Social media – it’s everywhere! I’m a fairly recent convert, but now I’m all over Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn like a rash (mainly because I felt professionally, socially and morally obliged to be…) But social media, whether for business or pleasure, has a few social mores in the same way as any social gathering would have. So what sort of party guest are you?

People who ‘like’ you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, connect to you on LinkedIn etc. are in effect inviting you to their soiree. There’s no dress code for this party – you can be there in your PJs if you like – but there are codes of conduct and party ‘netiquette’. The most popular party guests aren’t the people boring everyone with tales of how great they are or hassling people for business. They are the ones telling interesting stories, sharing valuable information, listening to other people, asking them about themselves, and generally adding value to the conversation (the sort of conversations that usually take place in the kitchen!) These are the people that then get invited to more parties.

So, if you want more people to follow/like/connect with you, then make sure you are the ideal party guest! Post content that people will find interesting, entertaining or useful – not updates on what you just had for lunch (complete with photo of bagel). News items, advice and guidance, resources, information, details of events, activities etc. relevant to your business or industry sector, will usually be well received.  And don’t forget it’s a 2-way conversation! Ask people for their views, needs, questions, feedback etc., and respond accordingly.

Some party guests though just lurk furtively in a corner nursing a glass of warm Pinot, watching what’s going on but not speaking to anyone. You may get a feel for the people in your network that way, but you certainly won’t make any new friends. So don’t be tempted to use your social media pages as read-only – no-one will want you at their party if you’re a boring guest! Nor will they want you if you just moan, gripe and badmouth other people (they’ll just be wondering what you say about them at other parties!)

So, increase your popularity and your party invitations, & potentially your business, by being interesting, funny, a great listener and a mine of useful information – the person everyone wants to chat to in the kitchen at parties!