Whenever networking conversations turn to social media, invariably the people who are just getting into it, will raise the topic of content and what to say. Experienced bloggers, tweeters or online networkers may (or may not) have learnt through trial and error what works for their target audience.
But many women, especially those who are feeling uncomfortable about self-promotion, will be concerned that they don’t have enough to share that would actually interest people.
And for beginners or those who are disappointed by their social media results, the wrong content can often cause more confusion or anxiety than the technical side of the individual platforms.
Imagine you’re going on a first date or are having the first conversation with a new and important networking contact. Most people wonder what to wear, what to do and what to say to make a good impression.
We may prepare what we are willing to happily share, and in the business context this may be a carefully constructed elevator speech, sales pitch or business description.
But what if neither the first date nor the networking meeting was ever about what we say?
What if, instead, it was about what we hear and what we see? Communication is always a two-way process. A message gets sent by the sender, the receiver receives it and sends a response back to the sender.
Invariably, it is always much easier to be the receiver than the sender, and you can actually be quite active and effective as a receiver! You can watch, nod, smile or keep eye contact in real life, or you can watch, ‘like’ or ‘share’ posts on social media platforms.
For most people, there is nothing more powerful than being listened to. And by listening actively and showing or sending back small acts of acknowledgement, you will quickly get known as someone who pays attention and will become somebody who will be greatly valued in an online community.
‘Hearing’ online means reading online, and reading is learning. Learning is a vital element in social media as it teaches you lots of different things: what your colleagues are up to, how you may be able to help them, what your target audience likes, what they are most interested and who or what they dislike. In other words, you will understand what really makes people tick.
And when good listeners are ready to speak, to contribute, they will often find an appreciative ready-made audience, as everyone will want to hear what they have to say.
So why not stop worrying about the content you provide in social media? Just pay attention instead, ….watch, listen and learn. Then you’ll discover it’s not always what you say in social media that counts!
PS. If you would like to improve your social networking, please email Ute Wieczorek-King to arrange a complimentary 30-minute mentoring session. Ute helps busy women to be well connected, visible, effective and profitable in business. You can connect with her via Twitter, the Success Network Community on Linkedin, or Success Network Recipes on Facebook. To sign up to her monthly newsletter, please vsit the Success Network website.
Copyright 2012, Ute Wieczorek-King