Talk Less and Listen More
I say that line all the time to my 9-year old son Jake. But the notes from the teachers still keep coming home. Mostly the notes tell me that Jake is talking instead of doing his work. They say that he’s not ‘staying on task.’ It’s always a good week in our house when he doesn’t get a note sent home with him.
Funny thing is, the notes don’t seem to bother him. Some days, I think he’s quite proud of himself for his behavior. He continues to talk and doesn’t give much thought to what he’s saying or even why he’s saying these things out loud.
I’m pretty sure that my son doesn’t have a self-esteem problem. He has a 9-year old boy problem.
Just Post Something
When you’re posting your social media messages, do you really think about what you’re saying? Or are you just trying to get something out there to tell everyone about your latest sale and that you’re offering a new service?
More often than we’d like to admit, most of us are posting things just to have something on our Facebook fan page or in our Twitter feed.
One of my clients told me about the time they brought in a college student to handle their Facebook fan page. When I reviewed with them what was posted, they told me that their instructions to the intern was: Just post something, even if it’s today’s weather. Just post something.
I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from responding because I understand why they did that. I also get it when those of you reading this post have probably at one time or another, done the same thing. Just post something.
Those are the days it seems like we’re acting more like my 9-year old son. We go back to these old habits of talking/posting just to break up those uncomfortable moments of silence. We think we need to post something, I mean just anything, just to make sure we have some activity on our company pages.
But putting up content and walking away should not be your goal. That’s not how we participate in the conversation.
The Conversation is the Relationship
How do you stand out with all that other online noise? Think about how you use your favorite social programs. There’s so many posts, tweets and images in our news feed that it’s hard to hear the intentional messages of everything that we opted-in to follow.
Social media is like being at a party. When there’s so many people in the room, the level of the noise goes up as everyone tries to speak louder so the other person can hear their conversation. And we’re all in this one big space struggling to talk over one another.
As Susan Scott says in her book Fierce Conversations, when the conversation becomes the relationship it’s more than just being the loudest person in the room broadcasting your product’s coolest thing. It’s about creating those moments where you can be heard.
As you start planning out your next marketing posts, think about how you can create quality over quantity with your messages.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. What are the ideas and messages behind the words you’re using?
2. Are you using intention with the words you choose to show your fans that you mean what you say?
3. How can you share helpful information, share a laugh or share how you understand their problems? Or better yet, how can you be all three?
In Ms Scott’s book Fierce Conversations, she shares the story from the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. This is how it works. This is what happens when you become real and you understand how the conversation is the relationship:
“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’
‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’
‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
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