I love surprises: when my husband brings home a mocha for me, a handwritten letter in the mail from a friend, a friend stopping by unannounced.

One of the best social media related surprises ever happened on the morning of my most recent birthday.

My cell phone rang and I heard the voice of Tanmay Vora calling from India.

He told me he wanted to share a more heartfelt message than just writing on my Facebook wall or sending a tweet.

We talked for a few minutes, and then I hung up the phone, smiling.

Sometimes, we build relationships online in ways that are expected (we retweet our closest contacts’ blog posts routinely; we greet our friends online).

Today, I want to encourage you to do something different. Do something surprising and unexpected to support and highlight someone new, someone outside of your usual circle of close friends online.

Today’s Tip: Surprise and Delight

Set your timer for 12 minutes. During the 12 minutes, reach out to a new online friend with the hope of surprising and delighting. Leave a comment on a blog post or give them a shout-out. Catch your new friend by surprise. Make someone smile, today.

If you can, do a little extra: like your new friend’s page on Facebook and tag them in a post. Or share a post across several social media platforms.

If you have extra time, surprise someone else.

How will you spend your 12 minutes today?

My friend Wally Bock shares daily tips for leaders at the Three Star Leadership Blog. You can read his tipsĀ here.