Social media marketers love words like conversation. Authenticity. Transparency. Interaction. Participation.
But what does that really mean?
It’s all about being yourself.
As PR professionals we are constantly pitching media to fight for a our 15 minutes of fame. In a world where there are numerous ways to connect with reporters and media (Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, LinkedIn, etc.), how do you make yourself stand out?
Establish rapport. And mean it. This is the most important part of standing out when initiating conversation. Remember Dale Carnegie said to "become genuinely interested in other people." This doesn’t mean taking a quick glance at someone’s blog or recent articles and firing off comments like, "hey I like the picture of your dog". It means looking at what they put out there and finding something to really relate to. Rapport is best when it’s real.
Tell a story. Don’t string together a series of related but impersonal paragraphs. You should arouse in the other person an eager want to hear your story, but balance it by making sure you’re not droning on and on about yourself. Make sure that you are being a good listener, encouraging and letting the other person do a great deal of the talking. (More Dale Carnegie)
Have a personality. Rohit Bhargava wrote a whole book on it. Companies and brands fail because they are ordinary and boring. If you present an exciting, enthusiastic, and friendly face – then you’re likely to get a similar reaction in return. If you’re passionate and truly believe in what you’re doing, selling, pitching, or talking about…others will be too.
Overall it’s about being yourself. Blogs, Twitter, and every other Web 2.0 technology only work with the strength of the people in the community behind it. If users are being fake and not authentic, then these great ways of connecting with others and establishing relationships will become stale.
Twitter will become just another site for spam messages, Facebook will become one big advertisement, and users will be left searching for the next great site that will offer what they’re really looking for: a real genuine person.