5 great ways to use social media to connect better!

It’s a new year and in the last couple of weeks hundreds of my friends on Facebook have been sharing their own videos celebrating ten years of Facebook. Facebook has really been hugely successful in making the world a more connected place. Now with Facebook acquiring Whats app we will be even more connected.

Thanks to Facebook and one of its groups I have gotten involved in an international European Commission project focused on training people in how to use digital media. It’s designed for people who are not tech savvy at all. In fact, they may not have any interaction with the digital world. I really enjoy sharing my knowledge with others and I will do my best to make the digital world accessible for more people.

I’ve collected five universal tips about using social media that I would like to share with you. They will work from east to west and north to south! So, here we go:

1) People are curious about each other so share insights into your life with a photo. We love to see a good picture with a new perspective on someone else’s life. Of course, you choose what to share and on which online networks to share it – Instagram and Facebook are both great platforms for this.

2) To strengthen connections, encouragement works! We love to be seen positively by our peers online and in real life. Everyone, young, old, male or female, appreciates encouragement. Share encouragement in public or send encouraging messages in a text or email. Just a few words or a ‘like’ works!

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3) Share other people’s posts, images, tweets and insights at least once per day. When you share other people’s posts you show them that you would like their message to reach farther. This creates a special bond between you and the original poster and they might share your posts in future.

4) Don’t use social media to vent your negative views too often. What you say online about yourself is an extension of your own values and beliefs and we are not usually interested in working with pessimistic people. Keep negative posts to a minimum.

5) Be yourself online. We can all sense when someone is not honest or is not trustworthy. I call this feeling my online bullshit detector (OBD). You and your brand must be clear about what you believe in and should share your own experiences. When someone is making something up it just doesn’t feel right.

Recently I attended a conference and sat next to a speaker who I’d only seen before in online photos. She is a very nice person but she has used too much photo-shopping on her online portrait. There was a significant difference between how she appears online and how she appears in real life. A bit of air-brushing is okay, but don’t make yourself look twenty-five years younger online. It creates distance when you meet your connections in real life.

Be yourself and embrace your online connections!

By Sofie Sandell @Soffi_Propp 

Sofie Sandell is the author of the book ‘Digital Leadership: How Creativity in Business Can Propel Your Brand and Boost Your Results’ and she is s professional speaker giving talks about the digital world, creativity and leadership.