This post is a 15-minute guide for you to understand why generosity should be your guide in social media. That the reason most people and most organizations fail at social media is because they’re using it to spam people. They’re using it to spam people because they think it’s just like TV, but on the internet and what I’m here to point out to you, is that when you act out of generosity, then this will happen. And to give you an unfair advantage that will help open doors for you to succeed, make change, and also make a connection.
Now to understand this notion of generosity—the act of giving something away without excepting anything in return. I must start with this: No where in business do they teach you about generosity or even worse, do they mention the word generosity. Why? Because the mindset of generosity is nothing in return, but you can’t succeed at social media if you’re not prepared to be generous. Generous with your time, connections, money, but most importantly your work.
It turns out in this connected economy, what people gravitate and relate to, is those who give of themselves. That “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (see Acts 20:35) is a brilliant marketing strategy and when you lead by serving and by giving, people follow.
Now this isn’t an easy act. Generosity is not what we’re trained to do, but in this world of social media that natural instinct to think of yourself first isn’t respected.
If you are new to social media, this will get you ahead of the pack and experiencing success faster. If you know someone who needs a little clarity on social media or motivation getting started, send them a link to this post. I recommend following these four steps:
- Let generosity be your guide. It’s called the giver-taker Rule or the 95% content 5% selling Rule or the 30-to-1 Rule. What matters is the number of deposits (shares, retweets, likes, pingbacks, reblogs) versus the withdrawals (promotional messages) you make from your audience. I don’t know if the verbiage, the percentages, or the ratio is exactly right, but what I do know is that you must remarkably make more deposits. You have to add value before you start extracting value.
- Subscribe to this philosophy. Pintrest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ (Arenas) are relational tools NOT transactional tools. Against what many think, you must subscribe to this philosophy that social media rewards: Generosity. People who are “takers” are not successful at attracting listeners, followers, fans, or readers. Instead, Pintrest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs reward “givers”—people who are generous and share.
- Stop asking and start contributing. I have noticed that if you just keep asking people to—buy your product or service, come to our teleseminar, sign up for our cause—without making enough deposits, they will ignore you. So, start contributing. If you read an article that people in your platform might find helpful, post a link to it. If you read a book by someone and like it, tell others. Be supportive. Be helpful. If not eventually, they will unfollow you and purge themselves from your updates. No one wants to be spammed. Not today. If you want to build a social media platform, one where people listen to you, then you have to be a giver not a taker.
- Learn the 3 Generosity ROIs.
- Cost. In a digital world, the gift you give you almost always benefits you more than it costs, because the cost to produce one more copy is zero.
- Influence. The more generous you are, the more you will experience success online. You’ll attract more followers, you’ll influence more people, and you’ll engage in more conversations.
- Identity. This notion of being known by name. That when people see you, your name immediately registers in their mind, and they greet you by that name is what identity is about. This is exactly what you want to happen with your products, service, and company.
Generosity is best learned by doing it. The most important thing you can do is get started. (sharing this post is a great way to do that) After reading this you’ll certainly find that the more you give the more you get.
Questions: What questions do you have about social media? What else would you recommend as an act of generosity?