Warming Up a Cool Medium

Technology is cool, but have you ever noticed how it also is a bit “chilly”?

All business owners and professionals are aware of the need to “do social media.” Marketing experts advise urge everyone to amp up their social media efforts.

Nevertheless, here’s my problem. In this age of rampant rudeness, technology also is creating even more separation between people. I recommend that everyone focus on strengthening their online relationships, to help thaw out the chilly medium of technology with the warmth and consideration of the human touch. Without a doubt, warmth and consideration strengthens connection, deepens loyalty, and builds business, both offline and online.

Throughout time, one of the best connecting words is simply “you.” “Put yourself in your reader’s shoes” and tell them what’s in it for them. That will give you the clues you need to know how to reach out and connect.

Remember that all your words need to have the ring of authenticity. Aren’t the words “awesome” and “incredible” overused to the point that they devoid of any passion? I would love it if I never saw or heard those words again.

If you post a blog, another way to warm up your relationships online is to allow commenters on your blog. Why should your readers be required to comment “in a vacuum”? Aren’t they actually trying to engage with you by commenting on your blog?

Allow commenters on your blog. Allow commenters to post without your approval. Above all, be sure to respond to every commenter.  This is a powerful technique to warm up your relationship with your readers and prospects. It’s also basic courtesy, which is never a bad thing.

Speaking of posting comments on Twitter or on other people’s blogs, Mom was right. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Put another way, if you wouldn’t be thrilled to see your email or your post on the front page of your local newspaper, keep it to yourself. You can think an insulting comment, but the moment that you type it and place that fateful finger on the “send” button, it can haunt you forever.

“Digital dirt”–things that you said or did online that you regret–is very difficult to bury under a pile of other posts. As I was taught so cogently in journalism school, “When in doubt, leave it out.” Remember, once something is printed, you cannot “un-print” it.

Even if you aren’t willing to always be nice, at least be willing to always be smart. If you are angry or upset, don’t share that fact on the Web. Instead, type your thoughts into a Word document, read it over, and sigh over it. Then, delete it. If you absolutely must send something that you might regret later, give yourself a cooling off period. Sleep on it and give it to a friend to read first. Then, delete it.

You will never regret applying warmth and consideration abundantly in your social media. Have you ever written something online that you did regret?

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