February 25, 2010
If you want to succeed on any social media platform, there are a few rules to follow. My first rule was to be helpful, adding gold instead of junk to the social stream.
Here's the next rule: Be generous
Give yourself to your followers, from life situations to your network of personal relationships. If you use social media to share your life with us, share it fully, including pictures or video clips. Tell us what you are going through and how you are feeling. If you are guarded, your following will know, and it will be harder for them to become intimate with you.
Protect your private life, but at the same time, share parts of it that might help others or at least keep them up to date on your adventures. In many cases, I'm able to keep with my friends based on their generous updates on Facebook - without having to call or ping them to "check in."
Chris Brogan is one of the most generous people I know. If you haven't heard, we have a Lovefest going on in the blogosphere. He gives us a blow by blow account on life's ups and downs. He's very human and expressive. He share his secrets to social media success, going way beyond being helpful. He is also incredibly generous with his network of followers - well over one hundred thousand strong (making him a mini-Oprah of sorts). He uses Twitter as a public pay phone, having transparent conversations with just about anyone who engages with him. In every case, having Chris Brogan reply to you with your @ sign in the message means that you may pick up new followers out of his ranks. Why? To understand the complete conversation, his followers need to click over to your profile for the reference. They are now one click away from following you. NOTE: Don't abuse this with Chris, be authentic in your questions or comments to him. Whale baiting isn't cool.
You can do this too with your network, large or small. Devote some time reading your social stream to pan for information gold, then repost it or comment/like it. That introduces the post's author to your following, and shares the network accordingly. Think of retweeting as repeating with a purpose - to help Twitter gold rise to the top and grow.