You know the person in your social group who always talks about themselves. At a party, they’ll brag about what they’ve done. At a picnic, they’ll talk about their accomplishments. In a more humble moment, they’ll ask what you think of them. Everybody finds those people annoying. So if you really want to get the most out of social media’s potential for networking and socializing, don’t be one of those people on social media tools like Twitter and Facebook.
Instead, include other people in your social media posts. On Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, use the @ and then someone’s user name to mention them in conversation and create a link to their profile. If someone asks a question, respond @_____ and answer their question. If there’s something interesting someone mentioned in person and you want to post it online, you might let people know: “@___ says…” You might even use an @ message to highlight the work of other people including employees, customers, and vendors. The options are endless.
One food truck near me @waffletruck does this in a very smart way. If someone mentions them, they reply. If it’s a question, they might respond seriously, but sometimes they’ll respond with jokes. If someone praises them, they’ll thank the person. If you mention their waffles, they might tweet you about the fresh ingredients they use. People pay attention to them and as a result, are more likely to stop by and get a waffle. They realize social media isn’t just about them but about everyone who is involved: their customers, the farmers who sold the eggs they use, their employees, and everyone around. Include other people in the conversation and they might start talking about you, too.