A lot of people use social media to share mundane things or for self-glorification. I try to use it to share interesting things with people. – Ashton Kutcher
Be warned, this looks exactly like the “self-glorification” Ashton’s talking about. I hope that you’ll look past that and learn from my mistakes. Thank you!
Several years ago I sent out a mass text to some friends on my phone to update them on something cool that was going on in Stockholm. I thought I was being efficient & helpful until I got a reply that said something like:
“Hi! So happy to hear from you, even though it was a mass text. I’ve missed you!”
At that moment it hit me that I hadn’t called or messaged her in something like 3 months. And this was how I got in touch? Fuck me.
After that moment I didn’t send out a mass text or mail unless it was purely business, general information or a newsletter. I tailored the content to the specific people and took the time to care about how they were doing.
Sure, there were times that I copypasted stuff but I made sure to include something personal or ask something specific about them. Not because I wanted something but because I was genuinely interested. Also, I never wanted to feel like human spam.
I was reminded of this a couple of years back when a relative included me in their mass e-mail. I basically said: “Look, if you genuinely want to talk to me send me a seperate message. Otherwise, don’t bother.”
Looking back it was a bit harsh but I really felt slighted and understood exactly how my friend must’ve felt. That’s not something I want to do to anybody.
Yet, somehow when people started telling me to get on social media and help people through that I slipped right into the same habit. This time I tried to focus on being helping as many people as possible by putting out content I found helpful.
I had some feedback and people were grateful but I felt like something was lacking. It didn’t feel completely genuine.
I finally realized what it was. It was like being on stage and talking in front of a group of people instead of having interactions. Something like saying: “Alright, what I think. Do you agree?” and people would simply go “Yes” or “No” without it ever getting deeper than that.
Whenever we all got something out of it was when it became a conversation. When it actually became social!
That’s when I stopped automating my replies. If someone actually took the time to like, retweet, repost, comment or send me a message I wanted to personally respond.
I’ll be honest, I do repeat myself a lot. The message I usually write looks something like this:
Thx! Have a beautiful & creative day! =)
It comes in different varieties and sometimes if the person has something cool in their bio or a nice post I’ll make sure to reference it and maybe repost it.
I want to do this because I care about the people who take the time to care.
Also, studies show that mentioning creativity will lead people to be more creative.
The reason I’m writing about this is because I’m hoping that someone reading might start using social media to care about people and bring them something of actual value.
My mistake was to simply put information I thought was useful out there rather than listening to what people wanted to know.
And that’s the second reason I’m writing about this. This is something that I’ve been asked a lot about lately and that’s become near and dear to my heart.
Whether it’s companies, artists or you as an individual we all need to understand what this is and how we can put it to good use. It’s about connecting and building a relationship with people, not about showing how amazingly fantastic you or your company is.
Also, I’m doing it for several selfish reasons. My hope is that I provide so much value and help to you that when I reach out and ask for help that someone will go: “Hell yeah!”.
Does this resonate with you? How does it make you feel when somebody includes you in their mass e-mail or text? Shoot me a comment or tweet.
Have a fantastic & creative day!