What do you think might be the single biggest failing of people trying to make headway with their social media presence? I see many shortcomings on a daily basis, but one stands head and shoulders above the rest.
You guessed it - it's people's expectations that others should help them and be drawn to them without having first given as a building block to forming a relationship.
Compare and contrast:
1. The recruiter who follows 2,000 potential candidates on twitter in the hope that they'll follow back; and then populates their twitter stream with an automated feed of their jobs.
2. The recruiter who identifies potential candidates and then takes the time to retweet relevant tweets of theirs, comment on them, @message them with other resources that could help them, suggest people they might want to follow or lists they might want to look at.
Hopefully you can see the two approaches are like night and day. But for effect let's draw the comparison with a real world scenario...
You're attending a careers fair and the first recruiter you meet hands you a flyer with all their open vacancies. "If you see any of interest, head to our corporate website to apply online" the recruiter says, making no attempt to engage you on a personal level. Feeling loved? Drawn to the employer? Inclined to apply? Unless you're pretty desperate, probably not. And who wants to be attracting only the most desperate candidates? Not you right?
Now imagine the next recruiter you meet takes the time to find out about your experience and aspirations. Points you to resources that could really help you make an informed career decision. Suggests others on their stand it'd be worth you talking to, or points you to other recruiters who might be able to help if they have no openings you're suited to right now. How does that leave you feeling? Like you've built up rapport and want to stay in touch? Leaving you inclined to recommend others should speak with them?
Well guess what - the same rules apply on social media.
If you want people to share your content, engage with you, recommend you to others - all the positives you might hope to get from investing your time in social media - you need to first give to people the attention and help that they will appreciate and want to reciprocate.
Never forget that in social media - as in life - you have to give in order to get.
Image credit: CC BY-SA HonestReporting.com
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