Let me introduce you to Dillon (aka Love of My Life):
Now, Dillon is obviously far superiour to most dogs in terms of attractiveness, but there’s a reason I’m obsessed with my family dog.
Dillon loves me. She runs around in circles when I walk in the door. When you call her name, the whole bottom half of her body wiggles like a jerky salsa dancer. You can take her off the leash on walks and even when she runs off to explore she regularly runs back to check up on you.
Other dogs, however, can be stingy with their affection. It makes me miss Dillon. A dog who actually smiles.
Here’s where I tie this back to social media…
I don’t care what you talk about, just be nice. Affectionate. Friendly. Give everyone a virtual smile. Use an exclamation point once in a while. And remember that smiley faces aren’t just for tweens.
Everyone just wants a good nuzzle.
There’s a really fabulous post on Men with Pens about writing emails that don’t sound robotic and when I read it back in January I wanted to jump up and shout YES!!! AMEN!
Honestly, I’ve been lucky enough to find some amazing, friendly, creative, charming people online. They’re doing spectacularly. So when I come across someone who just doesn’t have an online soul, isn’t particularly nice to people or just doesn’t own their voice, I want to shake them a little and say, “Listen, dude, it’s not going to work unless you make it about your people. BE NICE and you’ll get it back in spades.”
How to Give a Virtual Nuzzle
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten about making friends has also been from Boyfriend Sam. He says you just need to show an interest in other people. Stop thinking about yourself for two seconds and just learn about the other person. Sam is also one of the most charming people I’ve ever met.
And because this tactic works in real life situations, you should probably be applying it to your online persona. So here are some instances to make sure you’re dishing out the puppy love, presenting yourself in the best possible light and making solid – friendly – relationships with people:
1. Show an interest
Ask questions on Twitter, leave a thoughtful comment on someone’s blog, like something on Facebook. Just showing up is half the battle and giving people little hints that you’re around, listening, reading and enjoying is enough to start off on a great friendship. Note: Also make sure if you have your own site to ALWAYS respond to comments. This way your readers know you appreciate their engagement and good blog conversation adds an extra, unique element to your site.
2. Share the love
This is an easy one. Retweet, share, stumble and/or email posts you like. Your network is a whole new slew of people for this new connection to befriend and sharing the love not only accomplishes step number one, but has the added bonus of good karma and helping a person out.
3. Write a nice email
Any time I come across a new blog I love or really appreciate the comments someone has been leaving I write a personal email to let that person know I love what they’ve been doing. Remember that bloggers, while some are Big Deals, are also not really celebrities, so treat them as such. All appreciate the niceties and most go out of their way to let you know they care right back. Check out this amazing post by fellow Davidsonian Kate Wiseman on writing fan letters to bloggers. And my recent guest post on Redhead Writing? All started with a gushing email I wrote her months ago. Food for thought…
What do you guys do to show folks the love? What is it about a friendly disposition that makes it vital to your online personality??