Who have you praised? Who have you honoured? Who have you elevated? Whose blog have you shared? Or perhaps commented on? Or perhaps just liked? What have you given to someone else this week on social media?

Why do you ask, I hear you say… well because that’s what it’s all about. Just like content marketing, it’s about delivering value to your community, it’s about making someone’s life better, it’s about giving and it’s about sharing. It’s not about selling them something, even if that someone is you.

Unfortunately the cynics of personal branding (those nodding their head at the Facebook picture featured below) always tell me the same thing – people are online just to talk about themselves. There’s too much self-promotion. There’s too much me, me, me. It’s boring them. It’s turning them off.

social mediaHere’s the challenge with that. The very people who are turned off are the ones we want turned on, because they fundamentally get that social media is not about them. It’s about the collective whole giving to each other, lifting each other up, celebrating the communities we are part of and connecting with each other.

It’s about the giving economy.

Participating on social media in an intelligent, authentic and heart felt way, where you are always putting yourself in the shoes of your audience, is what personal branding is all about. Sure it’s about what you stand for. It’s you packaged up and presented to the world online. But if you want to have an amazing personal brand, remember it’s not about you, it’s about them.

If you do it well, you can bask in the glory of a stunning personal brand. People want to be connected with you because you give them something – knowledge, wisdom, praise, recognition, etc… But if you don’t get what the giving economy is all about, you’re just going to bore everyone and get blanked out. That’s what happens. People switch off.

Just think about how this would make the community feel

A CEO of a company goes onto LinkedIn and other social sites every week and does seven things. She/he:

  1. Praises an employee for a job well done – publicly
  2. Shares or comments on a blog a colleague has written
  3. Interacts with a customer who is sharing some valuable insight relevant to their industry, demonstrating they know them and understand their challenges
  4. Promotes an article published by a partner, because it’s aligned to their business, and it’s an opportunity to celebrate an awesome partner
  5. Shares a thought piece an influencer has published that they agree with, commenting on why they think the information is of value
  6. Interacts with a journalist on Twitter and praises them for the articles they are writing or thanking them for a piece they did together
  7. Comments on a friend’s post, someone they used to work with many years ago, helping to elevate that person’s brand

Here’s the seven benefits the CEO would get:

  1. Higher employee retention and recruitment – because people want to work for a business where the leader is connected to the people. Employees don’t want to be numbers anymore
  2. Loyalty from colleagues, because they feel valued and respected
  3. Increased customer retention and loyalty because customers don’t feel like numbers either, and it’s the start of them becoming brand advocates for your business
  4. Better integration with partners, because they see that they are valued within the ecosystem of the business they a partnered with
  5. Less flack from influencers because it’s hard to be nasty to someone who is nice to you
  6. More media opportunities, because journalists are people and they like working with someone who respects and values them
  7. Deeper friendships and respect, because friends always appreciate it when their community supports them

Giving Economy

Could you imagine if every CEO in the world had the mind set to do those seven things every week, elevating their community on social media? And then because they do it, every manager in their organisation would start to do it for their people and because of that, we are talking about a huge, positive, world changing impact right? That’s the power of being truly social on social media. You give to your community as the essence of your participation.

The benefits come, and they are massive, but it’s all about the giving first. Not the getting.

If this happened, before we know it, we have real, genuine interactions on social media that lift people up and celebrate our collective humanity. We’d all feel awesome right? Wouldn’t that be terrific?

I think it would be. So what have you given to someone else on social media this week? Let me know. I’d love to hear it.

Cheers

Andrea

And please, if you like this, I’d love a comment, a discussion or a tip to make me smile this weekend. Of course, please also feel free to share with your communities. That’s what this is all about today – sharing and giving to each other. If you like my style and what I talk about, feel free to follow me on LinkedInTwitter or on Facebook. Thanks for reading.