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How to be the Life of the Social Media Party

Posted By Darren Rowse 22nd of July 2010 Video Posts 0 Comments

Being good on social media really has a lot to do with being good in relationships and conversation.

I made this statement in a presentation really and have been pondering it ever since. While there are a lot of great techniques for increasing the effectiveness in your use of blogging or social media – much of it does really come down to relational skills.

This video explores some of the similarities between being the type of person people are attracted to talking to in ‘real life’ and being the type of person people want to interact with on blogs and other types of social media including:

  • Being interesting and interested
  • Being engaging
  • Having something unique to say
  • Taking initiative and not just being passive

Notes: See the full sized video here. Video shot on a Panasonic Lumix DMC GF1 (aff) – here’s why I use that camera.

Transcript of Video

I’ve had this video transcribed below for those who prefer to get it that way. The transcription provided by The Transcription People.

Last week I was at a conference speaking about social media – half way through I made a statement off-the-cuff that being good in social media or in blogging was really just about being good in life and good in relationships.

Social media is, as its name suggests, the social interaction that one person has with another person or a group of people. It’s a communal activity and, as a result, a lot of the things that apply to just being good at relationships apply to social media as well.

This morning I was thinking about what makes someone attractive in terms of conversation and what makes someone good at being in relationships. I was thinking about when you go to a party and you come away from that party either having had really good conversations with people or really bad ones and I’m beginning to think about some of the dynamics that make a someone the life of the party, someone who is, that draws others to them at a party because a lot of those same characteristics actually fit within the social media space as well.

Now, I’m not saying that you need to be an extrovert to be good at social media, but some of the things about good party-goers actually do apply.

Something Interesting to Say

I was thinking back to some of the parties that I’ve been to recently and the people that I’m drawn to at parties are people who are, one, they’ve got something interesting to say. They have experiences or they have a knowledge or they have just the ability to be able to talk about interesting things. Sure, it’s fun sometimes to talk about rubbish and to have a bit of fun with that but, really, I come home from parties thinking about the good conversations that I’ve had that have actually been interesting, that have been about things that I perhaps didn’t know before.

Interesting but also Interested

So, these people are interesting but they’re also interested. They’re people who are not only willing and able to talk about themselves or to be able to talk about life from their own perspective but they’re actually interested in what others think, in what you think. They look you in the eye, they ask you questions and then they listen to what you’ve got to say and then what they have to say builds upon what you’ve said.

They actually show you that they’ve listened to you and are able to build upon that and that’s what a, that’s when a good conversation happens is, it’s not just when two people talk in monologues and then don’t interact with what each other have said; it’s actually something that builds, that gains momentum and that takes listening, it takes being interested as well.

They’re entertaining, quite often, they’re willing to be a bit playful and perhaps have a joke at themselves, at you and in a friendly kind of way.

They’re engaging, they ask questions.

They’re personal, they don’t just talk as if they’re talking to strangers in a room, a crowd of people. They actually look you in the eye, they actually will share something of themselves in a personal kind of way and add to the conversation in that way.

They’re inclusive, and this is one of the things that I think really is applicable to social media is that these types of people, they quite often will not only be talking to you but they’ll be engaging others around you in the party. They’ll be making introductions, they’ll be making, they’ll be connecting other people together and in a way that actually sets those two people up for a conversation, by introducing two people and pointing out some common interests and facilitating conversations not just between them and one other person but they almost create a community around themselves at parties.

And this is one of the things that I think is particularly applicable to the social media space is that, not only can you have a great conversation with an individual, but you can actually create a community and introduce your readers, your followers to one another.
I’m seeing this happen at the moment through the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge that’s being run by SITS Girls. There’s this community happening there and, sure, I’m a part of it – 31 Days to Build a Better Blog’s going on – I wrote that, I’m trying to participate in that, but there’s this whole thing happening almost without me participating at all and it’s really a powerful thing to see a community build up around something that you’ve created.

These type of people, they take initiative. They don’t just let conversations happen and then chime in where they want; they actually drive the conversation forward. They’re taking initiative and thinking about what else they could say, what questions they could ask. They’re not passive in that way. And sometimes they’re actually quite surprising in the directions that they’ll take in a conversation. It’s often those conversations that end up in a completely different place that I think about as being good conversations. They’re not just predictable, they’re unique. They’ve got something unique to say and they’re quite willing to go and explore those types of angles to the conversation.

These people, they’re not arrogant, they’re not aloof and they’re not boring, they’re not passive; they’re actually taking initiative, they’re interesting and they’re interested. They’re the type of people I’m interested in chatting to at parties and also in social media. I’d be interested to hear about some of the characteristics that you find attractive in, both in real life but also in the social media space. If you’d like to leave a comment, we can interact around those in comments below.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Darren,
    You are a true leader in the blogging industry and more people need to be reading what you have to say.

    I come for a reality check after reading many other blogs.

    What do you think are the best types of posts on Twtter?

  2. Being the life of the party, hah. thats perfect, I think where we fall apart as realtors is either we are way too passive with social media or we are too aggressive trying to sell, sell sell.

    This blogpost is important and timely. thanks

  3. I have been referred over to this blog by Marcus Baker whom speaks very highly of you. I can now see & hear why.

    I to like to hear stimulating information. I agree that life is all about building good relationships in all aspects of life.
    On social media no-body really cares unless they know how much you care.

    Great post Darren you have said it all.

  4. Nice, being the life of the social media party is perfect in a way. In real estate facebook and twitter bores us to death with boring real estate info.
    well the life of the party usually isnt boring, awesome stuff!

  5. “Interesting but also Interested” This is still confusing, I feel has become an interested in anything.

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