Social MediaOver the past few years, I’ve heard so many experts say that the only way for success to occur is through engagement. You need to be online and have a dialouge with others on social media in order to do it effectively. In addition, there are still others who say you must be growing your followers or you are dying online. There are yet others who say the whole thing is a waste of time.

So what is the answer? The answer is you need to be on social media so you can connect your clients and advocates with others. I found this answer in a recent article,

It is all about trying to help connect your clients with others. Source: Social Media And Branding: A One On One With A Harvard Business Professor – Forbes, March 17, 2104

This statement really speaks volumes. Remember yesterday’s post regarding, March Madness Marketing and the results I was experiencing. It really was a result of really trying to connect and bring others together.

If you can help out others and help contribute to their success in one way or another, you will ultimately be ahead and you have effectively created a solid contact/connection.

As the article states, social media is a platform. In order for social media to work effectively, proper perspective must be in place. In the past, I tried to be a part of a discussion or looked for opportunities to be a part of a conversation. Now, my goal is to ultimately identify where a need exists and add support or suggestions. Notice, you don’t always have to solve someone’s problems.

The best way to show support is to add a personal comment. This type of approach shows you care. Your goal with social media is to build an advocate network. I know this may seem contrary to gaining clients, but it can be a very powerful approach. As people continue to voice their opinions online, it is important to connect with quality people.

Back to social media, focus on being a part of something bigger. Put social media in perspective and use the platform to connect. The truth is that engaging with others is a loose term and most of the time it does not lead anywhere. Share a response and move on, if someone wants more of your attention, they will let you know. If you are spending 60 minutes of straight time on Twitter or Linkedin, I think you are not using your time effectively. Many social media platforms are hit and miss and most of the time we miss our opportunities.

Why not take this approach? Keep a list of topics and questions that people are talking about and consider writing a blog post addressing these topics.

Another approach might be to start a question on a particular question. Ask a person directly for their thoughts. This type of approach will lead to some helpful information being shared which might be valuable to others.

Bottom-line, it is time to think differently about social media and consider it as a tool to create connections between other people. This is where you start to see the power of social media. Stop thinking about yourself and your need to engage. Look for opportunities to assist others and ask people for their advice. Continue to share that advice with others and start helping your followers find quality connections.

A seriously, different approach to looking at social media. Tweet: What are your thoughts on social media?

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