5 Things you can do to be Interested in your followers

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Respond – For one week, pick 5 or 10 followers 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

 

“Do you hear what I hear?” 2015 -Year of “Listening”

I’ve been on the road lately and talking and working with a variety of customers in every industry and level of maturity around social media and adoption. I’ve been noticing a few trends and things that keep coming up…

We are really good at the push. We have so much content. We have mastered the art of one way communication. Like mastered, no need for more training on that. You get it.

But where I see brands and companies struggling is really, actively listening. Asking another, “Do you hear what I hear?” My guess is no, probably not. We don’t hear what you hear because we are so loud talking about our own stuff, I cant even hear what I should be hearing myself let alone what you are hearing.

So my big bet, my big prediction for 2015 in terms of “social media”?

Listening.

We need to do more listening. Everyone. As a whole. As people. Its not a business listening to another business (B2B), its people interacting with people, truly hearing what they have to say.

Its also taking the opportunity to say, yes, I’ve heard you. Good. Bag. Ugly. But I’ve heard you.

What does this look like?  Filter the noise. Focus on the person. Remove the jargon. Be interested. 

This doesn’t mean you problem solve everything. This doesn’t mean you have a response for everything. Sometimes just being heard is enough.  And we should let enough be enough.