The Narcissism of Social Media

By: Viveka Friday September 3, 2010 comments Tags: Social Media, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Narcissism

Social media can look a lot like this:

My story



My story,  my story, my story, my story, my story, mystory, my story, my story, my story, my story, mystory, my story, my story, my story, your story, my story, my story, my story, my story, my story, your story, my story, my story, my story, my story…

Did you catch that?

My story,  my story, my story, my story, my story, my story, my story, my story, my story, my story, my story, my story, my story, my story, your story, my story, my story, my story, my story, my story, your story, my story, my story, my story, my story…

And that’s the problem.  The narcissism on social media can run rampant.  And the thing is, the more you talk about yourself, the less people listen.

One of my favorite jokes goes like this:  “But enough about me, let’s talk about you.  What do you think of me?”

Facebook is terrible for this, of course.  Twitter has a few more Go-Givers, although in general the stream tends to be about the author, not the audience.

LinkedIn is a tricky number, because much of what you share on you profile is your expertise.  So it really is about you.  The thing to remember, when you are participating in conversations on LinkedIn (Groups, Answers and Updates) keep your ideal client Top Of Mind and formulate your communications as if you were answering their needs, their point of pain.

Updates:

Instead of:  “Read my latest blog: The Critical Manager http://wp.me/petQg-4y

Do something like:  “Do have you trouble with your employees? Have you considered it might be you? http://wp.me/petQg-4y

Group Discussions and Answers:

When responding to a group discussion, pay a wee bit of attention to the profile of the person who posted the discussion.  That will give you some clues as to if the discussion is based on a legitimate need of theirs (and if it is, might you be the answer to that need) or if the discussion is just another forum for them to discuss their expertise.  Listen!  Respond to their needs.

Tweetchats:

Tweetchats are an excellent place to showcase your knowledge.  I do it every Tuesday night at 6 PM, MST on my #LinkedInChat (Please join us).  And yes, I do post links to articles I have written.  And yes, I do regularly post tips on it as well.  But what really gets the conversation going is when I ask questions.  And then the participants start conversating amongst themselves.  And occasionally I can answer a question too.  Listening!  That’s what gets people communicating.

Facebook’s Wall

Do you spend more time posting to your wall, or commenting and “liking” other people’s posts.  Guess which one will build stronger relationships?  I automate my blog posts and foursquare updates to Facebook, and will occasionally ask a question I really need answered (Like who is a good local videographer, etc.) But when I started spending less time on posting, and more time on responding, that’s when the usefulness of Facebook increased for me.

Go-Giving

Finally, if you haven’t read it yet, please please please go and get Bob Burg and David Mann’s book “The Go-Giver” and “Go-Giver’s Sell More.”  It will change your life - or at least how you communicate.

I’d love to hear your suggestions as well!
Viveka

About the Author: Viveka

Viveka is author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day and is known internationally as the “LinkedIn Expert”.
CEO of Linked Into Business, she also hosts the biggest LinkedIn chat on Twitter.  Forbes has listed her as a top social media influencer for three years running, and she has been cited in Ragan, CNN, Forbes, Mashable, Simple Living, Bloomberg, LinkedIn's Small Business Site and "The Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to LinkedIn, The Miami Herald, Social Media Today and The Social Media Examiner!

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