There we were. The expansive conference hall filled wall-to-wall with people who rely on technology to communicate with customers, clients and fans participated in a sea of yes-nods and verbal affirmations.
We agreed: We feel more distant than ever with those around us.
Although the ways we can reach out are numerous, are we really being authentic?
I spent last week in Boston at Skyword’s #Forward17 content marketing conference where we explored the idea of building genuine connections with those we care about, both at work and in our personal lives.
In the marketing world we prepare and plan ahead. We pour over the messages and topics to present. We figure out when our audiences are online and where they’re hanging out most often. We share encouraging and educational information without hesitation.
But, is the conversation one-sided? Are we shouting at readers? Do we listen enough?
During the panel presentation about social media, I reminded the audience that if you’re pre-scheduling every post for social media, you’re doing it wrong. You need to be, well, social by commenting, sharing and engaging in conversations.
As a business of one, I know it’s easier for me to reach out than for bigger businesses with a legal team and brand partnerships to consult.
But honestly, ask yourself: When is the last time you started a conversation on a social media platform for work that wasn’t pre-planned? Have you left a comment (as your business identity) or added something to an ongoing thread? Have you replied to comments on posts that aren’t your own?
But, the results are incredibly rewarding. The more I engage with my readers, the more I learn about them and can create content they crave. The same goes for the publications I write for and editors who polish my words. Knowing and understanding each other makes collaboration much smoother and effective.
As an entrepreneur, these connections become my water cooler moments with colleagues and readers.
I feel many of us have fallen into a voyeur state. We check notifications, tap a few likes, press retweet, analyze post performance on the backend and get ready to plan out the next batch of messages.
It’s easy to automate and advance in this business.
But, what would happen if we just slowed down? What if you checked on your top followers and sent a “How are you today?” message or left a reply on another business page post? What if we interacted with empathy, kindness and concern?
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