Social Media with No Safety Net: Being Unafraid to Fail

Social Media with No Safety Net: Being Unafraid to Fail

Social Media with No Safety Net: Being Unafraid to Fail

Old Familiar Ways

So many people use the all-familiar pattern of headline, link, and hashtag on their social media posts. But what about the age-old art of conversation? Wouldn’t it be more fun to just talk to people for a change? The good news is that you can! The bad news is that it will take more work.

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Being Unafraid to Engage

In case you don’t know how to get started, you could always read my post with multiple parts on How to Engage on Social Media: the Complete Guide. There are sections for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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The Lost Art of Hello!

The important thing is to get out there and say hello! As in something along the lines of:

  • “Hello, I like your profile picture!”
  • “Hello, what’s the weather like where you are?”
  • “Hello, how are you today?”

If the person doesn’t answer back, maybe they’re not used to people engaging, or maybe (shudder) they’re a robot.

Failure to Try

There are so many quotes on failure, but here is one of my favorites:

“Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.” – J.K. Rowling

If that doesn’t ring your chimes, here are 30 Powerful Quotes on Failure–you’re sure to find one you like.

But I digress.

Begin Chatting

There are several ways to begin talking. Set yourself a modest goal. Say hello to 3 people a day. You might notice others having conversations–you could always step into a conversation that others are having. “Excuse me, but I couldn’t help overhearing…” you might begin. Would that be difficult? No, I didn’t think so!

Get an Introduction

If there’s someone you’d really like to get to know, you could use the old-fashioned idea of an introduction. This works very well on LinkedIn, as outlined in 4 Great Ways to Break the Ice on Social Media.

Blog Comments

If you really, really want to get to know someone, read their blog and comment! Quite often they will answer you and reciprocate. Leave me a comment and see what happens! And thank you.

Social Media Conversation Starters

Social Media Conversation Starters

Social Media Conversation Starters

You might have had some practice starting conversations during the holidays or at parties. “Hey,” you might say. “Hey,” says your new friend. “How’s the punch?” you ask. “Pretty good.” your new friend responds. And a beautiful friendship is born. See? You already know a lot about talking! But in case you need to say a little more in an online conversation, here are your…

Social Media Conversation Starters

Before you say anything else to someone, before you tell them to “like your Facebook page” in an unsolicited direct message on Twitter, you might want to start a conversation. Some good times to start conversations are late at night, on Fridays during #FridayFollow, or on the weekend. Holidays are a perfect time to begin conversations, too.

Greetings Are Important

Greetings are important

Greetings are important

Just as in real life, the hellos, nice to meet you’s, and so happy you could make it’s are the hors d’ouevres of a good social media meal. Without them, conversations will seem a little weird because you’ve skipped steps. Greetings are what get us going in any relationship. They’re the bread and butter of your social media dinner.

Seven to Thirteen Touches

If you’re selling something, as many people are on social media, it takes 7 to 13 touches to qualify a lead. You may have heard this before. I love the chart (Figure 2) in this article about how most prospects never receive enough touches. So using a “soft touch” in social media goes a long way towards nurturing a relationship.

Always Ask Questions

Usually people will tell you something about themselves or their brand on their profile. Take a look and comment on what you see there. Start off with “I love the…” and fill in the blank. “…thing you say about bicycle pumps.” “…way you string together nouns.” Anything to get the conversation started. Even noticing where they’re from or asking about the weather or their holiday plans is perfectly fine. Here’s an example from a recent conversation with Stephanie Mount on Twitter:

 Make it About Them

Don’t be waiting for a break in the conversation so you can talk about yourself. Let the other person lead and be willing to be surprised by listening. That way, it’s more of an adventure. You never know what people will say! Most people love to talk about themselves, so give them the opportunity. Alex Feinman has some good ideas in his blog (I particularly like the part about “merging” and his comparing it to traffic).

Be Funny

Not all of us are born comedians, but sharing a funny story usually helps to break the ice. I really like self-deprecating humor because that’s just my thing. And if someone makes me laugh, chances are, I’m going to like them because that’s the way to my heart. What’s the way to yours? Try what works on you with other people and you could be surprised.

What Are Some of Your Most Effective Conversation Starters?

Pull up a chair, sit down, and leave a comment!


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