I always hate generalizations, but generally speaking, there are three kinds of posts that tend to do really well in the world of Social Media. The first is the super personal, “Uh, do I know you well enough to be reading this?” post. The second is the “I call BS on…” post. The third is “I’m calling out this person” post.
Now the super personal posts are fine, and in fact a lot of them have a lot of merit. It’s honorable to courageously tell your story so that you can shine a light on a problem or give courage to others who are struggling along with you. It makes sense that these posts get a lot of comments and tweets. Post number two usually does well for two reasons. There are a lot of people who say “Heck yeah” and there are a lot of people who say, “Um, what on EARTH are you talking about?” Then they call BS on each other in the comments section. Basically, it’s the same dynamic in post type number three.
I feel like the “calling out” posts are creating little black holes in the fabric of my Social Media universe. You see, here’s the thing. We all have this great power, right? I mean, when on earth have you ever had 500 people “following” you? What about even more people than that? It’s crazy the amount of “amplification” (to use Klout’s term) that we all have online. The thing constantly nagging at me is, “OK, so I have this ability to reach a lot of people. How can I use this to make the world better?” Because woah, there are so many people who would really love a roof over their heads, not to mention a computer to blog on.
I haven’t thought of a really good way to use my voice to help the homeless or the starving yet, but until I figure that out, I figure I can at least use my time online to make little differences. I can spread a little love. If I can create a smile or ease a burden (like telling someone what #FF means in Twitter world) then that’s a great day.
Just in case you are in my hippie dippie camp, I thought I would share some ways that I like to go about spreading the sunshine online. This is stuff that doesn’t really get you a lot of comments or notoriety. It’s just an alternative to the daily grind of “rah rah I’m going to beat you up with my evil typing” stuff.
1. If you’re running a little low on blog topics, write a post about a person you feel is really doing a great job. Or heck, write a post about a bunch of people. I had so much fun writing my “Social Media All Start Team” post because I got to spotlight a ton of really great people.
2. Comment, with a real comment, on someone’s post – on a blog you’ve never commented on before. You know what a rush it is to get a thoroughly thought-out comment on one of your works of art. Do that for someone else.
3. Introduce two people to each other whom you just know will get along. Whether or not you opt to use Hashable, it’s a real joy to scan your Twitter stream and think, “Oh, I’ll bet those 2 could talk to each other for hours.”
4. Tweet out a link to a post for someone who doesn’t get a lot of blog traffic. It’s like handing someone a bag of gold.
5. Compliment someone out of the blue. I find that this always turns people into complete mush, which is really fun to do.
6. Answer a question that’s really bugging someone. Not long ago, I was having a bear of a time trying to figure out how to add a bit of design to my site. The rush of help from very kind people I didn’t know that well was amazing.
7. Ask people how they are. It seems so basic. In fact, it seems so basic that we almost never do it. I do this especially if I see someone floating by in my Twitter stream whom I haven’t spoken to in awhile. It’s like running into someone at the grocery store. Except there aren’t cold cuts around.
8. Come to someone’s rescue. This can be risky, because you don’t want to get caught up in a big, well, I think the technical term is “hoopty doodle.” But if you see that someone is getting picked on or harassed, at the very least send them a direct message and say, “Hey, do you need help out there?” We all love knights in shining armor, but seldom see them.
9. Invite someone to guest post on your blog. We all feel that our blogs are sacred ground, and our readers probably know we feel that way. With that in mind, tapping someone on the shoulder and saying “Hey, do you want to use my platform?” is a GREAT way to spread the love.
Those are 9 ways that I try to spread the love in my Social Media community.
What’s number ten? You tell me. What can or do you do to make the online world a little brighter?