Moving Past Hesitation Towards Engagement Via Social Media

Photo by Kris Krug.

“Ok, now what?”

It’s the question that nearly everyone asks when they’re beginning their journey across the social media channels.

They stand at the edge of the impossibly vast digital expanse with its incredible complexity and they wonder how to proceed.

Or, put another way, they sit in front of their computers watching the cursor blink back at them, and they hesitate.

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This is understandable.

This is a natural response to the strange adaptation that’s required for many people who want to make the transition from traditional communications to the use of social media.

The web is the place where all of this communication happens and the social media channels are like highways leading from place to place, person to person, across the web.

It can be intimidating for many people to think that they have anything to contribute to the super-abundance of information, opinion and content that is being created and shared across the internet at any one time.

The key to overcoming this moment of doubt and hesitation is to proceed by engaging people and/or content on the web that interests you.

Photo by Kris Krug

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But what does it mean, all this talk of ‘engagement’ with people and ‘content’?

Does it mean that I’m supposed to punch somebody in the face or post embarrassing high school-era photos of friends whom I have not seen in 15 years?

Short answer to both questions: no.

What ‘engagement’ means is that you can take a piece of content, share it, write about it, respond to it, or otherwise make a contribution to the general conversation that piece of content happens to be a part of.

By doing that you are pushing that content – and your name, your language, your unique point of view – further across the web where others can discover it and possibly do the same.

And if you’re not contributing to or sharing a piece of content that someone else has shared you should be creating original content and sharing it with the communities of friends, followers and associates that you cultivate in those same social media channels.

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Photo by Kris Krug

We use the term social media channels because these channels take information or content from a place where it originates to end points across the web where it is seen, shared, commented upon, mixed with other content, and propelled further across the web.

This is the magic alchemy of viral potential.

Content that is good enough, or lucky enough, or weirdly relevant enough, gathers momentum across the web because people are enthusiastic enough about that content to share it with their networks in such a way that the enthusiasm builds and it gets shared again and again.

This viral nature of some content is the result of the opposite of hesitation. It is the result of people participating in the social media flow and influencing their networks with the content that they share.

The viral nature is merely the result of a groundswell of people contributing their small bit to the overall conversation.

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Photo by Kris Krug

So if you’re sitting there staring at the edge of the blinking cursor on your computer screen wondering what to do next, let me tell you, it’s easy.

Search for the things or people that move you, that make you enthusiastic, personal, professional, experimental, whatever it is that you’re looking for, and engage that content or those people.

Contribute. Participate. People are waiting for you without even knowing it.

And if you got it in you create some original content and share it with your followers, friends and acquaintances, then do it!

But get out there and participate with the web. It’s called social media for a reason.

It’s the only way that you’ll learn what to do next.

 

 

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About Sean Cranbury

Sean Cranbury is a Director at Monkeytree Creative specializing in social media communication and cat jokes. Sean is an award-winning events programmer for his W2 Real Vancouver Writer's Series. He hosts a radio show called Books on the Radio on CJSF 90.1 FM and volunteers for the W2 Community Media Arts Society in Vancouver's downtown east side.