It’s a paradox and a puzzle to solve. How do you help people (which is the key to being successful on social media) when your ultimate goal is to get something out of them? After all, you wouldn’t be putting all that effort out on social platforms with some expectation of reward.
It would be nice (and easy) if selling and talking about ourselves would be effective but that doesn’t draw people to you. You have to earn peoples’ attention.
Is the answer a ratio of helping to asking? That’s part of it. But there is no magic number. What happens in between the helpful content and the asking is what matters more. Are you just biding your time, scheduling tweets, waiting for your turn? That comes through.
And the best part of social media–the in-the-moment conversations, can stretch out the time between the share and ask far longer.
You’ve probably been in a conversation with someone when you can tell that person isn’t really listening, but just waiting his turn to share his own story about the topic you are discussing. Don’t be that person. There is no magic formula. So just get in there and be generous. It’s what happens between the asking for their attention that determines whether you get theirs when you need it.
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