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How to Win Friends & Influence Social Media, Part 4

We’re in the middle of a short series on Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.  If you don’t have the book, the link has a way to buy it and/or download it straight to your Kindle.  If you need another version, Google is your friend.

How to Win Friends & Influence Social Media, Intro

How to Win Friends, Part 2

How to Win Friends, Part 3

Part 4 of How to Win Friends & Influence Social Media is “Ways to Make People Like You.”  I’m going to continue our numbering of chapters from the previous post.

7) Be a Good Listener. Encourage People to Talk About Themselves.

The difference between listening to someone in person and listening on social media is profound.  I listen to thousands of conversations a week and participate in hundreds.  The problem is – we all want listeners.  Right now I want you to be focused on reading this, not shushing your kids or thinking about the website you want to go design.  I am spending my time writing so you can spend yours learning and hopefully creating a conversation with me.  You spend the time you are in conversation wanting someone to listen to you, as well.  We all do.

So why are so many of us so bad at it?

On Twitter and Facebook, you have multiple ways to show someone you’re paying attention to them.  You can @ reply or R/T or even favorite a post on Twitter.  You can like, comment and share on Facebook.  Those things say “I read this, I appreciate the time you took to write it.”

Want to make 10 new friends on social media today?  Go comment on every post on your Facebook feed and every Tweet you find worthy of comment.  R/T someone, share a FB post and like/favorite a few of the things you find most interesting.

I guarantee when you log back in tomorrow, you’ll find thanks, appreciation and some people you can start new friendships with.  Take an interest in what they’re saying – when someone replies to you tonight, go back to their page and find something else to comment on or like tomorrow.  Do it 3 times this week.

Nearly every person you comment on or follow specifically for a week will be more interested in what you’re saying next week.  I often find unintentional reciprocation – I like a post because I honestly like it.  Then I see that same person like something of mine within a day or two even though we’d previously not communicated for a week or month.  This is not unusual – people are wired to respond to those who listen when they speak.

8) Talk in Terms of the Other Person’s Interest

Your friends, potential clients and colleagues make this job so much easier on social media than offline.  If you want to find out what interests a person, look at their photos or their feed.  Look at their interests on Facebook or what topics they list themselves for on WeFollow.  Look at their Mirror.Me site or their LinkedIn profile.  People desperately want to tell you what they’re interested in.

No matter how many words we use to write about it, influence comes down to one: trust.  Spammers and scammers don’t become genuinely interested in you.  They don’t make you feel any more important than the other 999 names on their mailing list.

Who do you trust?  Friends, family, close colleagues – and what do they share?  They know more about you than the rest of the world.  You know more about them.

Why would it be surprising that if you can bring someone else’s interests up in conversation you’re going to be further ahead than someone who does not but simply talks about themselves and their own interests?

Influence in social media means using the tools at your disposal, including the subjects your soon-to-be friends talk about, blog about and love.

9) Make the Other Person Feel Important and Do It Sincerely

To make our point here, I’m going to paste in a rather lengthy section of this chapter.  I kept other quotes out so you’d know this is one I found important.

I was waiting in line to register a letter in the post office at Thirtythird Street and Eighth Avenue in New York. I noticed that the clerk appeared to be bored with the job -weighing envelopes, handing out stamps, making change, issuing receipts – the same monotonous grind year after year. So I said to myself:  ”I am going to try to make that clerk like me.

Obviously, to make him like me, I must say something nice, not about myself, but about him. So I asked myself, ’What is there about him that I can honestly admire?’ ” That is sometimes a hard question to answer, especially with strangers; but, in this case, it happened to be easy. I instantly saw something I admired no end.

So while he was weighing my envelope, I remarked with enthusiasm: ”I certainly wish I had your head of hair.” He looked up, half-startled, his face beaming with smiles. “Well, it isn’t as good as it used to be,” he said modestly. I assured him that although it might have lost some of its pristine glory, nevertheless it was still magnificent. He was immensely pleased. We carried on a pleasant little conversation and the last thing he said to me was: ”Many people have admired my hair.”  I’ll bet that person went out to lunch that day walking on air. I’ll bet he went home that night and told his wife about it. I’ll bet he looked in the mirror and said: “It is a beautiful head of hair.” 

I told this story once in public and a man asked me afterwards:

“‘What did you want to get out of him?”

What was I trying to get out of him!!! What was I trying to get out of him!!! If we are so contemptibly selfish that we can’t radiate a little happiness and pass on a bit of honest appreciation without trying to get something out of the other person in return – if our souls are no bigger than sour crab apples, we shall meet with the failure we so richly deserve.

The passage is lengthy but ultimately it is truth, offline as you walk about the world or online in social media.   Sometimes it’s not about getting something – a client, a job, an order – but it’s about genuinely being a better, happier, more sharing and more welcoming person.  Maybe the person you compliment can’t help you but you improved his day and your day.   This is how to win friends.  This is how to influence social media.  Be excellent.

So remember today’s 3 principles: 

  • Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  • Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
  • Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.

And we’re again further on our way to winning true friends on the social media network of our choice.

If you’re reading this book study without reading the whole book, you’re missing out.  How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the easiest “important” books you’ll ever have to read.  I would strongly suggest buying a copy and getting everything out of it.  Carnegie has many more examples, ways to use these tidbits of info and so much stronger, more interesting writing.

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The Mindset, Skillset, Dataset Approach to Social Media

Posted by Matt Antonino on Friday, January 30, 2015

About Matt Antonino

Matt is a marketing consultant in Melbourne, Australia. He teaches businesses to market smarter and faster through multichannel marketing including SEO & Content Marketing, SEM, Email & Social Media.

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