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What is social about social media?

Social media doesn't always have to be about business and sometimes it shouldn't be. Remember it's a social medium.
Written May 09, 2010, read 1079 times since then.
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Most of what's discussed about social media is business and how social media can be used to help businesses engage in social media activities. But there's more to social media than just business and how it can be used to promote business. Social media is a social medium. It's conversation between people, it's jokes, and sometimes it's sadness, and sometimes its other things altogether. When we treat social media as a tool to accomplish something, we still need to remember that it's much more than that. Being social is sharing more than just information...it's sharing personality, and people like to interact with other people. So what can you do to make your time on social media social as well as business oriented?

1. Post updates about a hobby you enjoy doing. If you like bird watching or photography, or something else, share it. You might be surprised at the responses you get, because other people might share those same hobbies. And the beauty of it is you get to know people a bit better and share in something you mutually enjoy. You might even make some new in-person friends as a result to enjoy that hobby with.

2. Tell people about a fun activity you or something you enjoyed watching or reading. Telling people what you've watched or read can also create opportunities for engagement. For example, telling people about the latest episode of a show I watched created an opportunity to talk about that show and what people thought about it.

3. Tell a joke. Keep it tasteful, but it can be fun to tell an occasional joke and see what response you get. You can even make a game out of it, if you get enough people involved.

4. Ask questions. People like to be asked questions, so if you see an interesting post and want to know more ask questions. It can be a great way to get to know people better and it also shows them that you are interested in them.

5. Share a story with people or make one up. I once participated in an online twitter story, helping to come up with some of the writing. We had a lot of fun and it was a great way to be silly and be social on social media. Telling a story on a social media site can also be a great way to get the creative juices flowing, especially if you get other people helping you write the story. Make it a collaborative, learning project.

Remember that social media is social. It doesn't always have to be about business. In fact making it fun can be a really great way to show people you're connected with that you're more than a business logo and that you want to get to know them as people. It shows them that you have more depth to you and that you can relate to your clients as people. And really, in the end, don't we all want to be treated as people first, and clients second?

Learn more about the author, Taylor Ellwood.

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