ome of the top social media “rockstars” come across as incredibly nice people. They’ve cultivated a conscious, polished online interaction style that makes other people feel included, welcome, important and appreciated. An “aura of awesomeness” is crowned upon them, in part, because their fans feel good after interacting with them.
DL says, “Showing kindness makes others feel good, while building up your personal brand equity.” image: Upaya
Being in front of a computer all day can feel quite isolating. People turn to social media for human connection and solace… so they respond exceptionally well to warm, personal, supportive signals. Being kind costs nothing, it’s easier to do online than in real life, and it’ll score you major bonus points:
1. Say it With a Smile
You can add a emoticon, or emotion icon, to almost any statement and make it seem more positive or expressive. You don’t have to start typing like a Japanese schoolgirl who’s obsessed with Hello Kitty , but if you find the occasional place where you can add some positive vibe your Tweet or IM with a smile, go for it. =)
2. Praise and Show Affection
Everyone responds well to sincere praise. Telling someone “Nice blog!” or “great question!” or “You rock!” usually creates a warm, fuzzy feeling on a cellular level. If you’re sure it’s appropriate, adding a cybernetic expression of physical affection like “*hugs*” “xoxo” or even a Borat-style “High five!” can make someone feel special.
3. Use Terms of Endearment
Using a term of endearment tells someone you consider them a member of your online ‘inner circle.’ “Bro,” “mate,” “dude,” “brother,” “buddy,” “bud” or “man” is what guys use. Girls call each other “sister,” “girlfriend,” “chica,” “hun,” and even “dude” (!), according to @KezzaMcDezza and @Linguna.
4. Respond to Everyone
Anytime someone reaches out to you by name, it shows they’re thinking about you and trying to make a connection. As the size of your network starts to grow, it becomes exponentially harder to respond to everyone who mails, comments or replies to you – but you should still try to respond. You can save time by talking to multiple people in @replies, and responding to comments & unsolicited e-mails very briefly… “Thanks for writing. Gosh, I have no idea how to fix that problem… Best of luck!”
5. Express Your Appreciation & Thanks
Thanking people for little things like e-mailing you, retweeting you, inquiring about business, or even asking a question — is an easy way to brand yourself as a gracious, approachable person. Power users like @cheth,@sharonhayes and @zaibatsu have built up large, responsive followings — in part — by thanking people.
6. Agree With People
When someone feels strongly enough to state their opinion in public, they are oftentimes looking for a little validation and support. Letting someone know when you agree with them is a thoughtful and effortless to strengthen your connection.
7. Make Other People Look Good
Everyone wants to be around someone who highlights the good works of others. You’ll create a strong bond with the person who is recognized and it makes you seem like a chivalrous ‘good guy’ to others. Win win.
8. Help Other People “Get It”
“Want big points in my book? Be the person who helps a community of others get it, too,” says Chris Brogan. Offer to freely help other people figure out technical challenges or “learn the ropes” on a new site or service – and they will feel chock full of gratitude every time they see your name or avatar. They’ll be sure to help you next time you need it.
9. Avoid Negativity, Hostility, Criticism and Snark
It can be tempting to take a quick dig at someone you disagree with or slam something that seems wrong. You might score a few points from sympathizers, but others — who probably won’t speak up – will unconsciously associate you with negativity. They’ll begin to see you as crank or bad-mouther who isn’t safe to trust or connect with. Think before you hit “send” or “enter.”
“I have a snappy wit and a tongue that can be razor sharp. But I never forget the venue and never forget that this is a public forum. So I give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and I treat others as I’d want to be treated,” says @ShellyKramer.
10. Keep Your Promises
Be sincere. If you say you’re going to do something online, it’s a written contract. Do it. If you don’t you’ll score definite “negative points” to the people who were expecting you to come through. If you can’t follow through with something that will be (unfairly) implied or expected of you, say so upfront: “I’m releasing this free guide ‘as is’ and don’t have time to update it.”
Kindness Does Not Equal ‘Fakeness’
This isn’t to say that everyone must always be a cheerful Mr. Rogers with no personality or edge — you should be yourself. But be conscious of how you come across to others (who might not know you so well). I’ve noticed that a majority of people like to follow those who show friendly strength: intelligence, knowledge and authority + kindness, humility and tact.
Kindness isn’t fakeness. It’s a powerful, civilized way of showing consideration for others, first, in order to earn their respect. It’s easy to do: try it and see how far it will get you!
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Brett Borders, the author of this article, is a professional copywriter who specializes in increasing website sales and signup rates. I'm available now to write for your website and optimize it for maximum sales and profits. Please contact me now for a free consultation.