If you’re like me, you’ve got limited time, limited attention and limited resources. If I’m going to invest my time in something, I want it to have substance. I want it to be a platform from which I can expand my reach so that, in the end, I can increase both my social AND financial equity.
I write this at the risk of having someone going through my past posts — and calling me out. But, mea culpa. I don’t wanna be that guy anymore.
So I’m re-thinking my behavior and have identified (some) things I want to change…e,g,
- I refuse to spam-tweet.
- I refuse to post lame inspirational quotes.
- I refuse to line up a bunch of posts of OTHER people’s content via Hootsuite just to look ‘active.’
- I refuse to add to the glut of noise on the interweb or share something that isn’t fun, intelligent, or (hopefully) unique in its perspective,
- And most of all, I promise to listen.
Which brings me to my point.
Listening is the hardest thing, but perhaps the most important. It demonstrates an interest in other people and their point of view. It not only offers you the opportunity to learn something new, it creates an environment of trust and friendship.
Think about it. Most of us sit in a conversation waiting for our turn to speak. We’re all trying to make that point that causes people to say ‘hmmmmm, that’s smart.’ That warm wonderful feeling of social acceptance and recognition that we ALL crave. It’s important. And that’s the secret. When you’re able to give honest & sincere recognition that you’ve HEARD someone, they like it…and they can’t help but start to like you. You’ve started building credibility and alignment with that person in a way that they will start to have interest in what you have to say.
So let me ask the question — when was the last time you went on Twitter to listen?
Dale Carnegie, made this point about the art of listening in his book ‘How to Win Friends & Influence People’. His teachings are as true now as they were when he first published them in 1937…maybe even more so.
I’ve copied some of the basic guidelines from the book below and on a quick scan, I think you’ll see how these can be easily applied to your online marketing efforts. You might even want to keep these handy as a reminder before hoping online to prepare you next post, tweet, or whatever.
Six Ways to Get People to Like You:
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember that a person’s name is, to him or her, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Talk in the terms of the other person’s interest.
- Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.
Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking:
- Avoid arguments.
- Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never tell someone that he or she is wrong.
- If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
- Begin in a friendly way.
- Start with questions to which the other person will answer yes.
- Let the other person do the talking.
- Let the other person feel the idea is his/hers.
- Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
- Sympathize with the other person.
- Appeal to noble motives.
- Dramatize your ideas.
- Throw down a challenge; don’t talk negatively when a person is absent; talk only about the positive.
Using common sense and a little discipline you can successfully translate these practices to your online marketing presence whether in social media, on your corporate Web site, or any of your marketing communications.
It’s all about setting the right tone and creating a forum for engagement that will attract customers and grow your business.
If you do get the time, I encourage you to purchase the book, ‘How to Win Friends & Influence People’, or audiobook because I’ve found it to be a game changer both in my personal and professional life.