Remember when you were a kid and your mother would say, ‘Be nice – it’s good to be good?’ Bet you didn’t know that your mother understood Social Media karma, did you? The idea of giving to receive is very powerful. You can see it running through many religious texts and classical plays. And, from one angle, it’s what Social Media different than traditional marketing – give first and then receive. ‘Instant Karma’s Gonna get you, Gonna look you right in the face’ ~ John Lennon How To Get: Instant Social Media Karma I didn’t ‘get’ Social Media until I read Brian Solis’ blog about engagement. Brian looks at the persuasive power of reciprocity and how this encourages us to reward others who help us. Think of it as digital karma. Here’s how to get some: Give Credit – no one knows everything. Instead of taking credit for new ideas, give credit to the original source and point others in their direction. Introduce Others – we’re all grateful to that someone who introduces us to a reliable accountant, a trusted electrician, and others who make our life more comfortable. Do the same online. Find ways to connect others together in a meaningful way. Open All Day – when Abraham Lincoln was US president, he’d hold open days where people could walk in off the street, come into his office, and get five minutes of his time. Sometimes they needed favors, other times advice. Contract this with politicians that turn up all smiles and promises pre-election and then, once elected, screens all calls. Would you vote for them again? Share Links – the power is in the network. Show others that you are part of a larger community and encourage them to visit sites you trust and recommend. Visitors are going to leave your site anyway, so make sure you send them in the right direction. Stay Positive – everyone has bad days. When a troll strikes, give them the benefit of doubt and resist the urge to strike back. While negative comments are something you can’t control on the web, you can control your own reaction. Be cool. Learn to Listen – you can’t talk and listen at the same time. Learn to sit back and really listen to what others are saying. Sometimes it’s the unspoken words that speak the loudest. Few things are more rewarding than feeling that someone is really listening to you. Conclusion When we understand how the law of reciprocity works we can use it at least two ways. To help others improve their current position or engage in low-level emotional blackmail. There’s nothing worse than feeling you ‘owe’ someone a favor. The key to Social Media karma is to make others feel that YOU are in their debt and that they owe you nothing. You are what you share!