A quick perspective on the importance of paying attention and greeting people the right way when you first meet them in social media.
Like many, I am not always good at focusing my full attention on the people around me. “Always on” technology has eroded our time to contemplate or really listen without intrusion. But recently I had a lesson in paying attention and it reminded me how a combination of technology and human instinct can produce an instantaneous connection with other people.
I was followed on my business twitter account, by a Sydney based author , connection guru and marketer called Iggy Pintado. Following the strategy I’ve mapped out for my own social media profiles, I checked out his tweets and biography. He seemed both active and interesting – potentially someone I could learn from and hopefully engage with, so I wrote a short personalised message by way of thanks, and followed him back.
What popped up in my inbox next was a bit unexpected… “Thank you for following me! If there was ONE tweet I could tweet about you or yr business, what would it be? Please DM me.”
Nice one Iggy! Initially I was quite taken a back. I took the direct message as an author and business leader of significant influence inviting me to promote myself or my values through his network. That was his way of greeting me.
In a sense it seemed too good to be true, but I went with the original feeling and sent him a link to a post a bit earlier in the year about Google plus, Facebook and privacy. I wasn’t completely sure what to expect next, but sure enough, I got a tweet from his account with a link to my Opinion piece. Whilst I acknowledge the content may not be rip-roaring, he supported me. I was touched.
Now I assume that aspects of the graceful efficient process I have benefited from have been automated (the reply at least?) , but the intention behind the message was genuine. He was generous with an offer and then true to his word. These are good human instincts and ways to behave from my perspective.
The deal between me and Iggy (from my point of view) is closed. From my first point of contact I feel I have a connection with him as a person. I already know he writes well, is interesting, makes his responses feel personal and follows up on an offer. So I’m now a follower, reader and potentially a future connector with him. If my brother asked for a social media recommendation for his company in Perth (Western Australia – not Scotland) I’d think of this man (that’s called a sniff of a referral I believe).
So what’s the significance of this little episode for me. Well I think business can learn a simple lesson from this, especially small businesses and sole traders. They have a great opportunity to humanise the way customers experience them through social media because they are small and potentially flexible. Customers for small and medium enterprises often do business with the person, rather than the product or service and what better way to bring the person to life online than through the right social media channel. Many small businesses see social media as a burden to even contemplate or a time sink, yet technology can make it easy and efficient to connect with people in a meaningful way – in a way that still resonates personally.
I believe that much of what works in real life works in social media. Thanks for re-enforcing that belief Mr Pintado – and thanks for the permission to crib your strategy (going live soon!)
(I also promise my wife and kids I will pay more attention to them from now on too… and my iPhone stays off the kitchen table at supper time! )