the rules of social media engagement

The Secret to Social Engagement: Get what you Give

By Social Media

My brilliant and beautiful friend Suzanne has an inspiring life philosophy that I’ll simplify and paraphrase here: “think abundantly,” she says, and she means it. It’s an abundant life she leads; her practice of giving, recognizing, referring and acknowledging has led to many riches being returned. Hers is a wonderful example to follow in business and in life.

I think of Suzanne and her approach to relationships when I think about social media engagement.

Suzanne Henry, Four Leaf PR

Suzanne Henry, Four Leaf PR

When clients ask me, “how much do I have to do?,” “how many contacts should I have?,” “how many recommendations should I give on LinkedIn?,”  “how many times a day should I tweet?” I try to give them benchmarks to follow. People seem to crave numbers. But the real answer is this: Give, engage, be genuinely interested and giving of oneself; of information, of interest, of feedback and interaction.

If you’re keeping score and getting your panties in a bind because you’ve been putting yourself out there, and you don’t feel like it’s paying off, ask yourself if you’re really providing value. Are you really engaging in a way that’s thoughtful, generous, authentic and well-meaning?

You will get out of social engagement what you put into it. If it’s not much, or it’s limited, bound by parameters that prevent true, meaningful interaction, then what you receive in return may have the same flavor.

Think abundantly, and be prepared to receive abundantly as well.

How NOT to use LinkedIn: Three D’oh!s from a Real Life Example

By Communications

I got a bizarre e-mail today.

“J. is a friend of  D. and noticed your profile on LinkedIn,” the message began.

“J. thought you were the type of person who he would like to have as a client one day.  You may not be in the market for any [fill in the blank – not what it said, but not giving away too much here] services at this time, but J. would like to tell you about what he does in case you need something in the future.

J. asked me to contact you and schedule an appointment to introduce himself.  Do you have time for coffee next week?”

Let’s review all the ways in which this is wrong, shall we?

1. J. didn’t reach out to me himself, he had an assistant to it, which leaves me wondering if J. would be too busy to provide the actual services he offers himself, as well.

2. J. was savvy enough to use LinkedIn to prospect, but NOT savvy enough to ask for an introduction through the social network via our mutual connection, which would have validated the relationship.

3. The e-mail was to “undisclosed recipients” which was a tip off to me that the assistant did a massive SPAM e-mail to several second degree contacts of J.’s — or, should I say, only those who seemed like they were the kind of people J. would like as clients.


Naturally, I forwarded the e-mail to D. who responded with “you’ve got to be freakin’ kidding me!” Turns out I was the second person to contact him with it today.

Linkedin FAIL.

I get it; times are tough and we’re all looking for ways to grow our business, but there are rules of engagement and if you don’t know what they are, you had better ask, before sticking your foot in it like this guy has.

What do you think of this guy’s approach?