That may sound like a simple approach, but surprisingly a lot of people on Social Media platforms like Twitter and Facebook choose to listen far more than they contribute.  Maybe its due to shyness, or they feel they don’t know what to say or maybe there’s the allure of voyeurism that comes from anonymously reading the posted details of other peoples lives.  In any case if your plan is to use Social Media to support your business or your personal brand then participation is the key.

So, put on your party hat and build up your nerve to make some new friends.  Here are 3 easy ways I’ve found to successfully interact online.

1. Join a conversation.

If you’re on Twitter and happen to see someone post a thought or question, reply with your thoughts or answers.  Most people will appreciate the fact that you replied to them and gladly start a conversation or at least say thank you. If they don’t, don’t feel left out.  There may be a good reason like they logged off, answered the phone, let the dog in or didn’t even notice your post.  For the most part, I’ve found people to be pretty polite and eager to chat.

2. Write a review.

Read any good books lately?  If so, then log on to Amazon and write a review of it. Other people often read book reviews and count on them when making purchasing decisions. Writing a review lets you get your opinion out there and potentially make friends who agree with your view.  I’ve actually had someone contact me and follow me on Twitter after she read a review I posted. It was helpful to her, and I felt really good knowing someone valued my opinion.

3. Post a blog comment.

If you regularly follow a hand full of blogs with an RSS feeder to stay current with industry topics or hobbies, now’s your chance to mingle.  Bloggers love comments, and so do search engines. Every time you contribute a comment at the end of an article, you’re providing valuable feedback to the author and other readers. You can actually enhance the original post by adding resources or respectfully voicing a differing opinion.  It’s a collaborators playground. The bonus is that like Twitter posts and Amazon book reviews, search engines notice the activity and reward you for your participation by pushing you higher in the search engine report pages.

Being social on Social Media is a win-win-win scenario. You get search engine exposure, the online world is made richer for your content contribution, and others may benefit from your experience.

So go ahead, give it a try. Be social.

The first rule of Social Media. Be social.
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