Social media is an extension of your face to face relationships. All the positive behaviors you employ to build a strong business relationship should not go out the window when using social media.
Social Media (or any communication channel) should not be used as a megaphone for yourself!
Sure, it is okay to mention some stuff you have done on there from time to time but it shouldn’t dominate your social media communication efforts. Imagine going to a party and having one guy in a group conversation doing nothing but talking about himself. Get’s pretty old right? When a company promotes only what they do on Twitter or Facebook, it causes essentially the same effect in the social media conversation as well.
The best social media practices are typically unselfish in nature. Retweet what other people are saying on Twitter. Respond to others’ tweets with your thoughts and initiate thought provoking conversation.
Providing followers with valuable information or news or commenting on what is going on in their world is a huge unselfish practice that generates a tremendous amount of goodwill.
It shows that you are listening to what they are saying and clearly want to engage in their conversation. Comments shouldn’t be dry and vague as only saying “great post!” but should genuinely provide input for their topic and continue their conversation.
The worst thing you can do is use the comments section of a blog to post links to your own stuff (not only is this very selfish, but will definitely give you a spam label.
So why does unselfishness matter? Especially in the Social Media world? Trust. Credibility. The more you self-promote or broadcast your own message, the more spam-ish you come across. The more spam-ish or selfish you are, the less people want to hear what you have to say. The less people are willing to trust you. People only do business with people they trust.
Again just as in face-to-face communication, if what you do for others is ONLY motivated by what you will get in return, it will come out in your communication. People generally have good BS radars when someone is or is not being genuine. Make a genuine effort to be unselfish, get to know people and find ways to help them… even on twitter.
“Relationships are solidified by trust. Institutions are built on it. You gain trust by asking not what people can do for you, to paraphrase President Kennedy, but what you can do for others. In other words, the currency of a strong relationship is not greed but generosity.” – Keith Ferrazi