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Tips for Social Media Success: Social Media Skills and Real Life Social Skills,They're One and the Same!

Posted Dec 14 2013 3:29pm
I forgot to tell you that it is my Blogiversary! It has actually already passed, but on December 1, 2011 I published my first official blog post under my former blog name, Running for Dummies. I had a blog before that time, but it simply had my name across the title, and no one really read it (Hi Mom!), so I count my first Running for Dummies post date as my official Blogiversary. I'd love it if you would check it out and see what I was up to when I first got started. It may just have been a post begging for followers . It must have worked though, because two years later I still can't believe how much this little blog has grown. If you are wondering why I changed my blog name from Running for Dummies to Running with Ollie, can you read about that here. I have learned so much about blogging, about social media, about SEO (OK, not that much about SEO), and about writing.

I thought that maybe I would write about the things I have learned and how to use social media to grow your blog. I've actually been writing it in my head for months. It is so off-topic from my regular blog posts that I originally thought that I would write it as an eBook called Tips for Social Media Success in Blogging, then use it as a bribe an incentive to get you to follow my blog by email.

Turns out that I am way too impatient to write a whole book (even a short one). When I write something, I usually get excited and want to publish it right away. I thought it would be best to write about this topic as a monthly blog series, broken into smaller, more manageable parts.

Tips for Social Media Success in Blogging

I am certainly no expert, I'm just a blogger who has figured some things out along the way thanks to trial and error, and learning from other bloggers who are much smarter than me. I definitely have a lot of room to continue to grow and learn. However, this is what has worked, and continues to work for me. Let's start with the bare bone basics. This seems so simple and elementary, but it is lost on so many.

Success in social media is not very different than success in regular social situations.
  • In real life social situations, if you only talked about yourself and didn't listen to other people's stories, people would get bored of you pretty quickly. 
  • In real life social situations, if you said something silly like, "I like you, now please like me back" people would laugh at you. 
  • In real life social situations, if you had an auto response to your voice mails or email that said "Thank you for calling, now can you please do me a favor" people would stop calling.
  • In real life social situations, if you never responded to the people who left you messages, then you would likely not have any friends left at all.
  • In real life social situations, if you helped someone out with something, you wouldn't immediately request that they help you back in return. 
  • However, in real life social situations, if someone helped you, you would thank them and ask if there is anyway you can help in return. 
You see, social media is not that different than regular social situations, and I think the same rules of social convention apply.

How do you make friends in the real world? You talk to people. You express an interest in their interests. You build friendships by helping people, supporting them, and being there when they need you.

How do you make friends (aka followers) in social media? It is the same thing. You take the time to read other people's blogs and then leave thoughtful comments. You share the blogs that you find interesting on social media without expecting (or requesting) anything in return. You express interest in their interests.You genuinely try to help people.

I think the fastest way to grow your social media is to immediately stop making it all about you, because people that you don't know (aka potential followers) don't really care about you (yet). When you give and share freely, people will be inclined to do the same. And if they don't? Well, move on. In real life if you helped someone out, would you call them out publicly if they didn't immediately help you back? The same rules apply.

So simple, right? Next month we'll dive more into the mechanics on how to grow your various social media followers. Up next? Tips and tricks for success on Facebook. Stay tuned for future posts about Twitter, Pinterest (so important!), Instagram, Google+ and beyond!

What do you think of my new blog series? Do you have any tips for social media success to share?
Keep Running,


Ways to (legally) stalk me
"LIKE" the Running with Ollie Blog page on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter @GeaLenders
Let's track each other's workouts on Dailymile
See what I am up to on Pinterest
Add me to your circles on Google +
Follow me on Instagram @runningwithollie

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