Living Life at Par
Do you have a goal in life? How about a goal for being on social media? I'm not going to judge you if you enjoy living your life at par, but if you have wishes and dreams why not set goals for getting there. Figure out why you are online and put that first foot forward. Once you have your list, decide if every action you are taking will help you reach your dreams. That extra scoop of ice cream wont make you skinnier and the extra hour of television will not write your daily blog posts.
A Firm Handshake and a Smile with your Hello
If twitter is a party, or if life is a party who invited you? If you are a walk in and don't have any friends present, it's still polite to introduce yourself. At a real party you would walk up and say hello, offer your right hand for a firm handshake, then maybe use an ice breaker. Online this does not need to translate to an auto DM, it can translate to your bio being fully filled out, having a custom background, and profile picture. It also translates to responding to people's questions and maybe going to a tweetup.
Finding More Geeks
Do you go to your local SMB (social media breakfast), IMA (Minnesota's is MIMA: Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association), PRSA, AIGA, ADFED, AMA, TCSMU (Twin Cities Social Media Underground) or any other association? If not you should, especially if you freelance -it is a great way to meet new people, get out of your shell, and have some fun. Tweetups and flash mobs can be especially fun and eclectic groups.
You can find more groups at: Meetup.com or if you are in Minnesota checkout Tech.mn or Minno8.com
Helping Someone Join the Conversation
If you see someone standing just five feet away from your conversation shy-like and looks like they are half paying attention, chances are they are new. Be a nice guy or gal and just invite them over, shake their and shake their hand. Same goes for online. If you spot that random person off in the twittersphere who doesn't have a picture and is literally crying for help, politely say hello and direct them to ChrisBrogan.com, AgencyCouture.com, ProBlogger.com or some other helpful blog that can quickly teach them social media etiquette.
Remembering names is tough, I know. Name tags help at parties, but if you know someone is coming to an event and they are someone you might want to chat with it is okay to read a tweet or two, along with their bio and try to remember their name. This way when they come up and say hello (or vice versa) you can shake their hand and introduce them to the rest of your group along with an interesting tid bit that will help break the ice for them, make them feel special, and DEFINITELY get them to remember you.
Introducing the N00B
Always introduce the new person first, followed by either the person directly their right then go around in a circle, unless you are in the presence of someone with "higher status" (ie. royalty, CEO, famous person) then they get introduced second. The circulate to the persons right helps them not have 50 hands at once and goes in order. The high status introduction second is more an ego thing and doesn't necessarily have to be followed, but I would always try to say something nice or an accomplishment about each person during their introductions. Plus each time you say someones name, it may help you remember their name even better!
Online you can introduce two people who you think should connect. Follow the flattery rule, try to introduce each person with why they should connect and something nice or interesting about each of them. This will help break the ice and not just give them random names. This could also apply to #followfriday #ff, it would be great if you told me WHY you're recommending I follow 5 new people on Friday (is it because they are smart, social media leaders, famous, gorgeous, funny, your clients or just because you are lazy and retweeting someone else's list).
When you get home take all the new business cards you've received and write email thank you letters, add them to your address book, make notes on the back of the card about something memorable you two talked about then either archive the card or throw it away.
Did I miss anything? What do you say or do to get people to remember you? Do you enjoy etiquette? If so share your tips with me in the comment section, tweet me, or share this post.
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Thanks for reading!
--Desarae A. Veit