|Photo credit: JanneM on Flickr|
I assumed a lot about what it would be like, but I never imagined what a huge role community would play into it.
I know so far I’ve really only mentioned Twitter, but this applies to just about any form of social media, be it Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn (I’m guessing), Blogging, et cetera et cetera.
I’m not any expert, nor will I pretend to be. I only really dove into social media this past April, so really, I’m still a newbie. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned so far, it’s that when it comes to social media, it’s not about you.
Whoa, there. Not about me? Isn’t social media about building my platform and getting my name out there? Well…yes and no.
I’d be naïve to say that the overall goal isn’t to build online influence. It is—even I get excited when my Klout score goes up, when I get a bunch of new followers on Twitter, when my blog has a successful day with a lot of page views. Yes, the goal is, for most people at least, to build a platform and get known.
BUT. If you really want to flourish online, if you really want to get a group of loyal followers, if you really want people to like you (and when your goal is building a platform, trust me, you do), you have to accept that this isn’t about you.
Your blog? It should give helpful/interesting/entertaining information to your readers. It’s not about you.
Your Twitter? It should be used not only to spread your own ideas, but those of others. Networking means reaching out to other people and supporting them in their journeys. It’s not about you.
Your Facebook? Yes, it has your personal information, your picture, your interests but that like button isn’t for promoting your own posts, now is it? It’s not about you.
Here’s a little secret: people will tolerate listening to you talk about yourself sporadically. Hey, sometimes they even ask and that’s great. But if all you do is promote your own work, if all you do is talk about yourself and spread links galore to your various sites, guess what? People will stop caring. Why should they support you if all you do is support yourself?
You know that old saying “There’s no I in team?” (and yes, I’m aware there IS a “me”, but that’s beside the point.) Well it applies here. Social media is a team effort. It’s a community.
And unless you start supporting your fellow members, you’ll find that people will let you keep doing what you’re doing. They just stick around to listen.
How has community affected your social media experience?