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Social Media Greed

From the first time we decide to use social media for our business we have a choice. It is at the heart of everything we do from here on out. We will see a plan of action that will decide whether we create great social media deeds, or commit social media greed. It will define our attitude towards social media. Is this a place to build relationships or a means to take money from people?

Our actions in social media define what we really think of our products and services. Do we care about our clients when we sell them everything under the sun for the big score? How do we take of our prospects, so they know we will treat them right once they have handed us a check? Every deed we do can renew our networks faith in those pivotal decisions to accept you as friend, follower, fan, and connection.

That will be at the core of the decision for this post.

 1. What is social media greed exactly?

2. How do we avoid being a social media greedy hog?

3. Is there a balance between good greed and bad greed?

First, what is social media greed? Social media greed is when small business owners and professionals somewhat professional decide that people who are connected with them are no more than numbers and dollar signs.

To show you what social media greed looks like in the real world let’s take a look at some real world companies who have demonstrated social media greed at it’s height.

In 2010, United Airlines made a huge mistake that would cost their company $180 million dollars in stock holder losses. What was this disastrous decision? Two United Airlines employees decided to play catch with guitarist David Carroll’s prized guitar as he watched helpless from the plane with flight attendants telling him nothing could be done to help. While some people might not be surprised with that approach to business, consider what happened next.

David Carroll penned a song immortalizing the incident and United Airlines lack of empathy over his situation. The song went viral and has over 11 million views today on Youtube.

What were to happen if United Airlines had actually accepted responsibility for breaking David Carroll’s guitar?

Or what would happen if Kenneth Cole was not so preoccupied looking at their quarterly numbers and decided not to offend every single person of Middle Eastern descent with their tweet about their spring collection which hijacked the #Cairo hashtag at the same time the Cairo Revolution was occurring?

Poor taste, and poorer judgment can lead to mistakes that cost you dearly in Social Media. It all comes down to respect. Social media greed is a lack of respect to everyone people deal with in business.

Second, now that we know what social media greed is let’s discuss how to avoid being a social media greed hog!

There are three main things that you can do to avoid this status.

1. The world does not revolve around you. Treat them all with respect. If you notice this is a bit of a theme here. You beat greed with respect. The world consists of billions of unique individuals with their own tastes, preferences, and cultural upbringing. You do not have to love every individual and their choices, but you should at least respect them.

This is the greatest conspiracy in history. Treat others like you would like to be treated and you can move mountains. How do you help people? Personally I write blog posts. For years I would read the information others had written online about subjects as varied as internet marketing, real estate, business, astronomy, politics, history, and countless other topics.

If I liked this information, how could I pay it forward? I would treat people like I wanted to be treated. That was the birth of AndyNathan.Net. It was my little way of sharing the copious amounts of information I had gleaned over the years.

2. Give a little each day. When I first got married my wife and I had some challenges. It was definitely an adjustment. What I realized was that when I told her I loved her would not fix everything,  but it affirmed my love and commitment to her, and in turn made things easier betweesocial media greedn us and strengthened our marriage.

While business and personal relationships have completely different dynamics, they run on the same principle. Can you thank 5 people every day online? Can you share 3 people’s articles every day? Can you show genuine interest in 1 person’s product every day?

You do not have to share 20,000 people’s content, just those you have mutual respect for. The emphasis here is on mutual. I love the power of Tribes, like TSA and Triberr for those very reasons. It is built in mutual appreciation where I can build my business.

3. Listen to others. If you are like me and can talk at a faster rate than most humans can possibly comprehend then it is time to zip it for a second.

Take a moment to actually listen. Not just, “Uh, huh! Uh, huh” listen. Actively listen to those who are speaking. The problem that we have is that we often jump to conclusions. I know that I am as guilty of this as everyone else. We get caught in our day and we do not pause to let the other person finish their thoughts.

Well, my friend. Let the other person finish their thoughts, and give them your full attention. I am as big of a culprit as anyone with this. Sometimes I literally bite my tongue to remember that other people’s thoughts are important.

In the end, you will discover there is more to earn in being nice and respectful to clients than the “trample on them” approach that has become so common in sales rooms today. Without this respect your social media greed will only lead to lost sales and bad business.

Author: Andy Nathan is blogger and social media consultant who helps businesses end the terrifying drama of social media. You can learn more about him on his Social Networking Blog.

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    { 1 comment… add one }

    • David from Architectural Facades January 19, 2013, 8:45 pm

      Sometimes, the little niceties of normal conversation are forgotten, especially when dealing with others online. How easy is it to use slang words like ‘gonna’ and ‘wanna’ instead of proper English? The same thing can be said about simple politeness, such as please and thank you. We’re not dealing with robots or machines out there, but real live human beings who will respond to courtesy. Thank you for sharing, I learned a lot.

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