Social Networking Lessons from Kindergarten

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on April 9, 2010

When you stop to think about it, the rules of social networking are really about being a good person—basic human behavior that even a child can understand. Most of what small business leaders need to know about being "social" online, they learned in kindergarten.

1. Share with others. Make sure that what you’re doing on social sites is worth sharing. People need to find personal value in online communities to keep coming back. Provide information that helps people to solve a problem or teaches them something new vs. just pushing your product.

2. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Even online, people still want to know that they are creating a relationship with another person, not a business. Be human and personable in your conversations. Listen and respond as if you’re chatting face-to-face. Be a resource, not a sales pitch.

3. Be curious and explore. You can’t just build a community platform or blog and expect customers to come. Figure out where your customers are already conversing and join in. It may be scary at first but then it becomes fun. Remember: There’s no single best social networking tool for all businesses and marketers. Keep trying new things.

4. When you make a mistake, say you’re sorry. Nobody’s perfect. You will make some mistakes along the way, but if you own up to them in a genuine fashion, people will forgive you. Showing your humanity, especially online, can build trust.

5. Listen. Many businesses see social media as a broadcasting tool, but there is much to learn if you just stop and listen. Think of it as having a glass against the doors of your customers and prospects 24/7. You’ll learn something new (and maybe even surprising) every day.

Debi Kleiman
Vice-President of Product Marketing
Communispace
Watertown, Mass.

Reader Comments

Prof P.Madhu Sudana Rao,Ethiopia

April 11, 2010 10:21 AM

The rules of business are that ,you should be a good businessman and not as a good person.Every thing that he knows and understands should not be necessarily be shared with other business people but with his well wishers.Good treatment of customers is essential even if you do not oblige to their demands.
He always should be curious and explore to new ideas and new businesses.
He should listen to all and make his own decisions based on his wisdom and ideas

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