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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Social Media Playground Rules - Are You a Giver or a Taker?

Written by  Duane Bailey

When I was a kid, I looked forward to my visits to the playground. Aside from being a fun place to be, this was the place where friendships were made and conversations were shared. Over time, I discovered the kids who made more friends were those who gave more than they received. They were the “givers,” the ones who habitually reached out to the newer kids and who were quick to share what they had. The “takers”, on the other hand, were normally the ones who would simply join in without offering to contribute.

For me, the playground is a fitting metaphor for social media. Like the playground, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are where relationships are built and conversations are shared. There are givers and there are takers. Givers are the ones who share fresh and meaningful content. They share personal and business stories, practical tips, and invitations to act. Takers, on the other hand, offer very little of value to their followers, friends, and connections.

Over time, the givers will build more relationships than the takers. The givers will engage in more conversations and they will share more content. In return, they will come to feel as if they have received more than they have given. They will meet interesting people, they will exchange new ideas, and they will have fun. The takers, on the other hand, will share very little. They will retweet what they have heard, they will fail to participate in online conversations, and they will simply connect for the sake of building their own personal network. Eventually, they will come to see social media as a not-so-fun place where it is hard to meet and collaborate with others.

As I learned many years ago on the playground, you get out of social media what you put into it. Are you a giver or a taker?

Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey is a regular contributor to The Chief Storyteller® online conversation. He has helped organizations of all sizes drive growth in revenues and market share through the development and delivery of key business messages that resonate with target audiences. He holds an MBA in International Business and a BS in Marketing. He brings 28 years of experience in marketing communications and high technology sales.

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