Social media mindset

My good blogging friend Leo Bottary asked this question on LinkedIn Answers:

Describe the mindset one needs to be successful at using social media tools?

Here’s the answer I gave:

There’s a few qualities that come to mind:

  1. some familiarity and comfort with technology
  2. some commitment of time to engaging with social media
  3. a relaxed attitude about controlling every aspect of a message
  4. an ability to communicate effectively
  5. above all, a desire and willingness to learn

People who are new to social media should get their feet wet by finding some blogs and podcasts in their niches and just reading and enjoying them for a month or so. Get familiar with the conventions and styles that are out there. Read a few books, like Robert Scoble’s Naked Conversations.

Then start simple, with a blog. Add a Flickr account if you’re into pictures, and link the two. Ensure that you’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, and any other social networks that might be verticals in your area.

Say interesting, informative things about your industry. Link generously, and be generous with data.

Most importantly, don’t lose it when people disagree. That’s natural, and it’s going to happen. Use these situations as learning experiences. Respond calmly and politely, apologize when you were wrong, and move on. You’ll be respected for how you deal with disagreement.

There are a lot of good answers to that question – follow the link above to see them all.

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