As a child, I was constantly reminded that the true joy of the Holiday Season was giving, and not receiving. While I admit that lesson was lost on me when I was 9 years old, I now completely understand the concept as I look at Christmas through the eyes of my own 9 and 2 year olds.
I can honestly say that my gift this holiday season is enjoying my family’s reaction to the gifts that they receive.
Giving Through Social Media
If the key to Christmas is giving to receive, the same can be said with regard to social media. While we all use and participate in social media in different ways and with different goals, a very common thread is to drive engagement. I’ve found that if you give through the ways listed below, you will receive back two-fold:
1. Commenting on Blogs
Much has been written about commenting on blogs that you read and enjoy. I could actually do a better job of this myself but I feel that it is more important to comment thinking about quality first, and not quantity. There are many things to include in your comment but I like to comment using these three techniques:
- Extend the conversation offered in the post.
- Offer a different point of view than is offered in the post.
- Ask a question that you might have as a result of the post.
There are many ways that you can use Twitter. I use Twitter to share information that I find interesting. Although sharing great content is an end in itself, I’m also looking for people to read my blog and follow me on Twitter. The greatest way I’ve found to achieve those ends is through retweeting other people’s content. This is by no means a scientific conclusion but rather an observation through my personal experience. I caution you to not retweet blindly but again think about quality and not quantity. I share information that I find useful and beneficial and hopefully the people that follow me feel that same way.
3. Google +1
When Google introduced their Google+ social network they also introduced the +1 button which is meant to be installed on websites. The +1 button allows you to give your approval to a site or post by clicking the +1 button. After you click the +1 button you then have the ability to easily share the content you like within your Google+ Circles. I’ve found that by “+1″ing and/or sharing interesting content has actually helped drive interest in my own content. I would again caution you to share information thinking about quality and not quantity.
By using these three ways of sharing content I’ve actually received through giving. My sincere interest in other people’s work has allowed me to make new friendships, open the doors to professional opportunities, find great content, and make wonderful connections with people that I’ve not met yet in person. I’m a walking example that giving more than I get has made me a better person and I know it will do the same for you.
In the spirit of giving I would love for you to share an experience where you “gave” online and received more in return.