An introvert by nature, when it comes to small talk, I would describe myself as a bit socially awkward. Don’t get me wrong, I love having deep and meaningful conversations with people. When I am on topic, talking about the things that interest me, I have no problem holding up my end of a conversation. It is also easy for me to become a situational extrovert when I have a well-defined role to play, such as a facilitator of a group process for a focus group or taking on a role or persona on stage.
I truly value learning new things through social exchange with new and interesting people.It’s just the on ramp to those rich conversations, small talk, which I find difficult to navigate.
There is an interesting tool available online that takes a look at your Facebook fan page posts and evaluates them – instantly spitting out a grade and a label on your social conversation skills. It was no surprise to me that my social conversation grade was a 36 out of 100 and I was labeled as a “Broadcaster.” This seems logical as part of my strategy for the fan page was to be a curator of relevant information related to helping businesses get found online. But, truthfully, the grade did sting a bit. Using the feedback which Facebook Insights offers, lately I have been mindful of seeking more meaningful online conversational engagements. Looks like I still have room to improve.
For those of you that share this frustration remember there is nothing more attractive than genuine interest and enthusiasm. If you are just getting started in social media, particularly for the social benefits related to growing your business – my best advice is to be gentle with yourself and mindful of your intention. If you intend to grow a fan base for your business it ought to to start with demonstrating a true interest in your fans. Think of your fans as you craft your post – consider what is important to them as you post and try ending with an engaging open-ended question that calls for more than a yes or no answer or just a LIKE. If they comment the engagement has begun, it is your turn to respond.
A word of caution – DO NOT bombard your fans with sales offers – it can happen occasionally but the rule of thumb is for every 10 posts that engage your fans from their perspective you have earned the right to make 1 post asking them to buy what you are selling.
If you choose to get your conversation score, feel free to share your grade, or more important what you might have learned from the process, or what you think the secret to online engagement looks like from your perspective. I promise to respond.