Shall we make 2017 the year of engagement on social media?

I’m slower than most to start the New Year, but it was awesome to get away to Dubai and Abu Dhabi with the family and to enjoy a decent break. However, as anyone else with young kids knows – small kids + quiet reflection time = not going to happen! The UAE was amazing though. Put it on your bucket list if it’s not already.

One thing I did ponder over the break is how we’re all individually participating on social media as professionals – which is obviously beyond the sagas and news storms of recent years. This thought took me back a year to when I came up with the name: The Digital Conversationalist.

I decided to come up with a name by answering one very simple question – what am I ultimately trying to do for my clients? And for me it’s all about creating meaningful conversations with customers through awesome digital content and intelligent social interaction.

So I’m back to the flurry of social media this week and I noticed something immediately – my digital community is getting better at it.

More engagement is happening.

People are talking to each other.

We’re supporting each other.

We’re giving to each other.

Sharing and commenting on each other’s blogs.

Celebrating each other’s victories.

And that’s what it’s all about. It’s not about me and it’s not about you, it’s about us, engaging with each other digitally and sharing amazing information because we know other’s will value it.

Of course, we have a long way to go

With personal branding, many people are still reluctant to get on board, because they just don’t know where to start or worse, claim that time is an issue. Alternatively, we continue to have many people shouting at us, talking about themselves, their successes, their products or services, them, them, them, which is turning the rest of us off.

Because that doesn’t help us right? They’re not putting themselves in our shoes.

Of course, we must ask ourselves – does this approach work?

Well I don’t know, because every fibre of my being resists participating in this way, which probably impacts my opportunities, but I’d rather lose than not be who I am. However, I have watched many people build businesses on the back of this approach and for that I salute them.

It’s just not me.

And it’s not many people based on my experience.

If fact, just yesterday, I was running my first social leadership session for 2017 with an amazing group of professionals, and one gentleman expressed strong opinions on what he is seeing on social media.

From his perspective, he is seeing far too much nonsense and is struggling to see his broader community as authentic. It’s turned him off and this man has awesome experience to share. I hope he will now, because I can’t wait to learn from him.

In a training session, this is a dream conversation, because it helped the group dig in and be honest and open about this on-going issue on social media. I believe all of us will be more authentic as a result. Bonus.

So if you’re feeling cynical or completely disengaged from social media for the above (or any other reasons), can I please ask you to come back and embrace this amazing opportunity we all have today?

I know how powerful it is and I want everyone to understand it too. You can build your dreams on social media. That’s what it’s delivering to me.

And you don’t have to do much to get started. Here’s a few ideas…

  • If you know anyone in your community who is blogging and you admire what they’re doing, tell them by leaving a comment! Then share it with your community to give your friend wider exposure. As a blogger of nearly a decade, I can assure you that the online support is deeply appreciated by the author and is often the difference between continuing or giving up. It’s a very lonely world blogging and this is a simple way you can support your friends, colleagues, etc…. Even if you think your friend is already “successful”, I can assure you that your additional support will mean the world to them. Perceptions of online success are often very different to reality
  • You can also share a great article on a topic dear to your heart, but make sure you write a few sentences about why you’re sharing it – this is important and you can read this blog on the topic. As an additional step, if you think people in your community will appreciate reading an article, tag them in your post so they are alerted to it. But don’t tag people if it will annoy them and only do it if it’s relevant. If you keep tagging the wrong people, they will start to ignore you. I write about how you can tag people in this blog
  • Maybe you can write recommendations for current and past colleagues on LinkedIn? This is the best way to help your community build their profile and by taking the time to do it, it not only shows that you’re a good person, but you are helping them build their career too
  • If someone in your community is consistently sharing articles that you value, tell them and engage in conversation about why you like it. That person will be delighted to know they touched your life
  • If someone has a new job, a promotion or they’re celebrating a success or a milestone, celebrate it online and give them a bit of kudos. They will be so grateful to you for doing it, maybe a little embarrassed to – but in a good way

The one thing I can promise is all of your actions will come back as gifts to you. The more you give, the more you will get in return. I am flooded with gifts.

In fact, my friends are constantly amazed by how many people speak with me on social media. But I’m not, because I’m constantly interacting with my community and being a cheerleader for their lives, because that’s part of my character.

I love my community and will do anything I can for them, even if it’s just putting a big squishy heart on their timeline so they know I’m thinking about them! It all matters. And because I do that, they talk to me too.

That’s the magic of social media for me. Staying connected with every fabulous person I’ve met around the world and it comes down to constant engagement.

Because that’s what social media is about. Engagement. Whether for a brand or for ourselves, let’s get stuck in and make social media all it’s capable of being in 2017.

If you’re connected to me, I can guarantee we’ll talk, laugh and learn from each other this year, but it’s got to be two-way.

I’m game if you are?



Wedding engagement ring photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Thank you so much for reading my blog. I really appreciate it. If you like it, I’d love a comment, or perhaps you can tell me a New Year’s resolution you’re serious about? Of course, please feel free to share with your communities, because that’s what this is all about today – sharing and giving to each other.

If you like my style and what I talk about, feel free to follow me on any of these platforms on social media. My Google+ The Digital Conversationalist company page is new, so would appreciate some followers :). I think I have two now…

Also stay tuned for my forthcoming book “How to Build a Rock Star Personal Brand.” It’s coming!

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