Social media has given us a way to connect with people you have never met offline; those from our past we never would have been able to before; meet others from around the world that we wouldn’t otherwise; and even keep in touch with those in our lives we’d like to see more, but don’t have the time to.
It sounds like a miracle technology, and in many ways it is. (As the one running business from overseas for more than 5 years without ever meeting my business partners and employees, I can definitely say it is a miracle!)
But how do you keep in touch on social media more effectively? How can you be genuine from behind a computer screen? Here are eight tips to help you out.
#1. Comment On Photos
Best network for that: Facebook
Photos are nice to comment on, showing your contacts that you are both watching and remaining a part of their real lives.
#2. Support Career Changes
Best network for that: LinkedIn
One of the most stressful and exciting choices a person can make is to change careers. Offer some support, but make sure you are doing it the right way. For example, if someone is suddenly listing themselves as a freelancer or consultant, tread with caution. They might have lost their job, and congratulating them on what they are doing to make ends meet until they find a new one won’t look good.
#3. Give a (Genuine) Happy Birthday
Best network for that: Facebook
All social sites let you know when a birthday is coming up. But a generic “Happy B-Day!” on their wall doesn’t mean much, and if this is someone you want to be more in tune with, it requires more. Offer a more sincerely written message, perhaps with a memory you have of them, or an offer to go out and do something together, or give them a call.
#4. Comment On Profile Photo Or Bio Changes
Best network for that: Twitter via Bio Is Changed
There is a tool out there now called Bio Is Changed. Whenever someone you follow on Twitter changes with info, you get an alert. That way you can comment on it as quickly as possible. You might not need that direct of a method, but saying something on someone’s profile is always appreciated regardless.
#5. Tag Them Where Appropriate
Best network for that: Twitter and Google Plus
Did something you found online remind you of someone on your list? Let them know with a tag or @mention. It will come up in their notifications and draw them to the post. Plus show them that you are thinking of them. Just don’t tag them randomly, for no reason, or in a mess of others as though you were just selecting random friends.
#6. Avoid Sending Game Invites
If someone wants to play a Facebook game, they will already be playing it. Sending game invites automatically makes you “that guy”, and no one likes that guy. Or at least they don’t like the notifications that come from that guy.
In fact, it’s a good idea to limit your page updates also 🙂
Did they say something funny? Post something interesting on their wall? Tweet a link you enjoyed? Then share it with the rest of your list! Sharing someone’s content is an effective way of showing you appreciate what they have to say, or their opinion on what is worth posting.
#8. Take Things Offline
Seriously, go get a cup of coffee, or something. You will be glad you did, and it is the best way to help a relationship grow. Whether professional or personal, face to face is always good.
Have any tips for interacting with people on social media? Let us know in the comments.
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