Imagine walking into a networking reception, standing in the corner with a bullhorn, passing out 50 of your business cards to strangers without even saying hello to them, and leaving the event. How many new business leads do you think would materialize the next day? Probably none.
In an offline context, it’s pretty clear that passing out 50 of your business cards to strangers is anti-social. However, people seem to forget this lesson when communicating in the digital space with social media tools.
Imagine an organization that tweets 50 times per week – links to its website, announcements about upcoming events – without mentioning another Twitter user, using hashtags, replying to others, or retweeting. Perhaps the tweets are not even posted by an individual, but instead are shared automatically each time a press release is posted to the organization’s website. No one even logs in to see if anyone has tried to engage with them. Unfortunately, too many organizations use Twitter in this way. And unbeknownst to them, they are engaging in the futile equivalent of passing out business cards at a networking event without so much as a hello or a smile.
Offline, you’re delightful, you’re engaging, and you’re the life of the party! Online, you’re dull, you’re self-centered, and you’re anti-social.
If you or your organization seeks to use social media tools like Twitter to engage your audience and build a community, then think about what it would take to amaze people at a networking event! Ask yourself these questions: