People use social media in a lot of different ways, and what works the best is when social media is actually social. Visualize a big networking event. Aside from that one guy your cousin knows who always shows up and gets ripped, many are approachable. So there you are, with your fancy glass of wine in hand–now what? Here are three ways you can engage online.
1. Talk to Your New Follower About Himself. If you accept the premise that social media is a giant networking event, what could you talk about? Think about each Twitter or Facebook or Pinterest account as being a person or a business. What would you actually say to that person if you met them in real life? You could talk about their profile, or ask them about their business. One thing I love to ask about is their name. If you’re a shy person, networking is much easier if you have a topic. Since most people love to talk about themselves, engage them in a conversation about themselves!
2. Ask Your New Friend How She Got Her Name. Most people love to discuss their own names. So you can ask: Were they named after someone? Do they like their name? Do they have a nickname? Do others have a hard time pronouncing their name? Why doesn’t their name have any vowels in it? If it’s a common name, did they ever receive anyone else’s mail by mistake?
3. For a Business, Ask About What They Do. How long have they been in business? What is their service area? Who are their competitors? Has business been good lately? Is their business seasonal? There are hundreds of questions you could ask–and that any businessperson would love to answer.
If you start out just talking about yourself, chances are after awhile the other person is going to leave. But if you put the spotlight on the other person, they will probably think “What a great conversationalist!” even if you haven’t said a word about yourself. What a crazy idea, right? That of being social on social media.