How to make friends and influence people … in social media

Written by Suresh Kalyanasundaram

03/08/2016

reach your audience

Back in 1936, when Dale Carnegie published his book How to Make Friends and Influence People, he could not have foreseen that it would be one of the first best-selling self-help books. Carnegie’s book gives specific advice on how to communicate with people, how to gain the respect of others and instill in them your way of thinking, how to become an inspiring leader, etc. Despite the fact that the world has changed dramatically since then, his advice is relevant now.

Today, the demand for community managers is rapidly growing: those who build, manage and grow the community around the organization, its products, services and more.

Imagine how you could look at advice from Dale Carnegie for community managers now:

1. Be a good listener

It doesn’t matter if your goal is to influence one person, a group or an entire market segment. Feedback is the key to success. In social media, it’s more efficient to let people talk a lot, rather than dominate the discussions themselves. So you can better understand their interests, motives, and needs. This will allow you to form a line that will satisfy the needs and interests of all interested parties.

2. Speak out of the interests of another person

For community managers, one of the easiest ways to engage an audience is to focus on issues that interest them. Impolite advice is simple. However, many organizations publish in social media formal content that is not interesting to users. To become more attractive, find a way to connect your products/services with relevant issues of the target audience.

3. Inspire others with interesting thoughts and decisions

When you bring in new ideas or suggestions, people should feel happier from what you offer them. To inspire and arouse people’s inner desire to do what you want, provoke them to come up with solutions and ideas in the way you need them. In the meantime, be sure to praise them and acknowledge all successes.

4. Let the other person feel important

And do it sincerely. We all want to feel meaningful. In order to influence people on social media, demonstrate respect, sincerity, honesty, gratitude. But remember that people quite easily distinguish sincerity from manipulative flattery.

5. Sympathize with other people’s ideas and desires

On social media, you may not agree with what other people say (and often this is what happens). But answering, you should always be sympathetic to the ideas of others, even if your opinion is contrary to someone else’s. Try to look at things from their point of view, people often reciprocate and can also look at events with your own eyes.

6. Begin in a friendly way

If you need to ask someone to do something or report bad news, or you must respond to negative comments – always start communication in a friendly and respectful way. The trick is to include genuine praise and honest assessments of the events before expressing your opinion.

7. Indicate the mistakes of others indirectly

If you are dealing with a person who published a comment with an erroneous (in your opinion) judgment, do not rush to immediately openly point out to him a failure. People in most cases are ready to accept their mistake if you hint at it gently and indirectly. Otherwise, you will not only publicly put a person in an awkward situation, but also provoke him not to admit it, but defend your opinion by attacking yours.

8. The only way to win any dispute is to avoid it

Publicly expressing disagreement on social media and expressing different points of view is normal, but serious disputes should be avoided. No matter who is right, most likely you will get more harm, especially on social media. This does not mean that you should avoid defending yourself or your company if it is falsely accused. But if you want to win – do not argue, be creative and find another way to respond.

9. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and decisively

Not many people and companies are able to easily recognize their mistakes. When management cannot keep up with the needs of customers and their interests, protecting any dubious (according to the audience) action instead of apologizing can do more harm to the reputation. Do not let the problem grow, solve it, correct it and move on.

10. Well, and most importantly – a smile!

Believe it or not, the way the visual part of your social media profile is organized affects how people relate to it. A smile always attracts, and a friendly attitude can cause more confidence in your profile. Show photos that are credible, showing openness, reliability, experience, but at the same time showing accessibility, friendliness of a person or company.

As always, all the most successful practices are simple and obvious, you just need to remember them and apply them in life.

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