Social Media is NOT a Personality Transplant!
Do you suck at networking? Are you awkward and have trouble fitting in in new social situations? Are you wondering what other people are doing around town to make connections? If your answer is “yes”, then I have some bad news for you: you probably suck at Social Networking, too.
That’s the bad news. Social Networking is not a personality transplant. Using Social Media will not turn you into an instantly popular person whom everyone is dying to line up to listen to or buy from. It will not turn a hermit into a social butterfly. It is not a miracle come to replace hard work with instant success. Having a Twitter account doesn’t really make you “cool”. That’s just not the way it works.
Here’s the thing… Social Media tools, such as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, etc. are a means to an end. They are nothing without the people who use them and they are what we make of them. They are even different things to different people.
This explains why some people view Twitter as a place where people post what they ate for breakfast; some people DO! It’s also the reason why some people love Social Networking and some don’t. They’ve come to the table with different skills, expectations, levels of enthusiasm, and let’s face it time!
Often, people who are really good at networking (I mean the “old fashioned” face to face variety) are naturals online, once they get the hang of the medium. They have a head start (whether they know it or not) because, for the most part, they already know what they’re doing. They have a solid foundation of experience to build from. This is why you are behind the curve if you aren’t comfortable networking in person; the secret is there are people behind all those accounts and people skills are still necessary, even online!
Now here’s the good news: these skills can be learned and developed with practice if you really have the desire! There is no shortcut to being socially adept and you can’t necessarily change your personality, but you can become proficient, capable, and effective. There are rules and guidelines for mingling with people and creating connections and relationships. Luckily, they’re fairly similar online and off!
My next post will cover some of these basic guidelines and include a list of useful resources for networking. Stay tuned.