The 3 Rs of Social Media #1: Relationships

Posted on January 13, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Creating a successful presence on the Web involves looking at your posts from three different perspectives.  If you master the “3 Rs” as I lay them out here, you’ll build your Web following and your business.

The first R is for Relationships.  As in, building them online.  It’s an old adage that people do business with people that they know, like and trust… building relationships is all about that.  Offline, you have to build relationships one at a time, or perhaps pay for advertising or have some excellent PR strategy to get the word out to a wider audience.  With social media, you can really extend your reach.

Twitter, my online social medium of choice, as been compared to a very big meet and greet.  At traditional face-to-face gatherings, even in a room of 200, you can only talk to a couple of people at a time, unless you are the guest speaker.  Your voice won’t carry further, and you can only carry so many business cards.  With social media applications such as Twitter, the playing field is leveled.  Everyone can hear everyone else in the room.  It’s important, therefore, to secure your advantage by being a great relationship builder.

Let’s go back to those relationship-forming conditions – where people know, like, and trust you.  Looking at the “know” factor, how can others get to know you from your Facebook status or from your tweets?  It’s key to show your true self.  Let others know about your interests, your community activities, your committments, your family – even how you cope with the weather at your place can help people know more about the kind of person you are. 

From knowledge, others can determine whether or not they like you.  You can make that likeability factor a lot easier by putting forth a positive online personality.  140 characters or less is usually not enough to show off your witty sarcasm.  Unless you are Oscar Wilde, it probably won’t come across very well.  Instead, be positive.  Offer answers where people have questions.  Congratulate others on their victories and commiserate with their setbacks.  It’s here, in the “likeability” section, where givers really gain.

Finally, there’s the “trust” quotient.  This builds on the first two factors, and is a good reason why it’s important to build up personal rapport before you start cajoling people to buy your stuff.  Facebook friends, Twitter pals, even LinkedIn connections want to see that you are a person of integrity before they deal with you on anything more than a surface level.  Let the trust build up over time, just as you would if you were the new kid at the playground.  Because in fact, the rules online are very similar to the rules we all learned at school, even if the pace seems faster for being online.

Tomorrow, the second R – relevance!


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One Response to “The 3 Rs of Social Media #1: Relationships”

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Building relationships is definitely key, I completely agree! That’s what I love doing on Twitter!

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