Social Media Marketing Best Practice: Reflect

Time to Reflect...... (by ~fb~)

Ari Herzog, of AriWriter, tagged me to participate in Mitch Joel’s Social Media Marketing Tip Meme, alongside David Bradley, Max Gladwell, Jacob Morgan and Gillian Swart, and to discuss my social media marketing best practice.

My first impulse was to write listen as that is one of the most important practices but there are other aspects of listening such as pause and reflect that are equally important.

Most social media interactions occur online so listening involves the written rather than the spoken word. This strips the communication from the visual cues and non-verbal communication that are part of face to face encounters. Unfortunately, this can lead to miscommunication. We have all read an email or a blog comment and become angered because we didn’t interpret the sarcasm or irony that would have been easily understood in a verbal conversation. I believe emoticons were developed to help reduce this problem.

Taking the time to think and reflect after listening can reduce misinterpretation of the author’s intent. Reflection can also calm us so we don’t respond in anger.

I belong to a game trading website and have been a member of it for over 7 years. I’ve made numerous trades and have interacted with some great people who share similar interests. I don’t participate as much anymore because I don’t have the time to play or trade games. Recently, a new member sent me a trade request. I was very busy and was annoyed that what was being offered did not fit the criteria I set for the item. Instead of declining with a polite message, I simply declined and did not provide a reason.

The person then responded with “Thanks for giving a reason.”

Because I was so busy and didn’t take the time to reflect on what was meant by that comment, I was angered and sent back a rude response. And all of this took up more time then if I had simply given a polite reason for declining the trade – really, really lame.

At that time I didn’t care and went back to whatever it was that I was working on. Later, after reflecting upon the incident I remembered what it was like to be a new member of the site and not have many trades. I was hesitant to send offers to established traders and wondered what was wrong with my offer when it was declined without reason.

While her sarcastic response was inappropriate, my own experiences should have made me realize what she was really saying. Perhaps she felt rejected or wanted a reason so she could learn what was wrong with her trade offer so she could make better offers in the future. As an established member I should have known better.

And while I may be a respected member of that community, to that user, kwbridge is not a nice person at all.

After listening, reflect on what is being said to understand the real meaning behind the words and to remain helpful rather than becoming antagonistic.

How to Participate (from Mitch Joel)

  1. Write a Blog post on your Social Media Marketing Best Practice. I’ll challenge you to choose just one.
  2. Include links to other people who have written similar posts for this Social Media Marketing Best Practices writing project that have caught your attention, or include their insights in your own post (just make sure to give them proper attribution).
  3. Link back to this Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Blog.
  4. Please tag your post “social media marketing best practices project”.
  5. Feel free to tag other people in your post to get their opinion and help spread the project.

I am tagging:

David Wescott, Andy Murdoch, Ricardo Bueno , Sarah Perez, and Ian Wilker.

Update: 9/21/08 – Kristi from Kikolani and Sommer from Green & Clean Mom have expressed interest in participating in this meme, so I am adding them here and am tagging them as well.

photo credit: rel=”nofollow”~fb~

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  1. Kim Woodbridge says

    Hi Ari,

    I think overall I am a nice person. The story is an example to show how important reflection is in social media and in that one instance I did not behave how I normally do and there were unfortunate consequences.

    Thank you for tagging me to participate. I was resistant to writing it at first but I’m really happy with how it came out.

  2. says

    Your a nice person to me too! I so want to do this and will have to try to squeeze this post in. Being a “green” website does that mean my social practices are different? Hmmmm? I have so many ideas and of course…I can tag you now! Thanks Kim! Great example though. I had this with my email and my sister in-law and it didn’t turn out so good. Email and online communication doesn’t always work well. Actually my advice is don’t marry a man with four sisters and a mom who is best friends with all of them. It sucks!

    Sommer-Green and Clean Mom’s last blog post – Green Mom Dinner in a Pinch: 4 Real

  3. Kim Woodbridge says

    @Sommer – I should have made it clear in the article that was a time that I deviated from my normal behavior and that I really am a nice person :-)

    And I think you’re nice too – you’ve been supporting me here almost since the beginning. In fact, you are the first person who subscribed via email – well other than me to test that it worked and my friend that I made do it :-)

    I almost tagged you at the end of the article to write about this but I wasn’t sure if you would be interested – I should have asked you. I hope you find the time to participate and really look forward to reading it.

    @Jacob – Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! It’s true how being lumped together in one article brings a group of people together. At first, I didn’t want to participate and now I’m really glad that I did. It was also funny that Ari put me and Max Gladwell together – we had just started following each other on twitter a couple of days before that.

    I really enjoyed your article. Giving is so important!

  4. says

    You have been quite nice to me as well. :) I think everyone gets caught at a bad time and misinterprets things other people say the wrong way. Great article! I will be giving this project some thought, and hopefully have something interesting to post about it in the next day or two.

    Kristi’s last blog post – The Cottage

  5. Kim Woodbridge says

    Hi Kristi,

    First, thanks for the icons. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them yet but I definitely want to use the twitter one.

    I agree – everyone falters sometimes. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be human.

    I am so glad you are interested in writing about this topic! Sommer is too, so I’m going to update the article and add both of you to who I am tagging :-)

  6. says

    So you tagged me, hmmm. I’ll have to think up some best practices now and pretend that I’ve been implementing them for ages and I’m some kind of marketing guru!

    Seriously, thanks for the tag, it’s given me an incentive to actually write something.

  7. Kim Woodbridge says

    Hi Andy – Honestly, at first I didn’t want to write the article and didn’t know why Ari tagged me. Now I’m glad that I did. And then it was really hard to decide who to tag.

    And as usual you’re making me laugh – now that you’ve written that comment we’ll know that whatever you write is fiction ;-)


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