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How to stand out on social media? BE SOCIAL!

Disclaimer: This blog is NOT BOOSTED WITH ChatGPT ;)

We are less social on social media

It's called Social Media and almost all of us are on it! However most of us probably show a lesser version of our humanity when we're online. Maybe it's because nowadays there are so many fake accounts that are being used to manipulate us? Or is it because for the simple fact we can't actually see the other person behind the message and observe them wholly? I think it's a combination of both.

Back in 2009

When social media was on the rise I already did research and wrote this blog about it in 2009 related to social media marketing. In the blog I actually had this test to help people understand how "being social" can be carried out and interpreted differently online and offline. I'm going to use it again in the following 2 sections and see how I and my audience tests against it now 14 years later.

How I thought about being social 14 years ago

What kind of behaviour fits ‘social’. Let’s see, if I go to a party then I’m doing something social right? Well, it matches with the definitions given above. So what do I do when I’m going to a party? Let’s analyze this from a case that is similar to online: I’ve just moved to a new city and some guys at work tell me to come to this party to have fun. This is what I think I would do:

  • I like to have fun – that’s a goal right?

  • How do I get my fun at a party? Let’s take the booz for granted 😉

    • I would like to have a great time with some people. So how do I do that?

  • First I have to be there and just be present

    • So I have to get there

    • In the best case I can find someone who knows the scene to tag along witt

      • Or else I’m just on my own – even more exciting and challenging 😉

  • So I’ve arrived, then what?

    • Of course I’ll head for the bar to make sure that I have something in my hands. Even better, I’ll make sure I’ll have 2 drinks – possibly one to share 🙂

    • And after having observed the crowd for 10-15 minutes – hopelessly waiting for someone to approach – I’ve finished both drinks.

    • So I have to go to the bar again and this time I’ve got enough courage to ask someone who looks interesting if he/she wants a drink. So I

      • Poke / nod or do something else that is socially sensible to someone and introduce myself

      • And I would ask that person something to drink

    • The result can go both ways, either my offer is rejected or accepted. Probably after a few times someone thinks I’m interesting enough to accept my drink.

  • Now comes the hard part – somehow I have to avoid some inconvenient silences and get a chat going on. By that time I just hope I’ve had enough to drink to make a few jokes that will smooth the chat.

    • So I’m trying to connect with people by conversing with them.

    • For me a good part of this is listening. To quote Paul Arden from his book “Whatever you think, think the opposite“:

      • In an interview it’s better to listen carefully to what the interviewers have to say than put on a show of your own brilliance. That way they will be interested in you without you saying a word

    • There’s a big chance the first chats will end within ten minutes, but also a chance that my jokes do find a good spot to land.

  • By then the party is well on the way.

    • If I’ve had luck, I’ve found some people to hangout and dance with.

    • If I didn’t have luck, well I’d probably had enough drinks to convince myself that there’s nothing wrong with dancing by myself 😉

  • Eventually there’s an end to the party. Knowing myself I had the pleasure of practicing my dancing skills by myself. So I’m left with a dilemma:

    • Was the party worth my time? Wouldn’t I have been better off going online chatting with my friends back home? Or wouldn’t I have more satisfaction from my favorite TV shows?

    • Or do I think that I want to have a social life and I’ll try again next week? Or even tomorrow?

SIMPLE TEST: How social are you online when engaging for business? If you kind of agree with the things I wrote in the last paragraph how to be social, then do this test with me on how we would do it in a business context:

Let's take the case when you join any business related online network online, like a Linkedin group. How much time do you spend:

  • Time quickly scrolling through recent posts (maybe 60%?)

  • Time for your post (maybe 35%?)

    • to get people read your message / blog / news (personal branding)

    • getting your question to be answered (help you)

    • or promoting your services or product (give me!)

  • Time to read blogs carefully, react, engage with the posts, reposting them with your thoughts (maybe 5%?)

Now let me show you how I will interpret you if I would see you do this at this business networking event:

  • You mostly keep moving around to check people out

    • listening quickly to what they're saying

    • taking any drinks / swagger that are around

    • and move on

  • You keep thinking about what you're going to say, how to get people to listen to you, how to promote yourself / your company

    • This is like going up to people, focusing on your story

    • Trying to sell yourself

    • Talk a lot about yourself and don’t really listen to their story

  • And when you do listen to someone, because he / she has an interesting story, you most of the times leave without giving any reaction / conversation / true interest

Is this a smart way to go about this? No, of course not! This kind of behaviour will of course not give you chance to build meaningful relationships.

Easily stand out online

You know that in real life it's all about the time where you meaningfully engage with someone. And if you agree with my previous paragraphs, then you know what you can do stand out more online: JUST SHOW MORE HUMANITY 🤗

How Optima Forma can help

Getting better job opportunities is a crucial element in improving our lives. And that's what we care about for our talents at Optima Forma. In this specific matter we can help with:

Thank you for reading 🙏🏼,



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