There's a reason why the term "Social Media" was coined for sites like
, Small Business Brief
(Fetch) and Reddit
. Social means to "share", "be
communal" with your "friends". Conversation - isn't that what social
media is all about?
If you write something good, find a beautiful picture, have a hilarious
video - how in the world does anyone on a site know that these things
exist, when you are competing with sometimes thousands of other
submissions "recently submitted" items that within 5 minutes or 2 hours
have your recently submitted item pushed to page 2-3 or even beyond the
nether world? Unless someone who sits on Digg or these other social
sites all day spots your submission and gives you a vote or two, you're
submission is likely sunk (of course the exception is anything related
to Apple or Google that appears on Digg), to never see the light of the
most sought after "front page".
Let's face it, most of the friends on the lists you make at the social
media sites do not sit on the upcoming pages of these sites. Most of
your friends are actually being paid to do a job for their employer or
client. Are they ever going to know about the great "thing" you've
submitted, without you telling them? No. Not likely. Why? Because
this is the real world, not one where every one of your "friends" is a
power user on these social sites.
So how do you approach utilizing social media without becoming a major
pain in butt to your friends list? Here are 5 quick simple "rules" of
- Ask them to actually Read Your Story, Look at the Picture or View the Video
only if you truly believe it's something that particular friend would
be interested in. Don't ask for the Digg, the Sphinn or the Fetch
first. Give them the link to the actual article, picture or video
first, if there aren't social networking buttons on the site, then
after they read it, give them social site's link.
- Don't ask the same friends over, and over, and over, and over,
and over .... (you get the picture) again. Spread the love around.
Not all of your friends like the same things. If its a cooking recipe,
talk to your friends in your cooking groups or who lists cooking as
their hobby or interest - don't send the article on CSS to a person on
your list who only has cooking and related hobbies on their list.
- Vary the way you ask your friends to read/view the items you
share. By this I mean, if you are comfortable just IMing them, then
send a message. If email works as a better form of communication, dash
off an email. SMS message to a phone? That works too. The key is to
know your friends well enough to know how they like to learn about
- Be careful about using "In System" announcement systems to reach
out to your friends. On Digg the system is called "Shout", other sites
have other names, and what it essentially does is annoy your list of
friends. If you are "outed' for using these features, especially on
Digg, they bury you quicker than you can push that "shout" button.
- Visit your friend's pages and be proactive. Fetch their article,
Digg their page, or stumble their favorites. Add a review or a link,
in other words, be proactive about "sharing" the love, but be honest
about it, and don't use it to "blackmail" your friends for Fetches,
Diggs or Sphinns.
Social media, whether it's a news site, wikipedia, or forums, do not
work unless we speak to one another. Unless we are informed, how do we
know? Unless you are addicted to social media sites, it's likely you
would never know unless someone pointed you and told you "read this!"
Remember, as my good pal Jennifer
puts the Social
in Social Media"
November 19, 2007