Do you remember being a kid and running into your favorite teacher at the grocery store, walking with her husband and child? Suddenly, you could see her in an entirely different light.
My teacher buys toilet paper and toothpaste. She likes the same kind of cereal I like. That’s her son; he’s my age.
The information you gained by seeing your teacher in a different environment added a new dimension to your relationship with her and humanized her. No longer just your teacher; after that encounter you saw her more as a whole person with a life outside the classroom.
As adults, we all realize that people are multidimensional, but sometimes we lack the ability to see beyond our limited connections to others. When our interaction is limited to one social media platform, we may have an even more narrow view. @john123 is his avatar, a smiling face, someone who retweets us occasionally. We may have never even clicked to his profile to learn more about his likes and dislikes.
This tip challenges us to see people more clearly by deepening our connections.
Set your timer for 12 minutes and take the time to deepen some of your social media connections by interacting in a new online environment. If you’ve only been connected on Twitter, send your contacts friend requests on Facebook or find and like their fan pages. Find and circle a few contacts on Google+ or connect via LinkedIn. To take this tip one more step, connect via Skype and plan a short phone call. The more connection points you find with someone, the more likely you are to see them as they really are.
For this tip, you may only want to focus on deepening one online relationship. As you look for more ways to connect, read the person’s profiles, click links to websites/blogs, and look for common interests and ways you can help or add value to your online friend.
Remember, focused, consistent effort makes a difference.
I hope you’ll share in the comments about your experiences deepening connections with your online contacts and come back for more tips to help you build your online presence in 2012.
I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.
This is great Becky! It’s certainly relevant in this day and age as well as useful and practical, especially the part about looking for ways to help others. Thanks!
I just “found” you via Lolly Daskal.
Thanks for the post.
Your point here is well made and well taken with the child at the grocery store seeing his teacher in a new light – same with our “discovery” of the reality behind the twitter avatar. Seems simple, but the very first and easiest step to take is simply – click on the link to their web presence – Voila – a new depth, new detail, new light on “the subject” which is the person you are getting to know.
Thanks for taking the time to comment… and thanks, always, to Lolly for being such a great connector of people. I look forward to getting to know you… beyond the avatar.
Thanks for the great advice. Off to set my timer.
Putting out content via social media is just the first step! Engagement like the type you’ve described is key in building those business relationships. Thanks for the reminder!
~Sara at The Power Lunch Project
A few days ago we noticed that another company our company works with had contributed to the MPS Society… so I called them and figured out who was behind the donation (this is a small, relatively unknown organization that contributes to finding a cure). I called the gentleman, also an owner, and discovered our kids shared a rare diagnosis. His wife and I probably even know each other as well, never knowing we were both behind companies that partnered at work. It is a small world.
Becky: the first thing is to get a timer :). Actually, it seems a bit more difficult to put into practice, but with a bit of discipline & a schedule, it should be no problem. I have found the interactions with the guests on January Jig that I have gained a better understanding of the guests in addition to their expertise. Thanks to the participants and the sponsor Idea Girl Media Keri
I agree, Becky, I have met some amazing people on social media that I never would have come in contact with. Many of us have skyped and conversed on the phone. We have become part of the fabric of each other’s lives well beyond the occasional tweet.
And, even on Twitter, it is amazing what you can learn by engaging in an actual conversation that doesn’t feel like a drive-by. People open up when you talk back to them.