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December 7, 2010

Are You Social Media Challenged?

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Remember that kid from high school, you know the one who really didn’t know how to socialize with others. He may have been home-schooled or secluded for the first 16 years of his/her life and as a result was socially challenged? You know what I mean? They would make inappropriate comments, add irrelevant content to a conversation, or just try to impress you with how smart they were by using grammar most people in college would not understand let alone a bunch of high school kids. We often refer to these types of people as, “socially challenged.” The question I have for you is: Are you socially challenged in your social media marketing?

The main reason that people become socially challenged is that they did not have the chance to experiment and see what social aspects are acceptable and which are not, what actions gained friends and what actions gained enemies, what actions got praise and which got ridicule, frankly how to not only be social but be socially acceptable.

The problem I continue to see is that with the advent of the Social Media Age and the potential power of social media, people are jumping in without understanding the rules of the play ground and have thus become social media challenged in an arena that focuses on being socially acceptable. The following is a short list to help you be more social. Think of this as the beginners guide to being social.

1 – Be Social

It is important that you are not only posting content about whatever your subject matter is, but that you are also reading and commenting on others content. There are some obvious reasons to do this, such as building links back to your site, but it is even more important that you are being social. The most important thing to remember here is that you are READING the content. Your goal should be to try and understand what the blogger is saying, then make a thoughtful and intelligent comment. Whether you agree or disagree make sure you add to the conversation. Here are some good and bad examples:

“Good Job, loved the content, keep it coming ;0)”

This is a terrible comment. It is idle praise you can save for your dog. Don’t do it on blog comments.

“Fantastic analysis of the internal propagation for insightful analysis of verbal and written interaction in a cacophony of media.”

What? Are you serious? Quit trying to impress us with how smart you are. You have offended most of the readers and all you have proven is that your are socially challenged.

“I agree that it is important to make comments on other content, but remember that you need to make comments on content that is relevant to you and what you do. It doesn’t do any good to comment on a blog about bikini’s if you are trying to sell stoves.”

Great comment. Although I don’t necessarily agree, it is an intelligent comment that adds to the conversation.

Hopefully you are starting to get the picture of what is acceptable and what is not. Remember we really are trying to be social and we want to learn from others comments that hopefully add to the conversation and get people interested in what we do and what we think. We are really looking for friends and the more friends you have the easier it is to be social.

2 – Write Your Own Content About Another Person

No I’m not talking about plagiarism, I’m talking about the biggest form of flattery. That’s right, if you read something that really made sense to you, share it with others. People who are taking the time to put content on the internet are excited to know that somebody read it, commented and then shared with others (just make sure you are giving credit where credit is due). Think about this from a social aspect, when people are talking they always say “well ________ said ________,” “I heard ________ say ________,” “Did you hear that ________ thinks ________?” This not only adds credibility to your conversation, but also gets the original person interested in what you are saying.

3 – Don’t Push People Down the Slide

There are a lot of people who write content that may not have been completely thought out (I’m guilty of this more than once a week), but it does not help the situation if you are the bully at the top of the playground pushing everyone down the slide. Not only is this not socially acceptable it’s just mean! Remember nobody likes the bully, but most people like the guy/gal who has an opinion and is willing to help others.

In a meeting several years ago, one of my young loan officers was supposed to be giving a lesson on the Real Estate Purchase Contract or REPC. The young man had obviously not prepared for the presentation when he stood up and told us he would be teaching us about the REPC, turned to the white board and wrote in large block print “RUPC.” Most of the veteran loan officers started giggling at this obvious spelling faux pas, but one loan officer quickly commented, “Sorry James I told you the wrong spelling, it is actually REPC, which is a short abbreviation for Real Estate Purchase Contract.” It was obvious to all of us that the senior loan officer had not said anything to James, but he set the mood for a respectful conversation and diverted the ridicule from a young loan officer to one whom no one would ridicule.

4 – Become the Expert

In the world of social media there are thousands of pieces of content written daily, but only a handful of people are commenting. A recent study suggested that of all the comments that are being written 90% of them are written by the same 10% of people. Not only will you be learning how to be social (frankly the more you do it the better you will get at it), but you will soon be recognized as an expert in your field. You need to set down some specific times of the day to make sure you are researching for new content and posting comments on the content that is relevant to you and your product or service. Start by looking for the most influential people in your arena, but don’t forget to keep looking for new and fresh content.

5 – Invite a Friend Over

One of the first things we learned as young people is that you can learn a lot from a person if you invite them over to play or have dinner. You can do the same thing for your blog and content. Not only does it help you to establish better relationships and really be social, but it also exposes your content to a larger audience. By having a guest blogger you not only expose your product/service to your clients, but also
the guest blogger’s clients as well.

At the end of the day you need to look at your social media as just that; being social, not just trying to sell product and services. People buy from people. They like to know who you are and the more they know about you and your expertise they more likely they are to not only buy from you but stay with you and refer others to you.


For this and other articles, please go to www.mymark.com/articles . MyMark, LLC is a media rich professional social networking website that gives you the tools to use social media optimization to enhance your search engine optimization and generate revenue. Visit
www.mymark.com today to set up your free account!

10 Responses to “Are You Social Media Challenged?

    avatar Jane says:

    I usually find these articles useful, and this one is too, thank you!

    I would like to take this opportunity to correct some implications you make in this article. One: Homeschoilers have poor social skills. Studies show that homeschoolers as a group have better social skills at age 18 than youths educated in any other environment. Two: All it takes is practice to develop social skills. First, kids need good adult role models, and then they need the mental development to apply the modeling. As a person with Aspergers Syndrome and a parent of a child with Aspergers, I can tell you that for many of us social skills are not just a matter of role models and practice. If you meet a 20-something with poor social skills, it is far more likely to be due to Aspergers than to homeschooling or an isolated childhood.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to help those of us who are socially challenged! Clear directions with “do this” “don’t do that” examples are the most helpful types of articles for me.

    avatar Grey Olltwit says:

    So generally pretend to be nice in the most devious way, in order to eventually sign up the poor suckers who fall for it, to some get rich quick scam or useless product. And all the time you’re still ignoring that poor kid you first described, who in your opinion was ‘socially challenged’. You’re worse than the bully you mentioned. Little wonder that the poor ‘socially challenged’ kid gets hold of an AK45 when he’s old enough and wipes out a whole group of innocent people.

    avatar Tyrell Gray says:

    Jane,
    Great comment you are absolutely correct. I apologize if I made the context seem derogatory towards homeschool education, that was definitely not my intention. As you mention homeschool individuals often have better social skills as adults. I was trying to draw out the difference in how the general public as youth learns to socialize compared to individuals that only socialize with 2 or 3 individuals. Homeschooling offers many documented advantages including higher comprehension rates, better analytical skills, and significantly improved math abilities.
    I feel that this further emphasizes my point that when in rome do as the romans do. If your goal is to gain more clients, get access to more opportunities and gain a global reach it is important to understand how the majority of the world is interacting. Not saying that interaction is better or worse than how you would typically interact, it is simply making sure you understand how to get the most from the tools you have available to you.

    avatar Mike says:

    This article is very timely. Social media is becoming more important every day and it has the added benefit of word of mouth (e.g. the Like or Share buttons on Facebook)which search engines do not. Business will see this as becoming the number one marketing tool in the very near future. Thanks for the tips on how to approach Social media!

    avatar Randy Bennett says:

    I must say that I feel strongly about the homeschooling issue (who doesn’t?).
    Once upon a time when I was a missionary for my church I did an informal study from watching relationships of people in the 18-25 yr old group. As missionaries we lived in groups of 2 and spent all of our time (24/7/365) together. In this environment I feel that a person’s social abilities were really stressed and tested.
    I noticed that EVERY time that there was a fistfight or a need for an emergency transfer or anything related to these things at least one person involved was homeschooled. The homeschooled missionaries tended to be the ones who would quickly throw up their hands and give up or start a fight. I believe that homeschooling stunts a person’s growth beyond measure.

    avatar Trenton Willson says:

    Ty,

    “Good Job, loved the content, keep it coming ;0)”

    No really, I thought this was a great article. I understand the controversy you mentioned on your facebook link. However, I don’t think it was offensive at all. We will always have the debate over the social effects of public schooling vs. home schooling but there is no denying that there is a stamp socially for good or ill either direction.

    Getting back to the point of your article. I have learned in networking meetings that like it or not, whatever you post on social media sites you are branding yourself to others who may or may not know you. If you use vulgar language or misspell words etc. you are putting yourself in a situation to be seen in a negative light. All social media, if used effectively, should portray your strengths and not your weakness. I would also prefer to not have to read the personal “wo is me every time I post” posts.

    Thanks again for your article.

    avatar Eric says:

    What’s with the home-schooler jibe? Come on. I’ve got 2 of them and they instantly make friends wherever they go and they never get into fights or picked on. They are high-ranking Karate students and they are the best students at our religious Sunday school. They don’t show off at all. Their teachers and the parents of their friends love them.

    I don’t know about the missionary, since we don’t believe in “converting” other folk into our religion (a good way to get into fights). However, I find that rotten children are rotten children whether they are home-schooled or not.

    You have a nice blog. Just be more thoughtful of people who are not like you.

    avatar Spence says:

    Good Job, loved the content, keep it coming ;0).

    Only kidding, interesting article though. Was keen to see what comments there were in an article about social commenting, and it turns out a discussion about home schooling! Ah well, better than cheap viagra pills I guess.

    avatar website melbourne says:

    Social Media does provide consumers with a public forum to express negative opinion it also provides companies with the opportunity to openly address issues and show that they take action and value consumer opinions and happiness.

    avatar Dian Ryan says:

    The best way to stand out against your competition is by not making the same online mistakes that they have made. Show your competition that you are different, and show your prospective clients that you are different.

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