

Social media is a time suck. We can’t deny it. That doesn’t mean it’s not useful, because it certainly is, but it is time consuming. Even if you’re doing it right. Perhaps especially.

Except Farmville. That doesn’t count, unless your long term plan is to be the ruler of a virtual farm.

Anyway, overlords with a seriously understaffed minion army tend to become so busy overlording, they forget it’s the small things that make a difference.

What are the little things, you ask, barely glancing up from your Twitter dashboard that would strike fear in the hearts of the gods themselves?

Well, for starters, support other people. This can be retweets on Twitter, sharing links to a blog article on another person’s blog, or giving them a random shoutout. There are many ways to support your virtual community.

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Don’t forget the “thank you”. I read some Twitter advice that states not to thank people who RT you because it looks “boring”. Um, I disagree. I mean, if that is all you are doing, then yes, your feed would be rather dull. But the issue isn’t with thanking someone (or a lot of someones). The issue is you not being active enough otherwise.

Also, use their name. Of course you don’t want to do this every time, but make an attempt to sometimes use names during interactions. “Thank you for the RT” vs. “Thank you for the RT, Jack”. See how that tiny addition makes things all the more personal?

Ask questions. Again, you don’t want to ask everyone the same question every time. That defeats the purpose. However, a genuine inquiry can go a long ways in the world of automation and monitors. “Thanks for the RT, Jack! How are you doing today?” or “Thanks for following back! Another coffee fan! How do you take yours?”

Remember to comment. Simply congratulating or wishing someone luck—genuinely, where appropriate—shows you aren’t there just to amass followers.

I didn’t discover these “rules” overnight. I’ve always paid close attention to my social media, but I realized later it only went so far if I didn’t take the effort to show I was actually there. I can’t comment on everything, of course, but following these simple guidelines has greatly improved my personal interactions in the community. It’s nothing I wasn’t thinking or seeing before. I now just take the extra step to make it known.

In short, don’t get so caught up in overlording you forget to show you actually are paying attention.

What additional step do you take, or wish others would take to make social media a better experience?

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