The #1 Ingredient for Social Media Success...Moving Beyond Bits of Conversation Into True Connection!

By
Real Estate Broker Owner with Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate

If the noise level is an indicator of conversational buzz, then 2008 was certainly the year in which the conversation online moved into the mainstream of public consciousness

pierThis was due, in no small part, to the effective use of social media in the presidential campaign.  No one captured the essential core of this technology as skillfully as Obama's team did through their use of social media to raise awareness and campaign funds.  In addition, the news media integrated social media sites, bloggers and iReporters into their broadcast.  Everyone was talking to anyone...

In 2008, the main event was the conversationTwitter took off with incredible speed, breaking records for increased traffic.  For many, the conversation was the end game.  It didn't matter if anyone was listening or responding. 

It was all about being on the move...finding the next new social media network, creating as many profiles as possible and then clicking the cursor to explore  the next thing.  The result of this dizzying flight of activity was near exhaustion in some quarters as many strove to keep up with blogs, comments and syndicated feeds. 

One of the most curious phenomenons observed during this frenzy was the numerous people who were banned from sites like Twitter for 'strange activity'.  Sometimes, a visit to the profile would indicate a huge number of individuals who had been 'friended' by the now banned member.  I wonder if a new kind of social dysfunction is developing in which a compulsive need to collect 'friends' will soon garner a psychiatric label? :)

As business professionals enter into social media platforms in droves in 2009, the easiest mistake to make will be in thinking that this is just about communicating a message rather than developing Relationships. It's not that the numbers will not be important.  They will be! 

But what's hidden in the numbers will be even more critical.  The true gold core will be the level of connectivity which is embedded within the numbers; the touch points which serve to expand the level of interaction beyond the simple one dimensional format of a profile page.  Success in the future will depend on the power of influence and the ability to move followers and friends to action.  This only happens when there is a relationship!

Relationships are much harder to nurture than simple conversations.  Relationships are fueled by a willingness to listen and understand.  They also demand humility to appreciate what others bring to the table and the ability to respond in a fashion that it engaging and interactive.  Relationships can increase risk, vulnerability and emotional exposure.  And most of all relationships require an investment of TIME. 

And...2009 will be the year that many will discover that blogging and social media networking are not a 'get rich quick schemes' in which the numbers of followers alone garner results.  Many will drop away because of the boredom that eventually results when no one is responding. 

But those who persist in the painstaking work of building relationships will become immersed in an experience which will prove to be transforming.  I'm already seeing it happen.  In some ways, this journey from the shallow shoals of conversation to the depths of relationships may offer the best hope for revitalizing an industry which has lost its mooring of influence and is floundering to discover how to become relevant once more.

Copyright 2008  Audu Real Estate  All Rights Reserved

Related Blog Posts...

How to Use Twitter For Business...excellent tips!

 

 

 

 

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Comments 67 New Comment

Rainmaker
378,016
Sonya Loose
Wixom Lake, Secord Lake, Sugar Springs and Smallwo
Gladwin MI Real Estate (Homewaters Real Estate)

Lola, you always write an excellent post...you do have a way with words!  I think what you had to say hear is very true...it is about the relationships you establish and listening to what others are saying!

January 17, 2009 10:29 PM
Rainmaker
139,757
Utah Dave
Homes for Sale - Utah
UtahDave.com Neighborhood Experts

Yes, its about connecting!  I love that!  YOu do have excellent posts and its well layed out! 

Utah homes for sale

Utah Dave

January 17, 2009 10:38 PM
Rainer
690
Chris Garvey
East Tennessee Luxury Properties

Lola,

Thank you for the reminder of the need to rebuild the lost art of conversation, or more importantly, listening, in order to build relationships. It takes me back to my undergraduate psychology and education courses. I remember an expressed concern that many people were/are so occupied with thinking about what they want to say next that they don't stop to listen to what someone else is saying, or allow them to even get a word in in the first place.  If we don't actually listen and reply thoughtfully in turn we can guarantee that no substantial relationship will be formed. I agree with your comment on the quest for "friends", or points for that matter, possibly leading to psychological conditions and labels. Another possible pitfall could be getting caught up in those quests of others for friends by blindly accepting their request for "friendship".  How many people can we legitimately connect to and keep up with?  I don't have the answer of course but numbers in the hundreds seem questionable to me.  There are only so many hours in the day.  Like so many new technologies and services web-related there is great positive potential in social networking sites, but there is also great risk of wasted time and energy.  "Communicating" with comments of the length and depth of a high school yearbook signature will not relationship or viable network build.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I enjoyed reading and thinking about you had to say.

Sincerely,

Chris Garvey

January 19, 2009 09:27 AM
Rainmaker
372,804
Lola Audu
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate

Russ, you're right...each of us will have a different path through which we traverse the blogosphere.  But, it's important to at least know what works for you...shot gun or otherwise. There will also be different levels of communication w/in our circles of friends & that's OK too.

January 19, 2009 03:17 PM
Rainmaker
372,804
Lola Audu
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate

Sonya, Thanks.  Appreciate your comment.  Are you guys layered in piles of snow too? :)

Hi Dave, thanks for stopping by.

 

January 19, 2009 03:27 PM
Rainmaker
372,804

Lola Audu

Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
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Grand Rapids, Michigan real estate information including houses for sale, rent and home buyer/seller tips. Also includes wisdom and insights from Lola Audu, CRS Associate Broker.

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