Friday, August 07, 2009

Adding to the Social Media advice pile: Holding a Conversation

Many people are claiming to be social media experts today. I am not one of them. Yet, I am an enthusiast, participant, creator, and critic.

On a recent blog I read, someone was asking if social media was the "next big thing" or just a passing fad. To keep things simple, I look at social media as a conversation. Conversations have been around as long as the caveman, but have certainly evolved as new communities form, cultures interact, and channels become available.

Consider social media as a form of conversation. It takes more than one person to hold a conversation and the more participants you have the more difficult the conversation is to guide, control, participate in, or even follow.

In all conversations, there are people you want to listen to, things you want to share yourself, others who observe, and some who participate along with some you wish hadn't joined the conversation. Social media takes all comers. You decide which conversations you want to be a part of, follow, or disengage from. Conversations may be short. Conversations may go on for hours, months, or longer. They may stick to an original premise or may shift to new subjects as various parties join and leave.

Social media allows you to reach many people that you might not have otherwise met. For this reason, you have to be more aware of the personality you take on during the conversation. Consider the conversations in which you are currently taking part. Think about the personality you have in those conversations. Is your personality consistent to those following the conversation? Is it a personality that engages others to want to get to know you better? Is your personality engaging enough that i want to follow you on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or YouTube?

Thinking of social media as a conversation and considering the role you play in that conversation will hopefully serve as good advice to follow. If you agree, disagree, or have something else to ad to this conversation, feel free to do so by leaving a comment here.