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Maybe I am beating the same drum over and over and over again! Like I said, maybe we just keep beating the same drum over and over again.
On a more serious note, however, I have a challenge with social networking that just makes businesses sound like they are spitting out a formula. You have to your own content most businesses are told as they start using social networking. They then look at the person who made this non-life changing epiphany and say, Great! How do I that? A brief conversation follows that makes the business owner understand that they have to talk about the issues that are important to them.
The problem is that in a society where everyone hears the same jokes on Chelsea Lately or Connan O’Brien, and gets the same information from CNN, ABC, MSNBC, FOX, and a handful of other stations, they realize they do not really have anything valuable to say.
Social Networking Sound Alike Syndrome
We have all been there. I know that I sometimes use quotes to fill the empty spaces in my thought process. Why? Because, someone else probably said it better 100 years ago.
It also means that in the era of 140 character Tweets and the overwhelming number of Facebook shares we all are stuck in a rut of content overflow and duplicate information syndrome. How do we find our voice when everything that we know of seems to be built on someone else’s information or ideas. I for one am not Winston Churchill ready to bring down tyranny with my flowery prose. I will never compare to the writing genius of Joyce, Thoreau, or Dickens.
Social Networking Voice
Then how can I make my voice be heard in social networking? More importantly how does my voice carry weight with my readers.
First of all if you got this far reading my words of wisdom there must have been something I said that intrigued you! My voice must have had a drip of uniqueness that filtered through the 200 million tweets that went out today.
Otherwise, why are you still reading?
How do I make my voice count? I give people a story. Most people can grasp and retain a story that relates to their life. The same technique is employed in childrens’ stories and fables to teach kids about values such as honor and honesty.
For me, a lot of my blog posts deal with personal experiences. For example, I can talk about the time I almost decided to throw my computer out the Panera window when I was first learning WordPress or the time I was in band camp. Wait! Wrong story!
One of the first mortgage companies that I worked for did phone sales. One of the guys at the office, who was younger than me, said that my voice sounded to young to be trusted with older homeowners. He would talk to the client in the big bravado sort of way that made him sound like he was in his forties or fifties. Lowering his voice, and speaking in that Fred Flinstone type of voice he felt that he had more success with clients.
I tried it with one prospect on the phone and fifteen minutes in my voice started cracking from the strain of sounding so ridiculous. I gradually altered my voice throughout the rest of the conversation until I closed the client.
Second, that brings me to a larger point. Use your everyday voice. I use a lot of bad humor; a lot of it! While some people might be annoyed with me mixing in horrendous jokes with important information, for me it allows to me get into the flow of writing.
So, sit down and think about what makes you unique. What do you have to say to the world that is just awesome? When you have done that, figure out how to transfer that ability into your social networking. What you will discover is how powerful and unique your voice is in a the sea social networking chatter.
I think you hit the nail on the head – tell your story.
You should always write about what you know and you don’t know anything better than your own experiences. A lot of the time these type of updates are the ones that pull in the crowds. People will relate to them and will want to contribute.
I would also say, if you feel like you are forcing an update, a blog post etc, then don’t write one. This just makes the whole task become more than just something you know you need to do. It becomes hard work and the second that happens it will always be hard work.
Thanks! The more you know, the more you can show value to readers. That is why they show up in the first place. You are absolutely correct that forcing a subject as well, demonstrates a lack of knowledge of the subject itself.