Are you Actively Engaged in Social Media?

Are you actively engaged in social media

When was the last time you did anything on a social media site that included sharing, answering or commenting? Can’t remember? example. Now I contribute to the conversation and, hopefully, generate discussion. But just how do you generate discussion?

Social media is not just for class reunions

I created a group on LinkedIn for University of Rhode Island alumni (my alma mater). I had hoped to find others like me who were brave enough to leave lovely New England and do some alumni networking.

I live in Wisconsin now. Of the 283 people in my group, only three of us are in the Midwest. The rest reside in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts or New Jersey. Not only did most of the group never leave New England, but they also do not participate. I have tried to ask questions, offer insights and suggest ways to engage; but to no avail. (I won’t count the two spammers who try to sell me stuff.) Am I am asking the wrong questions?

Maybe I have a group of turtles! It seems like everyone is sitting on a log waiting for something to happen. Start your own conversation and build your own thread.

Passion, personal opinion and open minds

In contrast, a recent blog on social media return-on-investment (ROI) methodologies and measurement drew many comments. The original post by Axel Schultze on Social Media Today had 59 comments and 8,016 views. If you measure ROI by comments and views, I would say this post was a success.

Why did this post generate so much discussion? I looked at other articles and blogs that touched on the same subject to see if there was a pattern. A post in 2008 by  Jason Falls on Social Media Explorer generated 122 comments. (It doesn’t hurt that the audience in both cases consisted of a bunch of social media enthusiasts.)

Both authors took strong, personal stands on topics that are relatively new. Each was open to discussion and ongoing dialogue. They not only offered their opinions, but they also replied thoughtfully to others’ comments that were posted. They listened, engaged and contributed to the discussion. In other words, they were present in the conversation.

Take a look, then leap into social media

Decide if you are going to participate. Then jump in. This is the crux of social media. If you’re a turtle, social media may not be for you.

Listen. Share. Participate. Be a frog. Take a leap. Visit all sides of the pond.

What’s keeping you from joining in?