How to Be the Life of the Social Media Party

I keep hearing about a problem on social media, so I sat down to write this post to help both those suffering from repeated requests for “favors”, and those who make them.  It’s perhaps not the “help” those making the requests were asking for, but it should help them.  Please do take this unsolicited advice in the spirit of future success and friendships, both online and offline.

First of all, let’s think of social media as a big cocktail party.  There are all kinds of people there, but of course you’d like to get noticed by the movers and shakers, the influencers.  With this in mind, who would you send to represent your company? You wouldn’t send an intern straight out of college, would you?

I hope you’d want to put on your best outfit and your game face, think about your strategy for interacting with new, important people and get out there yourself.

Secondly, let’s talk about cocktail party etiquette. We’ve all been to parties where that person goes on and on about themselves, talking about all the things that they think make them fascinating and interesting.  These “party goers” never even let another person get a word in edgewise, let alone start an actual conversation.  Sadly, they rarely understand why they become social pariahs, when all they’d need to do is show some interest in other people. Your intern might be “that guy”.  Make sure your social media channels show an experienced diplomat who engages everyone at the party, making sure to ask about their business, passions and interests and then connecting them with other like-minded people.

Last, but not least, social media is all about collaborating. It’s true what they say:  There’s no such thing as a free lunch!

Only a novice would go to a cocktail party, approach a lawyer in the room and start asking for free advice about the legal issue they have with a vendor.

Not only would they find themselves alone at the end of the night, they’d never see another invitation from the host.

I love connecting with people on social media, especially when they want to build a relationship and share real experiences, information and wisdom.  I say this all the time, and I truly mean it: #SocialMedia is all about collaborating and cultivating relationships, just like you would in any real-life situation.  So before you get in touch with anyone on social media, please think about the cocktail party metaphor, and if you can’t be the belle of the ball, at the very least do your best to be a gracious and interesting guest.

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24 Replies to “How to Be the Life of the Social Media Party

  1. Hi Ann, thanks for how you explain Social Media with the metaphor of a cocktail party. It seems with technology we forget that we are simply connecting with people. Treat others online and offline as you would like to be treated! Thanks, Wendy

  2. Thank you so much for sharing the “cocktail party” metaphor. You nailed it! I will use it as I try to navigate the social media party scene.

    I wish I could reciprocate with equally important wisdom. All I know for sure is that we must become proficient at this media for our business to succeed.

    I’ll keep in touch! Best,
    Sherry. Http:/www.realwoodworks.org

  3. Hi Ann,

    Just wanted to say thanks for this incredible and very wise article. Every single thing in life is learned from (or based on) other people’s work, so it makes no sense that we all-too-often overlook the brilliance of the people standing right in front of our faces.

    Regards,

    @chris__cox

  4. Love this article. Social Media really is a cocktail party. Keep it light and “get to know me.”

    Enjoyed this 😀

  5. I agree with everything you said wholeheartedly Ann. The ironic thing is that these are all points that apply equally to social media and face to face communication between two or more people. Doesn’t matter where the communication is occurring the same things are always going to be important. The most boring people you ever deal with are the ones who are only interested in what they are interested in.

  6. Ann,
    I fully agree with everything you said and find it ironic that at the end of the day every point you made is the key to successful communication between two or more people whether it be social media or face to face. The most boring people are always the ones who only want to talk about themselves.

  7. Great post Ann!

    I love the metaphor that you used.

    Sharing information is the lifeblood of Social Media.

    I would prefer to be that person that tells stories as opposed to that guy that talks about himself all the time.

    Thank You for sharing!

    @PtheWyse

  8. I like this post in that it compares social media to a party, which in it of itself is a social activity. I too like building relationships online and offline. Good to see you do the same.

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