March 2, 2012

The Social Media Groupie

by Shannon Milholland, Social Media Director

Groups. Cliques. Circles. Call them what you may but they exist - even in cyberspace. We tend toward our own kind.

Amish fiction with Amish fiction (Do you ever wonder if they hand write their manuscripts by candlelight?)

Nonfiction with nonfiction

Mystery with mystery

The idea of joining a group may cause a guttural reaction as you recall lonely middle school days when there was never a seat at the lunch table. Or the thought may energize since you're such an extrovert and writing is an introvert's sport. Whatever your reaction, may I make a case to become a joiner?

You will experience the greatest success in social media when others are blowing your horn. So find a tribe of 5-10 people with whom you want to band, pick up an instrument and start playing each other's tune. When you do, use these components to make your group a success:

Give - It may sound obvious but each group member must contribute. Good intentions don't compose tweets or Facebook posts, so choose individuals who have the capacity to be givers.

Receive - A healthy group also contains members who know how to receive. They thank instead of deflect attention, understanding that to receive someone's gift of help, brings joy to the giver. Go football here and get some wide receivers.

Open - A group solidifies when associations are made beyond the surface. Be willing to share with your group areas of struggle, personal difficulties and victories. As you wrestle through the mud of life and celebrate each achievement, your alignment and loyalty will benefit.

Unique - Each must contribute their individual talents to the group. Were you a copy editor early in your career? Give away some free editing to the group. Did you major in graphic design? Volunteer your skill to design one sheets and bios. Are you know for your speaking ability? Offer to review a speaking segment for each person and offer a couple of home run tips.

Persevere - You may not see instantaneous results. An effective group continues for an extended period to experience the long term benefits of relationship. So make adjustments as necessary but keep going and eventually you'll experience the power of a group.

Are you ready to find some running buddies? Next week we'll explore places to find them.

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