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Defend Your Online Relationships

Alexandra Samuel @awsamuel is an eloquent speaker, a gifted writer and business owner of a Social Signal , a Vancouver-based social media agency. The following are notes I took from Alex’s presentation at Mount Royal University’s one day conference called Social Media Shift.

In Real Life

1. In Real Life vs. Real Life Too (IRL v. RLToo)

Your real self online versus offline is often more honest and the conversations more real. Online we speak about anything including social taboos that wouldn’t happen IRL. For example, when’s the last time you spoke to a stranger about your period. It’s important that we acknowledge that our online conversations help build real trust and connect us to real people.

2. See A Real Person

Rather than seeking dollar signs and trying to monetize your followers, try to see the real people on the other side of the screen. By communicating with the real person in mind, it will help to bring out the best of yourself.

3. Virtual Space Is Real Presence

Allow visitors to be present and engaged in your online space. Think about their experience. If you’re distracting them to Like, Tweet, Follow, download or Sign Up then you may be taking joy away from their online experience with you. Everything you do should be designed to create an exceptional experience for your customers.

4. These Are Real Friends

Take social relationships seriously. To simply try and get more Likes cheapens the notion of what friendship means. Train your visitors to value their online connection with you. If you ask people to turn friendship into a marketing channel, you systematically devalue the connection and commoditize the relationship.

5. This Is Real Art

Consider communication and all the iterations of online dialogue ie. images, stories, paintings, videos etc. as an art form. If you thought of your Facebook page as your art, what would you change? Developing an online community is also a creative endeavor. If you put pride into it and invest in them, do you think it would change the way people interact with you?

6. Create Real Meaning

Shift from contests to create meaning. Ask your customers to help you create this meaning. What do you mean to them? Have you told any of them what they mean to you?

7. Own Your Reality

You should feel that the web is a place to curate your own experience. For those who feel like the web is just a place full of porn, they probably create that experience for themselves. The web is what you make it. Rather than using it to chase customers, consider helping them create their own reality under your umbrella.

8. Your Attention Is A Real Resource

What kind of online experience do you want to garden? You can grow a digital reality that people can feel good about. Whatever you pay attention to becomes more visible. Focus on what you want to be known for.

9. This Is A Real Conversation

It is essential to understand that online conversations are real. They are real dialogues between real people. It’s very important to respect those online as in any “Real Life” conversation. Have you ever walked up to a group of people and interrupted their conversation? What makes you think it’s OK to do this online?

10. Start Getting Real

Make real friends, don’t get caught up in the game of growing a network. Take the “ignore” or “not now” button seriously. Try to ignore all new friend requests for at least a week and instead talk to the people you’re already connected to. Make real art and discover what it means to be a part of a real creative community. Experience the present tense, pay full attention with one thing at a time. Stop using the acronym IRL (in real life). Everytime you use this, you train yourself to dismiss your online accomplishments. We are creating a new reality that in 10 or 20 years will be reflected in our behavior. Talk about the potential of this new reality and look at examples like the It Gets Better Project to see how reality can change.

For a short 15 minute version of this talk, click play below.

  • http://www.alexandrasamuel.com Alexandra Samuel

    Marc, I somehow just found this now! Thanks so much for the lovely write-up!

    • http://blog.marcbinkley.ca Marc Binkley

      You’re welcome:) Merry Christmas!

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