Less than a year ago my son and I began sharing our first book Charlie Sullivan and the Monster Hunters: The Varcolac’s Diary with people. Now, Book 2 in that series, Charlie Sullivan and the Monster Hunters: Witch Moon, is nearly ready for launch.
Almost immediately following the release of Book 1 I had to “step away” from promoting the book and from spending time with friends, family, and fans of it all. It was a legitimate and necessary “step away”, if you will, but it made building relationships with people very difficult during that time.
If you have spent any time on social media at all, you know that a few months away can be a KILLER for anyone attempting to build a following or fan base online. Heck, online following aside, a few months…a few weeks…can be a killer for even offline relationships.
Thankfully, people stuck with me and my periodic “appearances” on Twitter and Facebook. Consistency in online presence, especially through social media outlets, equates to trust. You become a no-show, you lose people’s trust. No trust, no bueno! Capiche?!
When I was able to return to a regular online routine, I decided I was going to do everything I could to show people just how grateful I was to them for sharing their time with me online. Even if it is just a few seconds someone takes to read a tweet, those few seconds are precious.
(I just got a mental picture of Gollum crouching over his smart-phone reading a tweet while gurgling “My Pr-rr-reciooouuussss!” How cute!)
I believe people should know their time, retweets, sharing, reposts, and so on, are very much appreciated. They are Pr-rr-reciooouuussss! (Ha! Just cracked myself up again.)
Here are 6 things you can do on a regular basis to show people you love ‘em online:
1. Interact with them.
I mean *facepalm*! This one should be obvious, and should be a JOY to do. However, I see so many people who don’t talk to people at all. No interaction at all. It’s a shame!
Talk to people. This is a conversation, folks. Let me spell it for you…C-O-N-V…and some other letters… :)
You get my point, yes? People love to hear from you. And, really…shouldn’t you love to interact with them just as much?
Your interaction with friends and followers online is a treat to them, and it had better be to you too.
2. Give thanks!
I’m not trying to get all religious on you here, but you should probably get religious about this.
Sometimes people tell me I go overboard on this one, but I don’t think so (and I don’t really care). I believe thankfulness makes the world go ’round. When it comes to thanking someone, I’m going to try to err on the side of saying “thank you” a wee bit too much.
Here is this nice person giving me a compliment or a retweet or a comment…or just trying to say “Hey!”… Well, guess what? I’m going to say “Hey” and “thank you!”
It’s polite to say “thank you” and it just does people good to know others are paying attention and are appreciated.
Am I perfect at this? No, of course not! Am I trying really hard? You bet!
I believe the world (online included) would be a better place if we were all just a little more thankful.
So, thank you! Thank you for taking the time to read this post and share it with a friend. I really appreciate it.
3. Mention Their Names.
There are few other things that people like more than to hear or see their names mentioned.
When someone hears their name mentioned, they feel like the person speaking (or typing) is actually listening. Actually cares. Has actually taken the time to consider whatever is being communicated.
Seeing someone’s name in “print” many times causes a person to feel like a superstar! I mean, who DOESN’T want to feel like a superstar?
Superstar or not…it’s good to feel like it. It’s good to know you are important enough to that person that they mention your name.
This kinda’-sorta’ goes along with #3 but is also an opportunity all to itself. Celebrate people!
Don’t expect anyone to ever celebrate you if you aren’t willing to celebrate others.
I try to be on the lookout for cover reveals, book launches, first-time concerts, little-league touchdowns, successful new recipes, or really whatever, big or little, thing I can find to celebrate that I feel might make someone’s day.
The other day my 5-year old got something correct while working on his math. He had a bit of trouble with this one problem for a couple of days, but when he got it right…he knew it! He threw both hands up in the air and with his head pointed toward heaven he yelled, “Yes, I did it!”
The rest of my family all joined him by yelling “Yes!” “Way to go!” “You rock!” and anything else we could think of to make him feel great about his accomplishment. High-fives were shared all around, and for the rest of his school day he felt really good about his work.
I wonder how much better people would feel if we all found ways to “high-five” others, or give them a victory shout, or just send them a congrats for a job well-done!
Sometimes I don’t even know the person I’m sending a congrats to about a cover reveal or a book release, but I know it does them good to have someone applauding them!
And you know what? Many of those people have become really good friends of mine after the celebration!
Hard to beat that.
5. Give them a gift.
Free content, a giveaway, a random goodie for your 1000th follower. Get creative.
Four operative words here: Give. Them. A. Gift.
And if you think you can’t afford to give something away… Truth is, you can’t afford not to.
Nuff said. Next…
6. Be authentic with people online.
Personally, I believe this is one of the greatest ways to show people you love ‘em. Give them the gift of YOU.
I have never been able to understand why people feel they have to become so different from their true selves the moment they start tweeting, or posting, or interacting with people online.
Alright, so I don’t need to know all about your laundry, and your kid’s laundry and so on… But I DO need you to be real with me. Being authentic isn’t about airing your dirty laundry. It’s about talking to me as if we were sharing a cup of coffee or having lunch together.
Have fun and enjoy sharing with people online. Build the relationship. Don’t do anything that would put yourself, your family, or others in harm’s way, but, HEY…you’re not a robot, so stop acting like one!
As well, if you feel like you’ve always got to sell, sell, sell… You don’t. So relax. You can talk to people about other things. Yes, it’s ok to sell your book, your jewelry, your art or whatever you have. Just learn to do it within the context of the conversation.
This is something most of us are still learning about as well, but let’s keep getting better at it. Let’s face it…social media is still fairly new as a wide-open medium, and is still shifting daily. Always think of the conversation and what it really means to share along the way.
Also, be professional but try less to worry about editing mistakes in your Facebook posts (Really?! Who has that kind of time?) and be more concerned about building a relationship. If you do make mistakes and people catch them, just use it as an opportunity to laugh yourself in at public.
Catch it? Ha! Laugh. :) (If you didn’t catch it, laugh anyway.)
Nothing speaks authenticity more than being able to laugh at yourself in public.
People need to feel loved. Appreciated. Heard.
You have an opportunity to make someone’s day. They’ve given you their time, their loyalty, their support. Show them some luv!
Thanks for hanging out with me here.