tips when joining a social media conversation
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10 tips when joining a social media conversation 6
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10 tips when joining a social media conversation 7

Do you want to join an ongoing social media conversation, like Twitter chats, but don’t know where, or how, to begin?

Social media is an open platform where anyone can just jump in a conversation that is already ongoing.

Truth be told, I find online conversation easier than real life conversation. Yep, classic introvert!

Oddly, I tend to be more confident networking in real life now than I used to.

What helped that is social media. I don’t know if there is a science that would explain my experience, but that is how it is with me.

That said, how do you join an ongoing conversation, though?

Is there a perfect moment?

Do I have to be “friends” of the people who are chatting already?

Do I have to be an expert on the topic?

Social Media Conversation | “Backing in” like an Elephant

If you are struggling or unsure of how to jump in an ongoing conversation online, or in real life, have you heard about the metaphor of backing in?

It’s something that elephants do, apparently.

I learned about this fascinating elephant story from other friends.

So here is the story…

When a herd of elephants approaches a waterhole that already is occupied by another herd of elephants, the lead elephant of the approaching herd does not go in with its head (or snout) first.

Do you know what it does?

The leader of the new herd turns around and “backs in'” toward the water hole and uses his/her backside as to make room for him/her group.

What does the rest of the elephants already in the water hole do?

They would slowly move to make room for him/her and the arriving herd.

The point? It is a good practice to always “back in” when joining the conversation in a way that is positive, and with an attitude of a learner.

Perfect Timing…What?!

Are you waiting for the perfect moment? There is no such a thing.

Take the initiative to be part of a social media conversation!

It all starts with a “Hi, I’m__________!” and a mental note that you should “back in.”

How to join any on-going social media conversation

…without putting your foot in your mouth

The following tips that I culled are from social businesses that were part of Buffer‘s #bufferchat.

These are examples of what “backing in” is all about.

Buffer asked:

What are your best strategies for jumping into conversations?

  1. Don’t hijack it [twitter chat] with your own hashtag or link! ~ @SocialSMktg
  2. Be friendly! Pretend it’s real-life conversation; remember there’s a great human on the other side. ~ @maxwelllauren
  3. Doing so without a sales pitch. Genuine willingness to help or have a positive interaction ~ @MattQuanstrom
  4. Read through and catch up on what you missed, and simply JUMP IN! Also, reach out to others. ~ @Pearl_Capital
  5. Have a friendly profile photo and be sure recent tweets/shares show helpfulness and that you’re not creepy/pushy. ~ @dan_shure
  6. When jumping into someone else’s conversation, be polite. Just as you would say “excuse me” when doing this IRL. ~ @mention
  7. Jump right in. Keep it fun and casual. Most are happy to welcome you to the discussion (unless you’re hard-selling). ~ @BeerBrewin
  8. Key word there is “relevant.” Very important to have permission to insert your brand. Use sparingly. ~ @dgimgiss
  9. Do your research on the topic and be open to learning from other people. ~ @emagineKrystal
  10. Focus on what the contact is/wants to talk about. What you want to say is irrelevant at the start. ~ @Matt_Aunger
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It’s a Wrap!

What tip would you give any company that is new and is unsure of how to join a social media conversation?

Need help making your social media work?

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