Technology Skills AND People Skills in Social Media

Successfully using Social Media to grow your business, identify clients and business partners and many other business outcomes relies less on being a computer geek and more on effective people skills.  Is it just me or does it seem that everybody and his brother is a so-called “Social Media Expert”?  I find that it’s kind of like being a lady- if you have to tell people that you are, maybe you’re not.  I recently heard a very highly respected Social Media authority (based on credibility and not self-professed) say “those who call themselves gurus only do so because they can’t spell charlatan”.  I got a chuckle out of that. 

Just because someone knows all the bells and whistles regarding Social Media, that in no way indicates that they are someone who knows how to build and sustain relationships.  The tools of Social Media are sites, applications, and other computer stuff.  I think that the real “tools” of Social Media are the same “tools” of Social Skills.  And unless you’re Tom Hanks living on an island with a volleyball named Wilson, Social Skills may be a very, very important life skill.  Ironically, very few people spend anywhere near the time studying them that they do planning a vacation.

Back in the 1930’s a gentleman named Dale Carnegie wrote a book called “How to Win Friends and Influence People”.  It’s a classic.  In every one of my talks I ask the audience how many people have read this book and almost everyone puts their hand up.  That’s all well and good, but books like HTWFAIP shouldn’t be read.  Menus and traffic signs should be read.  Books like HTWFAIP should be studied.  Highlighted and notes written in the margin studied.  The principles in this book are timeless.

Every chapter is summarized in one sentence.  The first three chapters are called “Fundamental Techniques in Handling People” and they’re summarized as:

1) Don’t criticize, condemn or complain

2) Give honest and sincere appreciation 

3) Arouse in the other person an eager want

As we are communicating and connecting on Social Media platforms it will serve us well to remember these three points.  Remember that it’s not about the phone, it’s about the conversation.  People do business with and refer business to people they like, know and trust.  This isn’t a function of how many connections they have on LinkedIn, how many friends they have on Facebook or how many followers they have on Twitter.  It has everything to do with feeling appreciated in their relationships.  Way before the computer was invented people built relationships.  Only the tools have changed, people haven’t.  Don’t forget your humanness as you connect with the world.

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