The Only Way is Social Media

These days, TV schedules seem to be full of reality TV shows. We appear to be obsessed with human behaviour (admittedly at times, it’s not so human) – how different people react in situations and how they interact with each other.

Whether you love them or loathe them, they do offer an insight into the world of social media and the people you will meet there.

Although social media happens in a virtual world, you will still come across the usual people profiles:

  • Shy
  • Confrontational
  • Opinionated
  • Funny (and those who think they’re funny)
  • Confident
  • Flirty…

The list is endless. This is why social media interaction should be based on real life interaction. You may not be speaking with people face to face but they are real people.

Make friends

If you were at a party you would mingle and chat, that’s what you need to do on social media. If you are a natural wall flower this is the perfect opportunity to make an impression.

In a real life situation you may not have the confidence to approach people and chat with them (especially if you don’t know them). But in social media you can because you don’t have to physically approach them. Sat in front of your computer, you can be whoever you want to be.

Join the conversation but make sure you leave your sales hat off. Concentrate on adding value to others rather than asking favours. Offer advice and information and become a valued member of the community.

Social butterfly

You must know someone who always manages to effortlessly fit into any social group, always has crowds of people around them hanging on their every word and generally being irritatingly popular.

Emulate that person by sharing tips, stories and advice. Also encourage others to join in the conversation by inviting readers to leave comments on your blog posts – get a debate started.

Always ask questions and be interested in others and what they have to say. If you engage with others in this way they’ll want to talk to you.

Watch out for the bully

Sadly they exist everywhere, even on social media.

There’ll always be someone somewhere ready to start a fight – they’ll disagree with everything you say and try to run you down.

First of all, if you can avoid this type of situation, do so. But if it does happen, don’t run and hide. Make sure you express your opinion and stand up to them but…

  • Think before you speak – you don’t want to antagonise the situation
  • Read your comment before posting – how does it sound? You don’t want to lose credibility through a knee-jerk reaction
  • If you can add facts and figures to your reply – use stats to back up your position
  • Don’t reply in haste – remember your comment will be on the internet forever

So, as you can see, social media really is a lot like real life. All sorts of people use it – some to engage with others and make new friends and contacts, others to promote their services and products.

To get the most from it you have to be part of it. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or blogging, dive in and join the conversation.

Do you have any tips you can share on engaging in social media?

Perhaps you’ve found yourself in a situation that’s been quite difficult or you’ve been the victim of a social media bully? If so, how did you deal with it?

Please share your experiences by leaving a comment below.

Author – Sally Ormond, freelance copywriter at Briar Copywriting and social media addict

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