Social media has integrated itself into our daily lives, connecting us easier than ever to our friends, acquaintances and even strangers.
There are some who despise what social media has done to our real life connections, deteriorating them and creating only glazed over conversations behind a lit up computer screen. Other, though, have found that they can use social media to boost their social value and strengthen the relationships they have with people.
After all, in what other form in real life can you simultaneously network with hundreds, thousands, or millions of people (depending on your friend or follower count)?
Businesses and companies have really capitalized on social media, making sure to connect to clients and consumers. The thing is, the same principles that businesses use to gain attention and affection from fans can easily be applied to a person’s personal social media pages.
The next time you log onto Facebook or begin writing out a tweet, stop and make sure that you’re applying the following 10 principles to your social media communications. When followed correctly, these principles have the power to boost your social value to unbelievable levels.
1. Don’t make statements, create conversations
When creating statuses for Facebook or Twitter (or a caption on Instagram), don’t just make a statement, create a conversation through your post to reach out and connect to your friends.
I’ve just decided to book a trip to Italy! I’m heading there in 1 month! So stoked!
I’ve just decided to book a trip to Italy! I’m heading there in 1 month! Do you have any suggestions for places I should visit, foods to eat, or must-try activities? I’d love to hear them!
See the differences in the two statuses? The first is probably going to get more likes than comments, while the second one is aimed at getting advice and starting conversations. The more you chat and interact with people online, the more they’ll feel connected to you (making it easier to cultivate an IRL friendship when the time comes for you to invite them out).
2. Be positive, but also keep it real
Nobody likes a robot, so keep your statuses positive but real. Skip over the statuses that talk about what you had for breakfast, and instead share a story about how you had a hard day but are keeping your chin up. It’s okay to be honest about your not so perfect days on social media (just don’t be too whiney or depressing), but end them on a high note.
3. Share funny content that you think friends might like
Did you read a funny article or find a funny gif while riding the train to work? Share it with your friends through social media. People can’t help but like someone who makes them laugh, so it’s a good idea to share things that’ll induce a good chuckle from your friends.
4. Show excitement for friends’ achievements and passed milestones
Don’t be selfish and soak up praise and never return the sentiment. You know you have those friends online who like and comment on your posts. Don’t treat those people like fans treat them like friends. When they post about an achievement, award, or big milestone, praise them out loud (well, in a comment – you know what I mean).
5. Ask questions and get interested
People like others who show curiosity in their lives. If someone tweets out about having an amazing lunch or posts an IG pic of a delicious brunch, go ahead and ask where it was and if they enjoyed it. The best thing you can possibly do in any social media situation is create conversations.
6. Practice proper messaging conversation etiquette
If you’re chatting with someone over messenger, please don’t just leave the conversation without saying goodbye. That’s like just hanging up on a person in the middle of a conversation because you wanted to go make coffee or run an errand. It’s rude and it’s quickly becoming socially acceptable. If there’s really a work emergency, apologize when you get back to the conversation. If you treat friends right over social media, they’ll assume that you’ll treat them right irl as a friend.
7. Choose a smiling profile picture
Ask any social expert what’s most important to get people to like you, and they’ll say smiling. When choosing between that black and white moody photo of you staring at a lake (#wanderlust) and the one of your with a huge grin at your mom’s birthday party (#cheesin), opt for the smiling photo.
8. Handle criticism with class
You know what they say about opinions and a**holes, right? Remember that you can’t please everyone, and time to time you might come across someone who needs to disagree with you or ruin your day. When you do come across someone who absolutely needs their opinion to be heard, don’t pick a fight (especially not online for the whole world to see). Be the bigger person and walk away.
9. Add pictures to your statuses
When possible, add pictures to your statuses. Research shows that pictures get more clicks than just a plain status.
10. Use social media to strengthen your IRL relationships
If you think you might get along with someone in real life that you’ve been cultivating a social media friendship with, go ahead and ask them to hang out. Just remember not to flake when plans are made. That’s the quickest way to ensuring you and said person will always be friends strictly on social media.