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Blogging, engagement, SOCIAL MEDIA

Social Media A to Z Series: S is for the Social in Social Media

This week I am returning to my A to Z series on social media however not necessarily in the order I left off. In this post, I really want to talk about “What is Social?”. I want to take this opportunity to talk about the behavioural attributes that makes for a good “Social Media Aficionado”.  I loved saying that. Why? Well, the more I speak to businesses and organizations, the more I realize that the expectations of “how to manage” a community or “What the expectations are” when you decide to work or play in this space, are not necessarily understood. I have noticed specifically, that courtesies that are practiced off-line, are often shed, like a Siberian Husky in Spring,  as soon as that person enters the online space. Wrong move- these courtesies still apply. Secondly (and it is going to sound like I am contradicting myself but I am not)-  the traditional marketing and public relations practices that are used off-line just do not work in social media. If you push information and you are not present as a person, you will fail. It is not “business as usual” when you are in the social media space. You need to be responsive to any questions and own the information you are sharing.

Sometime ago one of my Linkedin network members shared their definition of what it means to be on social media and I liked the approach. I am going to build on that approach by using “social” as an acronym  with my own definitions of  what it means to be  “social” in social media.

S is for sharing and sharing is caring.  This is the number one attribute without a doubt: “sharing”. You share who you are, you share information, your share your perspective, you share, share, share.  This is the attribute that many businesses and organizations who are new to social media have a hard time getting their heads around. It is often the attribute where many get themselves into hot water – this and transparency. Sharing in this space means that there is a two-way channel with a focus on what your target audience deem valuable.It is also responsible sharing. It is not about just pushing what you want. It is in fact an act of giving, a form of collaboration and it is what makes this space hum. In fact the more you give the more you get back in return. It is the way it works. I have stopped counting the number of Facebook Pages where there is a dictionary definition on the landing page and nothing else. Why? Not only are you not sharing but the door is closed which brings me to the second attribute.

O is for Open.The door is open – transparency is critical. Think of this attribute as an open house for the subject or business you have decided to share in the social media space. The hardest thing with this attribute for those who enter is the level or degree of transparency that should be shared with the reader. Many struggle with this. What I will say and stretching my analogy a little further is that you cannot have an open house and limit your visitors to the front-door. It does not work.. Decide on the topics (rooms) and be prepared to welcome your guests to start the dialogue. Have that open, authentic dialogue with them. I cannot emphasize that enough.

C is for character. Character and personality are important ingredients for a good blogger and/or community manager. It is the magnet that gets your audience there and along with your quality content, keeps them coming back for more. You are the host of the community and social media space. Consequently, you are the face of your organization or your social media space. It needs to reflect your values,  your  brand and what you stand for. Your character and personality needs to be consistent across all your social platforms.

I is for Information. What can I say about information that has not been said? I can’t but just emphasize what many good bloggers and social media marketers have said many times.  It needs to be good, succinct, targeted, focused, high quality information that resonates with the reader. Recently we have had a lot of discussion on the importance of good content – so do read those posts to ensure you hit all the key points.

A is for Awesome. A time to share your awesomeness! Yeah! How? Well, I have spoken to  content and personality now add motivation, creativity and variety to delivering your message and who you are. At the same time be true to yourself and do not put something out there that you would not standby. As you build your reputation and credibility, mistakes will happen. Own them. Be transparent and fix it. This will only add to your “awesomeness”. Have fun! Make it interesting. Make it engaging. Lastly, be patient for people to discover your awesomeness. It does take time.

L is for Learning. A day missed in social media, is a day missed in a whole bunch of learning. I kid you not! This field is moving at the speed of lightening. Perhaps you can call yourself an expert for a day, only to become a student the next. Inevitably there is something new to build extra knowledge and skills the next day. As a result, you have to have a mindset that is open to constant learning and change. If you are seeking stability, this is not the place to find it.  In fact you will not last if you are not flexible and adaptable.

So this is my list of attributes that encompass being social in social media. Your turn. Agree? Disagree? Can you sharing is caring- spread the word, spread the love in  social mediaadd to them? If you cannot think of any of the above, tell me  “Why you are awesome?”  Let me know! In the interim , let me leave you with this cartoon. Remember sharing is caring- so spread the word, spread the love. Lets redefine global warming  within our social media space. LOL!



Photo by Funchye

Cartoon used with permission of cartoonist


About Shirley Williams

I have a passion to create, resolve and build.I have had a pretty dynamic career that some say has led to a solid reputation as a visionary, result-driven and passionate leader. I say, simplify the complexity, work WITH people and you have a formula that not only deliver results but forms bonds that will stand the test of time. I have led numerous initiatives with a geographical scope that has included Canada, US, The South Americas,Europe and Australia. My professional career spans Biotechnology, Brand & Generic Pharmaceuticals, IBM Business Consulting Services, Healthcare, Retail, Electronics, more recently Mining and now Social Media. I am a biochemist and have a Master of Scence degree in endocrine pharmacology. I am a certified practitioner and professional in Change Management (Prosci), Project Management (PMP/PMI) and Social Media (OMCP, Online Marketing Certified Professional). So that makes my full title to be: Shirley Williams, MSc. PMP. CMC. OCMP. Having spent many years in the LifeSciences (you can check my career profile on Linkedin ) I have now directed my attention to bridging strategy and goals with social media. Loving it! In fact I am passionate about it. I have also produced and currently host my own internet radio show. My programs to-date have included Rise Of The Patient and Give Startups A Chance. I consider myself as an Experience Enabler. I facilitate and advocate for improved experience from the consumer perspective. Thank you for stopping by to check me out!


28 thoughts on “Social Media A to Z Series: S is for the Social in Social Media

  1. Shirley,
    This is yet another AWESOME piece of work that I will be sharing with others. While I try to absorb, learn and benefit from all that you offered, I need to ask the question: Are you really one individual, or do you have hundreds of multi-talented people pretending to be YOU?

    Posted by successisyou | February 19, 2012, 7:14 pm
    • LOL! Thank you on so many levels. I try and hope that I put quality posts out there- so your feedback is so rewarding. I am my own show with an open door. LOL!
      Once again, thank you for your feedback and support Henry.

      Posted by Shirley Williams | February 19, 2012, 7:21 pm
  2. Reblogged this on New York City – M1 Marketing and Promotion and commented:
    Good article.

    Posted by V. | February 20, 2012, 10:17 am
  3. Great post. I like the learning part most. Everyday, I learn something new from social networks – news, humor, new networks, tips, strategies, you name it. Thanks.

    Posted by TaxCoach | February 20, 2012, 11:55 am
  4. Reblogged this on michellegilstrap and commented:
    My friend Shirley Williams has written a great blog on Social Media A to Z series: S is for the Social in Social Media. Please take a moment and check it out. You will be pleasantly surprised and what you will learn.
    Social Media is here to stay, so you need to learn all that you can.

    Posted by michellegilstrap | February 20, 2012, 9:22 pm
  5. Always a pleasure Shirley. HUGS!

    Posted by sallykwitt | February 21, 2012, 1:43 am


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