Social Media and the Art of Being Interested
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Social Media and the Art of Being Interested

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Courtney Seiter, Raven Tools' community manager, discusses social media strategies and tools for active listening and thoughtful engagement to build real relationships.

Courtney Seiter, Raven Tools' community manager, discusses social media strategies and tools for active listening and thoughtful engagement to build real relationships.

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  • \n
  • This friend was a lot of things, but he will be best remembered for being great at one thing in particular: the art of being interested. Why was it so remarkable that he was a good listener and truly interested in others? Because it’s incredibly rare – and becoming more so – to find someone who’s truly interested in others. Not waiting to tell you their story, not looking across the room to see who’s more important than you. Just truly, honestly interested in you and your story.\n
  • Research suggests up to 80% of social media postings are about “one’s own immediate experience.”\n\n\n
  • Harvard researchers gave people money for answering questions while they were hooked up to MRI machines. They got more money for answering factual questions or questions about other people, and less money talking about their own views on a subject. But time and time again, participants chose to receive less money in order to talk more about themselves. \n
  • What they found is that the act of talking about yourself activates the same sensation of pleasure in the brain that we get from food....\n\n
  • Or even having sex. People were willing to give up even more money when they thought their answers would be shared with another person than when they were told their responses would be kept private.\n
  • So the urge to share and be understood is extremely strong. And we suddenly have more places to talk about ourselves than ever before. When “share” becomes just another way to say “let me tell you more about me,” it’s clear social media has begun to show us something about ourselves: We really want someone to listen to us. Our thoughts. Our opinions. Our experiences.\n
  • But if everyone wants to be noticed, be heard, have their opinions validated, who is doing the listening? If we’re all trying to be interesting, who is left to be interested?\n
  • Brands are eager to use social media as a broadcasting platform, but not so keen on customer conversations. We’re just not interested, and it shows. And we’re blowing it with social media. We’re talking what’s most special about this innovative communication form and dumbing it down to the kinds of communication we’re used to: We talk, you listen. How can we go beyond that and begin to build real relationships?\n
  • Brands are eager to use social media as a broadcasting platform, but not so keen on customer conversations. We’re just not interested, and it shows. And we’re blowing it with social media. We’re talking what’s most special about this innovative communication form and dumbing it down to the kinds of communication we’re used to: We talk, you listen. How can we go beyond that and begin to build real relationships?\n
  • Brands are eager to use social media as a broadcasting platform, but not so keen on customer conversations. We’re just not interested, and it shows. And we’re blowing it with social media. We’re talking what’s most special about this innovative communication form and dumbing it down to the kinds of communication we’re used to: We talk, you listen. How can we go beyond that and begin to build real relationships?\n
  • Brands are eager to use social media as a broadcasting platform, but not so keen on customer conversations. We’re just not interested, and it shows. And we’re blowing it with social media. We’re talking what’s most special about this innovative communication form and dumbing it down to the kinds of communication we’re used to: We talk, you listen. How can we go beyond that and begin to build real relationships?\n
  • Brands are eager to use social media as a broadcasting platform, but not so keen on customer conversations. We’re just not interested, and it shows. And we’re blowing it with social media. We’re talking what’s most special about this innovative communication form and dumbing it down to the kinds of communication we’re used to: We talk, you listen. How can we go beyond that and begin to build real relationships?\n
  • Brands are eager to use social media as a broadcasting platform, but not so keen on customer conversations. We’re just not interested, and it shows. And we’re blowing it with social media. We’re talking what’s most special about this innovative communication form and dumbing it down to the kinds of communication we’re used to: We talk, you listen. How can we go beyond that and begin to build real relationships?\n
  • Not just answering questions, not just saying thanks when people write about you, but actually extending a conversation and creating a relationship. With people who who are talking about the same things you talk about, who love your brand, who want to know your brand. This isn’t sales. This is genuinely being useful, helpful, likeable, conversational. Being interested. This is what social media is tailor made for: discovering people, making contacts, and building relationships.\n
  • It takes some work, and results aren’t immediate. So why bother? Build a community of the best and brightest. Collaborate with customers to make your products better. Have a 24/7 focus group that actually cares. See your relationships pay off when people look to you as an authority. Because a conversation you build in good faith is real, and people are acutely aware of what’s real. \n
  • What we’re talking about with this process is really “stealth friendship.” The way you meet and evaluate new people every day, and the ones you like, you take those tentative first steps – a cup of coffee, drinks after works – that eventually become the basis of a relationship.\n
  • Just like in real life, it’s an ongoing, rolling process that takes place at human scale because it takes real human contact  – a handful of new people at a time. But unlike in your daily life, social media adds a lot of noise and distance, so we need to add some tools to the mix to help us figure out what’s important and focus in on it.\n
  • Depending on your industry and your goals, there are many different groups you might want to focus on in terms of building relationships. The main questions you want to ask yourself are:\n• Who’s looking for you? • Who’s talking about you? • Who has questions you can answer? • Who’s important to you and your niche?\n
  • Every brand has advocates and fans that go above and beyond: they blog about you, go to bat for you online, refer you business, share your news. They, of all these groups, deserve a sincere relationship with you.How do you find them?\n
  • Section of Facebook analytics that focuses specifically on your most engaged fans in terms of comments and likes. A study of fan engagement showed that only 6% of fans engaged with content but that those superfans are incredible important One Superfan is equal to that of 75 fans. For Twitter, a list of those who most frequently RT you, along with quick view of the tweets and ability to follow. \n
  • Easy way to see who’s retweeting your content and quickly follow them and/or thank them for the mention.\n
  • Alerts you to people you might want to follow based on how they interact with you. See how you’ve interacted with followers in the past. \n
  • We’re not talking anyone with a high Klout score. We’re looking for people who are authorities on the specific topics around which you want to build your own value. Don’t forget mid-level influencers, too.\n
  • Enter your site or URL of blog post, then click the “Show influential only” to sort. Now you have a list of influential people who are already sharing your content. From here, roll over their photo for more info and easy follow. Also: Topsy Expert Search lets you discover knowledgeable, interesting and active users on any keyword or terms.\n
  • Twitter people search. Browse through Twitter lists on any topics. Search for people and subjects that are related to your business interests. Or look for lists created by others your industry or competitors.\n
  • Lots of advanced filters allow you to search by follower: following ratio, number of lists they’re on, post frequency, influencer score powered by PeerIndex and many others. Bulk follow/unfollow helps you quickly act on your research.\n
  • People looking for a product or service like yours are on social media every day, having conversations that relate to what you do and asking questions you can likely answer. Our challenge is to find them, listen actively and talk to them meaningfully.\n
  • Amplicate collects consumer opinions on SM and analyzes them to let you know what consumers are saying about products, services, companies. Put in keywords from your industry to find out what people love and hate about your products, your brand, your competitors. What are their biggest problems? Can you fix them?\n
  • Great for searching Twitter bios for keywords and drilling down by geographic area.\n
  • Use advanced search operators to find conversations. Think about natural language you’ve seen in your conversations and search accordingly. love+brand hate+brand sucks+brand “anyone” OR “suggest” OR “recommend” “alternative to X”\n
  • Everyone wants to be in the New York Times or on CNN, but to do that you’ve got to know people in the press. Now the key here is to build relationships with writers before you need something from them. Start following them on Twitter. Engage with them about other articles they’ve written or comments they’ve made. Email them simply to introduce yourself and ask for nothing in return. This step is one of the most important as it allows you to build a relationship with the writer without asking for anything in return. If you’ve gotten into the habit of tweeting your thoughts back and forth over the past few episodes of Dexter, they know you as more than just a story pitch. \n
  • Local reporters often have SM presence in order to be more accessible in their communities. Muck Rack lists thousands of journalists on SM in lists vetted by a team of editors. \n
  • Source exchanges are a great resource for both reporters and PR pros. Sign up and you’ll usually get daily e-mails from reporters who need experts for specific stories.\n
  • Tools for finding relevant blogs and blogs that are open to guest post exchanges. Blogdash hooks up brands and bloggers. My Guest Blog hooks up writers with blogs looking for content, making it easy for the parties to connect. Blogger Linkup is a mixture of all of that - a mixed mag mailing list of guest posts, brands, source opportunities, etc.\n
  • \n
  • There are no shortcuts. To really get to know your targeted list, you have to do the work. Read their blog, find out who they are and who they’re connect to.\n
  • Connect with them everywhere you can passively--no contact yet. Subscribe to their blogs (via email or RSS), follow them on Twitter, connect on Google+, subscribe to their Facebook updates, like their Facebook page, YouTube,  SlideShare, Pinterest, Quora, Tumblr, Instagram, join LinkedIn Groups that they participate in, search industry events and see if they will be speaking. This is work on the front end but assures that your group is part of your daily rounds. This will help you easily get to know them, their personality, their content, without doing much more than what what you were already doing.\n
  • If you work with a CRM system, make sure everyone in your group is entered into with appropriate tags and notes. Remember particular conversations or facts about the person you may want to recall later. Can be a spreadsheet, too\n
  • Finds the fastest and smartest way for you to connect with anyone. Hachi searches through your connections spread across various social and professional networks, and finds the smartest way for you to connect with anyone you want. And, it facilitates the introduction.\n
  • Allow yourself a certain amount of time per day to just cruise your lists and find points to engage with and people to connect with. Quantify these efforts as needed. \n
  • For fans, don’t just thank them for sharing. Find a way to let them know they’re important. Remember your past interactions with them. Put them on a panel of VIP customers who help you develop new stuff. Ask customers for their ideas and thoughts on improving service and next generation products. Reward them with stuff. \n
  • Make it about them. Find your parade and get behind it. Build traffic for your supporters them the way you do for yourself. Link to them, share their posts with your audience, comment on their blog post/social posts, answer their questions or RT to help find someone who can, reply to them, promote their LinkedIn group or local event or speaking gig. The “find your parade” phrase comes from Tim O’Reilly "People don't care about your book," I remember Brian saying to me. "They care about the Internet itself."  Instead of marketing the book, we used the book to market the Internet. \n\n
  • taking the time to actually consume it. It’s not OK to just retweet and share content to build your industry voice. When you share content from your targets, add what you learned, your favorite tip or even an opposing point of view. Don’t let them mistake you for an autobot-let them know you’re engaging with their content. Use names in blog comments. Show that you’ve done the legwork to know them a little better.\n
  • Create a sense of community around your brand. It’s going to be a stronger drive for you than a few influencer tweets. The more interconnected a community is the stronger it becomes. Fostering the relationships between members and helping them to grow and discover new like-minded people helps amplify a brand's value in intangible but highly valuable ways. \n
  • It doesn’t always have to be business-related. Social media is a series of breadcrumbs we give people to follow to get to know each other. Look for opportunities to engage with them on non-industry topics. Look particularly for “passion points” – a nonprofit or cause you have in common, a band you both love. There are three conditions sociologists consider crucial to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other.\n
  • Some of these groups you’ll maybe never reach out to for anything - you just want to be in contact with them because they’re interesting or influential or a big fan. For others, you’ll eventually be working your way up to a request for press coverage or a link. Either way, you’ve put in the groundwork to earn that relationship\n
  • guest post example\n
  • The relationship isn’t over once you’ve gotten what you asked for. Can you return the favor? \n
  • Studies show that more communication increases customer confidence. Higher levels of relevant, frequent, lengthy and timely information leads customers to reduced feelings of uncertainty and a stronger relationships with the sponsoring companies.\n
  • Once you’ve gotten a few press mentions or love notes from fans, find a way to show it off. Your fans’ stories are powerful - to you and to them. Testimonials on your site, blog posts wrapping up your press, etc.\n
  • The most precious commodity in social media is being understood. We’re all searching for someone who “gets” us. If we happen to come across one of these precious people, we pay more attention to them than anyone else in our lives. So for brands, the secret to success in social media is to forget about us and understand others.  Success comes when you focus on the success of your community. People matter, and those relationships begin when you forget about you and start being interested. \n
  • \n

Social Media and the Art of Being Interested Social Media and the Art of Being Interested Presentation Transcript

  • The art of being interestedCourtney Seiter | @RavenTools | @RavenCourtney#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • ✤ “He was a great listener.” ✤ “He asked real questions, probed for my thoughts...” ✤ “Its amazing to see the effect that someone paying attention to other people can have.” ✤ “He listened, he heard, he was interested...”#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • 80% of social media posts are about ME#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Our brains reward us for talkingabout ourselves.#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • It’s as good as...#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Or even...#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • #gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • #gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • #gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • #gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Be. Interested.#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • What’s in it for you?✤ More fans ✤ New links✤ Brand recognition ✤ New leads✤ Reputation ✤ Free focus group✤ More authority ✤ More shares✤ Press opportunities ✤ Better products#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • #gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Just five steps!*1. Discovery2. Research3. Groundwork4. Outreach5. Follow-up *and two are really easy#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Step 1:DiscoveryWho do you want to meet, and how willyou find them?#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Brandcheerleaders#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Crowdbooster#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Buffer#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Commun.it#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Influencers#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Topsy#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Listorious#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • SocialBro#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Prospectiveclients#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Amplicate#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Followerwonk#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Twitter search, chats#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Press#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Muck Rack#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Source exchanges#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Guest blogger linkups#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • ✤ Bonus! Ultimate List of Online PR Tools raven.im/ultimatePR#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Step 2:ResearchConnecting the dots#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Find them everywhere#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • CRM#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Hachi#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Step 3:GroundworkThe part where we make friends#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • You can do better#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Find your parade#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Add your voice#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Connect your community#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Get up close and personal#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Step 4:OutreachTime for ‘the ask’#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • ✤ Genuine✤ Researched✤ Specific✤ Thorough✤ Well executed#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Step 5:Follow upDon’t stop building#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Keep talking#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Social proof#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Bottom line: It’s not about you#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney
  • Thank you! slideshare.com/ raventoolsCourtney Seiter | @RavenTools | @RavenCourtney#gotoexplore @RavenCourtney