Snag a seat at the table

A great dinner party is not only fantastic because of the food and the ambience, but because of the company. The people you meet, the conversations you engage in, and the exploration of personalities and minds make any evening soiree a hit. But how does one land a coveted seat to such a dinner party? By being interesting, of course. No one wants to sit next to a dud. Social media is the same way.

Just because we have transitioned to be ‘social’ online, does not mean that you can throw away the etiquette lessons that your Grandmother taught you years ago. Social media is actually a great place to implement them. We put together some social scenarios to help you land a coveted seat at the Social Dinner Party.

1. You have arrived at the party, and you start introducing yourself to anyone and everyone. You have now started conversations with a number of different people, but haven’t finished a single one.

Online Life: You reach out to key influencers and others you would like to engage with, except once you start your conversation with them, you never follow through. You tweet, Facebook, update, etc too much without actually engaging with them. Frankly, this is annoying and not how social media should be managed. The trick is not to send 20 tweets out per day; it is about sharing valuable information and thought provoking ideas that stimulate ongoing conversations.

2.  You like to boast about all the amazing things that people say about you. Being humble is a highly valued trait. People do not want to hear you talk about how amazing you are all the time. This makes you seem like one of those birds that puff up to attract a mate. They just look silly.

Online life: You re-tweet every compliment you receive. Don’t do this. Do, share testimonials and online reviews, but do not re-share every single positive review or comment you get from your online audience.

3. All you do is talk about yourself and the wonderful things that you are doing in your life with no regard for anyone else. People love to talk about themselves, however life is not all about YOU, YOU, YOU.

Online life: All your tweets, Facebook statuses, Google+ posts, etc are centered on YOUR business and YOUR content. Again, if you are just talking about yourself, you are not engaging anyone else. This is not socially acceptable offline, nor is it acceptable online. Change up the content that you share. It should be a mixture of both your own content, as well as interesting, relevant, and valuable content that others have published. Of course, never forget to source the content if it is not yours.

4. Instead of coming up with your own opinions and ideas, you repeat what you heard from across the room earlier in the evening. Basically, you are claiming someone else’s opinions, thoughts, and ideas as your own.

Online life: You publish content, or reiterate ideas and thoughts that originally came from somewhere else. This is even more unacceptable online because there is proof somewhere in this vast digital land that you stole that content. Always mention who or where the information was originally generated. This is also a great way to start conversations with key influencers, twitter followers, and fans. Instead of stealing what they already said, put your own spin on it.

 5. Instead of proving your own worth with interesting conversation, you name drop to impress others.

Online life: You mention brands or people in your status updates, tweets, posts, etc just to get their attention and “show” your audience you have a relationship with important individuals. Do you enjoy hearing people name drop? Probably not, so why would you do it? I understand that it is not always easy to get the attention of people online, which is why you need to provide insight and value. If you try and get their attention under false pretenses, you are basically setting yourself up for online purgatory. Chances are they will always have a bad taste in their mouth about you and your brand. There goes your chance of conversing with them in the future.

This may seem like common sense, however you would be surprised how many people think of social media as the wild, wild West. Instead of saddling up, guns blazing, mind your manners. Just like in our offline lives, displaying superior social etiquette always gets you further than acting like a wildling.