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Want Success In Social Media? Don’t Be An Ass In Real Life

Want Success In Social Media? Don’t Be An Ass In Real Life

There’s nothing funnier than someone that you know as a complete ass in real life espousing tips on being a “good citizen of social media.”

First off, it’s hilarious to watch them advocate behaviors that run 180 degrees opposite to what they do in real life.  It’s also equally amusing to see them over-complicate what, in the end, is a very simple truth. In fact, Conan O’Brien understood this truth so well he summed it up in five words: Work hard and be kind.

Such is the trouble so often with people who want to call themselves “experts” in the field of social and digital media.  In fact, at Brandware I try to stay away from it as much as I can. The simple truth is that I can master the channel and the technology but there is no “expertise” in social and digital media – only being the same person online, offline.

Observe; how do you deal with a troublesome customer, online? The same way you would deal with a friend that was having a problem.  First, you have to find out why they are angry or upset.  Only then can you assess what, if any appropriate resources you have access to that can enable you to help.  It’s that simple.  Being a kind person makes you good at social media.

Sharing knowledge you find, being interested and actively engaged in the well-being of another.  Both are things that kind people do that also make for successful tactics in social media.

If, on the other hand, you’re only in social media for your own personal gain – that will shine through, as well. You can talk the talk all you want. When it comes time to activate one-on-one with someone though, if you don’t have compassion or interest in anyone other than yourself you will fail. You may be able to limp along for a bit but the unique thing about social media is it has a way of allowing the truth to seep in.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that being “on” enough to really be as actively engaged online as you are with your friends is tough. To comment on all the blogs you want to, to tweet the people you find interesting – it’s exhausting.  I don’t do nearly as much of it as I should.  The thing is though that I know that if I ever want to keep doing what I am doing and serve as a credible voice for brands to engage in this new world of social media – I have to at least try to bring who I am offline, online.

Work hard and be kind.  It’s that simple. If you can’t master that mantra offline, perhaps you need to reassess your strategy.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Burkett

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