Nov 9

It's a Two-Way Street


The author Dale Carnegie once wrote that "you can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people to listen." His point is that people want to hang out with friends who listen to them and engage them. The best conversations are equal amounts give and take. This is the same philosophy you should have for your social media programs. Imagine you are at a cocktail party and having a conversation about your issue or cause. You want people to leave that conversation thinking “Wow, that was a great conversation.” You don't want them leaving thinking “That person never shuts up.”

This is especially the case in the way organizations use Twitter, where retweeting (reposting the tweets of others) and @replies (communicating directly with someone else) are direct measures of how conversational you are. It is incredibly important to make sure that your organization is fully participating in the conversation. Make sure that you are retweeting what peers or followers are saying that you agree with and engage in direct dialogue with people to show that you are listening and willing to engage. The more you engage with people the more likely they are to share what you are saying with their own network of friends. This word-of-mouth messaging via retweets is the equivalent of mainstream media mentions. You can track how you are doing with retweets with tools like Tweetmeme that track the most popular tweets on Twitter. So listen and engage with others and pretty soon you'll be the life of the conversation.


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