I remember hearing this saying a few years ago and it blew my mind.
“Stop trying to be interesting. Just be interested.”
I am not sure exactly who coined the term as I’ve seen a few memes and quotes of it since then. And I’ve seen and said it a variety of ways. Regardless the meaning stays true.
A few days ago I met with a friend to work on her social media plans for the remainder of this month and dream for the next year. She’s an author and speaker and wants to continue to improve her platform and her following. We talked about campaigns and calendars, scheduling and showing the imperfectness of her children and holiday décor. People love peering through the looking glass to see how you really live life. And in a world of “connectedness” people still feel lonely or that no one is listening to them.
After talking with her I came up with a quick list of ways that we could all be more interested in our followers regardless of the platform or medium.
- Be Helpful – Share an article you read that would help them based on what they shared. Maybe its tips for running faster, or how to save money by meal planning, or shopping advice for the holidays. I think the more related to their personal life the better.
- Encourage them– Share a note to encourage them along the process even if you don’t have any advice to add. There’s a lot to be said when someone encourages another and could help motivate them.
- Respond – For one week, pick 5
or 10followers and write back a response to their posts. Like a real response, not a bot response or a one word “LOVE” response. I’ve done this a few times, sometimes with people I don’t even really “know” and its been fun learning more about them and building a better foundation for a relationship.
- Share a story – There’s something great about hearing a story about something similar, especially if you want to show some empathy (or humor!). It brings a human element to a very processed, calendar and scheduled feed of noise. Just be careful that you don’t try and “one-up” the person trying to make yourself look better with your story.
- Listen – Follow up or ask someone about something specific that was shared. It shows that they actually read and listened and remembered. Enough to ask and care about what’s happening behind the screen. This is powerful, and rarely happens online, let alone in other relationships.
What about you? Do you have any tips or things people online have done to show that they were truly and genuinely interested in you and you in them? Any business that is doing this well?
Here’s a post by Eric Kraus about Interested vs Interesting in Enterprise Social networks and a bit more about the background of culture if you want to explore further.