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Out without the Shout

by Randall Craig on March 30, 2010

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Social Media

Tagged as: , ,

How much do you like advertising? If you’re like most, the answer is somewhere between very little and not at all. This isn’t surprising, since most advertising is not meant specifically for you, and is designed to be loud enough to cut through all of the noise generated by other (irrelevant) ads.

Yet, as individuals, are we any better when it comes to how we use Social Media? How often do we put something out there – a blog post, a status update, a Tweet – that is nothing more than a shout? Or is blatantly self-serving, adding little or no value to the reader?

It is surprisingly easy to use Social Media, but surprisingly difficult to avoid being self-centered. Here are some ideas that can help:

  • Consider who your audience is, and why they are interested in following you.
  • Put yourself in their shoes, and ask whether your post is worth forwarding onwards.
  • Add value by referencing content from third parties (with attribution), not just your own “stuff”.
  • Participate meaningfully beyond your own walled garden, by commenting on others’ posts.

This week’s action item: The most important way to avoid “shouting” is to ask a question, and engage your audience on their terms. The magic of Social Media is the fostering of a community of interest. This week, instead of posting your status on Facebook or sending a self-centered Tweet, ask your followers a question. When you do this, not only will you get your message “out without the shout”, but you can learn far more about what is important to them.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)