Section Two of Dale Carnegie’s timeless classic “How to Win Friends and Influence People” contained six principles to “make people like you.” Out of all four sections, this one seems to have the most application to social media community building, particularly for personal brands.
I cannot help but think of Chris Brogan when I read these. Here are the six with a little social media commentary added to the mix:
1) “Become genuinely interested in other people.” That means go out there and comment on other folks’ blogs, twits, and general social media activities. Read their stuff, become engaged.
2) “Smile.” No one likes to hang out with a negative person in reality. Conversational media is no different. Let your words convey a great smile. Show people you’re generally a positive person looking to create solutions rather than cause problems.
3) “Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Link and refer to others frequently in your activities. Give credit to others. This gets always gives someone a little lift and epitomizes what Doc Searls called the Generous Web.
4) “Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.” Don’t shut people down in comments or in dialogue. You don’t have to agree with everyone, but see what they have to say. Folks want to feel like they have been heard.
5) “Talk in the terms of the other man’s interest.” That means when conversing, either on your site or another place with someone, stop promoting! Marketers often make this mistake. Remember, most people — including your potential buyers and customers — are primarily concerned with their own needs and thoughts.
6) “Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.” Thank people for participating. Remember their names, refer to them. And remember to feel grateful that they are participating in a conversation with you. People can spend their time anywhere.
Why reinvent the wheel when such principles: a) Have already been created; b) millions of experiences show they work; and c) the current environment demonstrates that Carnegie’s lessons may be lost on the current generation. If anything these old truths need to be discussed again so we don’t have to go through the hardship of relearning them. History adds context.
You can see all of Dale Carnegie’s principles from How to Win Friends and Influence People here .