Social Skills for the Social Media Age

Social skills are very important to building relationships. In this age of technology, social media is also important to building relationships. So, are they related? Absolutely.

Participating in social media definitely calls for the soft art of social skills. Whether you are using social media for business or personal use, the way you interact with people makes all the difference in how you are received.

Social skills are the glue that binds the multiple interactions people count on to formulate relationships. Socializing through a technology platform uses the same basic premise as networking at an event. It requires confidence, preparation and follow-up.

We all know that some people are more naturally gifted socially than others, but it is a skill that can be nurtured over time.  Here are a few starting tips to build your social media social skills:

  • Start with a warm greeting.  Ask your current network to introduce you to new people.  By having a mutual connection make a personal introduction for you, it increases the chance that you will be well received.  Thank that person for the introduction and then send a personal note to the new contact to tell them how pleased you are to ‘meet’ them.
  • Have something to talk about.  Don’t commit ‘random acts of status posting.’ Have something helpful to tell your social media network and link it to additional information.
  • Be genuine.  Every communication you make through status posts should be genuine. Don’t pretend to be something or someone you aren’t. Trust is the basis for all relationships, virtual or interpersonal.
  • Keep in touch.  Striking the balance of keeping in touch without being burdensome is vital. Don’t over-communicate or over-share.  Be professional and friendly.

There are many ways to develop social skills online, but most importantly, it takes practice. Continually craft your relationships and you will see that you build lasting relationships that translate beyond the computer screen.