The Power of Reciprocity on Social Media
One of the nicest things you can do spontaneously and genuinely is to give someone a compliment. It could be a compliment on a their appearance or a special talent they have or perhaps their area of expertise. It takes less than a minute to share a compliment that could very well make someone’s day. And, one of the most powerful things you can ever say to someone is “How can I help you.” These days everyone is operating in such a hectic space and state of mind, asking how you can help is a gesture that is sure to transmit hope, calm, and gratitude to the person on the receiving end.
One thing I don’t quite understand, however is how the act of reciprocity is so easily overlooked on social media. Reciprocity is simple: it's the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit. Relationships thrive when each person gives of themselves to the other. When I am on social media, I always try and think about how I can give value to others. Giving value can range from writing a post with helpful tips on a particular topic to asking readers a question designed to help them think about new ideas on how to solve a problem.
I believe our strengths and talents are meant to be shared. These days with smartphones, devices and social media, many people are conditioned to promote themselves and look out only for their own best interests, with very little regard for others. Social media has opened up incredible pathways for us to express and share our ideas and our needs. We do this with a desire to find someone who can give us something in return even if it is just a small acknowledgement of our ideas and efforts.
I spend considerable time in my business to read, like, share and comment on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The people I follow could be colleagues, competitors, leaders, entrepreneurs or people I have never met in person. I try to be thoughtful and positive in my likes, shares and comments. One thing I don’t do is like or comment just for the sake of it. I need to believe there is value in a post and that it can help me in some way to be a better business person or a better person all around.
I am always grateful to anyone who likes or shares my posts and blogs even if it is a differing point of view. What I don’t quite understand are the people that I continually support on social media who have never reciprocated by liking or commenting on my posts. I try not to, but I occasionally feel dismayed and wonder what exactly it is that I could do that would make them take an interest in what I have to say. I haven’t figured this one out, but I am still working on it. I am also making room in my mind that it might not be me or my message that is lacking, but rather that some people are not inclined to reciprocate for whatever reason.
What keeps me going is wanting to tap into my unique talents and skills to determine how I can add value to the lives of others. I believe that engagement is the currency of social media and that I must be the initiator of engagement even when someone does not reciprocate. I want to be sincere and generous and grateful to those who follow and support me. Speaking of which, thank you for reading my blog.