In social media, human is the new black.
One of the key things social media does is connect people. It gives a voice to corporations, institutions, celebrities and everyday Joe Schmoes, and connects us in a whole new relational economy.
People who didn’t have a voice before are now able to have a large voice and huge following, all because social media has leveled the playing field.
One thing to remember is that behind every avatar, Tweet, blog post and comment there is an individual. Oftentimes we get lost in the logistics of followers and analytics that we forget that fact behind every number is a person.
And, as Chris and Julien point out in this chapter, part of becoming a Trust Agent is understanding how to maintain a human-shaped network.
Here’s a few suggestions that I think could help us go a long way in adding value to our online [and offline] relationships.
- Make Constant Touches. Be has human as you can be. If you think of someone, ping them. Let people know they are on your radar, and keep track of how long it’s been since you’ve directly contacted someone. And, take advantage of the birthday notifications on Facebook and take a quick second each day to shoot out a few personal birthday wishes. If you’re anything like me, my birthday on Facebook is one of the days I look forward to the most [it’s coming up on November 25, by the way].
- Connect people together constantly. Your personal network is a wealth of information and opportunity to others. Become an expert at connecting people. It not only adds value to your friendships, it places you in a great position to be known as a connector. You’d be amazed at some of the crazy things that could be made possible by simply connecting someone you know who has a need with someone who has the ability to meet it. And, if you’re a student of Malcom Gladwell, you’ll know connectors are hugely influential in creating a tipping point!
- Link fervently. This sort of goes along with connecting people, but if you know someone who has a good thing going, share the link love. Use your platform to point to people who are doing something you are noticing. [Sidenote: don’t turn into a RSS feed of links; choose who and what you link to carefully, if you do it too much, people will tune you out.]
- Mix up the transmission methods. A not-so-vital but helpful tactic is to not use the same method each time when you’re connecting wit people. If you’re thinking about an @ reply, consider a DM [Twitter speak for public contact to private]; or if you always interact via email, consider picking up the phone. Just like your dating/marriage relationship, be creative and mix it up, don’t be so predictable.
We have a whole new relational economy to deal with, and the art of becoming a true Trust Agent is learning how to develop and maintain relational collateral with people.
A few things to think about…
- Are you taking the time to add value to the people who are a part of your networks?
- Who has recently connected you to a person or opportunity that you would have otherwise not known about? Stop reading this and take a moment to shoot them a quick note of thanks.
- What’s something you’ve read in the last 24 hours that stopped and made you think or inspired you? Share it. Post it. Tweet it. Share the love.
- When you go to @ reply someone or DM today, consider an alternate way of communicating with someone. Mix it up!
- Think about something you could incorporate into your daily routine to make a connection with some people in your network [ i.e. checking Facebook birthdays, sending a few emails, etc. ]
[image by lisarandolph]
Tim Schraeder is the Director of Communications at Park Community Church, a Gospel-centered, innovative church that reaches nearly 2,000 young adults each week in downtown Chicago. He blogs his thoughts on church communications at TimSchraeder.com and is an incessant Twitterer.