Has social media evolved into “how many tweets we can get out in one day”? What about how many followers do I have?
Do we just favorite, like, share or retweet whatever we see on social media. Are our only connections with people whom we work with and we just keep on recycling each other’s content?
Social media was built with a purpose. It was meant to engage the masses in a quicker and easier fashion. It originally was made for college purposes which I’d imagine had a big part to do with dating, hanging out, studying together etc.
It’s evolved into something much much larger where people want to connect with products, information, inspiration, crafts, and obviously people whom they’d find interest in. Most consumers out there want to know, what is in it for me? How can Facebook or twitter or any other social media platform help me? When you become my “friend” or “connection”, or I follow you on Twitter, what’s in it for me? That means that I expect to see things that are relevant, current, interesting and of value for ME!
Truth is that in real life we act and feel the same way. I remember when I started out in the professional world how I was so clueless (I’m still figuring it all out ) about presenting myself in an interview. I had to learn what an objective was, how to properly construct a resume, and learn what an elevator speech was. What I mean to say is when we present ourselves whether on paper (i.e. business card, email, resume, cover letter), we’ve got to keep in mind what do they get out of this or out of me?
When we meet people at an interview or at a networking event we’ve got to figuratively step into their shoes. How can I help them? What do I have to offer?
I saw 3 great ideas on this in a wonderful post by Mars Dorian.
- Make your offering really short and concise. No more than a sentence or two. People just don’t have so much time or attention span anymore. At a networking event they want to meet as many people as possible. While you’re talking to them if you don’t grab their attention within the first 20 seconds let’s say, they’ll already be scanning the room for whom else to talk to. They are also consistently distracted by work emails and their phones.
- When receiving someone’s business card, make it a point of holding it with both of your hands and taking a significant and intent moment to look it over. Think of something to comment on. This gives that person a new feeling of self-worth. He thinks to himself, that businessman just thought about me and what I do.
- Finally, when talking to someone at a networking event you both want to gain out of this. Like I mentioned before, he/she is thinking “what can I get out of this interaction, business, etc?” Engage them in a conversation about what they do. Ask them how they like it and what obstacles they may face. Ask them what their dreams are for the future and what they wish was working more smoothly and efficiently. What are they lacking? From these questions you gain two-fold. They actually don’t consider you to be a salesperson now. Rather they consider you as a friendly and knowledgeable human being. They may be looking to you now as a kind of support. Someone to hash things out with and finally when they hear about what you do or which people you can connect them to you’ve become a partner in their business. You are no longer a nuisance. They’ve got time for you now.