Mark Fitzmaurice of Dale Carnegie, shares his top tips for communicating on social media platforms.
There’s no doubt that technology and social media has transformed the way we communicate, both in a work and home environment. For all the advantages however, there are various pitfalls that have the potential to damage your reputation and do you and your business more harm than good.
To mark its 100-year anniversary, learning and development organisation Dale Carnegie has updated and re-released its classic ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’, originally written in the 1930’s, to identify with the scenarios facing businesspeople in an age of increasing technology.
Many of the key principles Dale Carnegie set out all those years ago still apply today and have been adapted to suit the modern age. They include:
1. Take your criticism offline. Little good comes from public humiliation, whether it’s by Tweet or blog post. The rise of anonymous message boards and online comments seems to incubate negativity, but engaging in that kind of back-and-forth does little good.
2. Commit to self-improvement instead. Instead of telling other people what they could do better, save the harshest criticism for yourself.
3. Focus on other people’s interests, not your own. This might be a hard one to follow but social media users must resist the temptation to talk about themselves. Instead, ask about others, comment and inquire about their own updates, and focus on what interests them, not you.
4. Engage with others. Social media, after all, is all about interaction, and people use those platforms with the hope of hearing directly from their favourite author, celebrity, or company. Companies like Zappos take advantage of this fact and use social media to build their brands.
5. Smile. Recent research that analysed Facebook profiles found that people who frown in photos tend to be on the outskirts of social networks instead of in the centre of them. In other words, smiling gets you more friends (and influence).
6. Spread positivity. On that same note, if you can make other people smile, you’ll also grow your own popularity. Tweeting positive thoughts is far more effective than tweeting negative ones. In fact, skip negative Tweets and posts altogether.
7. Don’t argue. Has anyone ever won a back-and-forth over Twitter? Or by leaving snarky comments on an online article? Even if the answer is “yes”, the potential damage to your reputation by such an exchange makes public arguments bad ideas.
8. Engage and be responsive. One of the best way to build your network either personally or in business is to engage with others and be responsive to other people’s needs.
9. Be a good listener. Even on line, listen to what people are saying, look for the message behind the message, sometimes people will say things on line that they won’t say out loud, we just need to listen in a different way
10. Make other people feel valued and important. In any that you can, on line or off line if you make people feel valued and important they will be loyal to you and give you much more in return