Tag Archives: Online Communities

Are you Consuming Info like a Batch of Greasy French Fries?

14 Jun

by Erin Al-Mehairi, owner, Addison’s Compass Public Relations
*Article printed in May/June issue of North Central Ohio Events Magazine
http://www.ncoeventsmagazine.com/pdfs/EMAG2_WEB.pdf

There is no denying that we are a society of consumption. In America, we consume well over $100 billion of fast food each year, 156 pounds of added sugar, almost 600 cans of pop per person on average, and 375 million gallons of gas per day. We consume things quickly, leaving no second to spare.

Just as we consume fast food in our car on the way to our next scheduled appointment, we also consume information at what seems like the speed of light. We consume articles online via our smart phones and check out breaking news on Twitter before it even gets to the nightly news or before we can turn on CNN.

In a matter of minutes, we read breaking news, check our email, respond to a text message, scroll through our Facebook newsfeed, and schedule a meeting in our calendar.

As social networking and the use of social media has developed, our skills sometimes haven’t been able to catch up. We have more and more friends and followers, as well as fan pages, to view information on. We scroll and scroll through the feeds, consuming as much information as we can. We begin to read it as if it were a book, forgetting the entire human element that is so integrated into the success use of it.

That’s right, we forget that most of the feeds are written by people in our lives who have taken a minute out of their time to inform us about their lives, recommend a product, or share a link with great information. We forget it is not just a computer, and then we forget to respond.

The premise of social networking is just that — “being social with other people (social) in order to get to know them, their lives, their charities, their services and connect and support one another (networking).”

Keeping that in mind, that means that we shouldn’t just scroll and read without ever offering back a word of encouragement, recommendation, dialogue, or testimonial. We should take the time on product or business fan pages to say what we like and what we don’t like (just make sure it is constructive criticism) and use it as a platform to connect with brands and businesses we like. We should be an active player in the process, not just consumers who throw away information like we throw away Big Mac wrappers.

Here are a few tips to assist you with your interpersonal skills on social media:

1. Respond to people’s comments. Whether on your own personal page, a fan page or to a tweet, please respond to the comments that people take the time to make. For businesses, respond whether they are positive or negative. Responding to negative comments can turn the situation into a positive because it shows you care about your customer and finding solutions to their issues. Don’t ever delete their comments or block your wall so customers can’t write to you.

 2. Start conversations. Ask your friends or fans questions about themselves or about something that relates to your brand or product. Initiate dialogue with them and don’t be shy. Being open and aware makes you trustworthy. On Twitter, start chats and use a #hashtag to talk about subjects that interest you.

3. Ask a question or post a poll. Facebook just made it even more fun and engaging to do this. On a personal level, it is fun to ask your friend’s favorite 80’s movie and from a business perspective, you may be able to garner the interests of you clients to help you better sell your services or products. Either way, it engages your audience.

There are many more keys and skills to utilizing social media networking and marketing in a more successful manner. Seek out information and remember to not just consume it, but put it to use.

We’d love to have you initiate conversations with us: www.facebook.com/addisons.compass, http://www.twitter.com/ErinAlMehairi, http://www.twitter.com/tbusbey, www.linkedin.com/in/erinalmehairi, http://www.linkedin/in/timbusbey.