Thursday, July 08, 2010

Social Media: Positivity Is Powerful

For those of us with profiles on multiple social networking sites you know that a person's attitude makes a huge difference to the amount of attention you pay to that person. If there's a person in your twitter feed always posting negative or depressing tweets, you may start to ignore them, or just unfollow them all together. I can say I have done that myself, on more than one occasion. But have you taken a look at your own tweets? Are you falling into the negativity trap that many in social media fall into? This week at the #140conf, Tal Yaniv gave a talk on positivity in social media. And a few of his suggestions may help you become a more positive presence in your social network.

As I mentioned before, we can all think of someone within our network that is quite negative. But can you think of someone who is always positive? Can you think of a business with an online presence that is really positive? Now when you compare the options, wouldn't you rather talk to/buy from/associate with a company/friend/co-worker with a positive attitude and outlook instead of someone who drags your mood down?

Tal Yaniv suggests,

entirely removing all allusions to negativity from your social network posts. Try to say what you want to say without using the word no or not, without the prefixes un- or non-, without any hint of negativity or pessimism. Not only will this keep your tweets and status updates on the positive side, but it will also shorten your tweets, making it easier to fit within the 140 character limit!

He also suggests thinking about how you phrase things. Instead of using the negative "don't" to tell someone not to do something, or to avoid something, maybe try rephrasing it so it sounds positive.

If the child’s parent says, “Be careful! Don’t spill your juice on the carpet!” this only puts the idea of spilling juice in the child’s mind, making it more likely for the child to spill the juice. Now the child is only thinking of spilling. That is the wrong way to go. A much better way for the parent to phrase that sentence would be “Hold on to your juice!” or “Keep the carpet clean!” This puts the idea of a clean carpet and a safe, un-spilled cup of juice in the child’s head. When using your social networks, think about your phrasing and try to put only good and positive images in your readers’ minds.

Your mood is contagious, even online. If you want to give off a positive impression to people you may need to work at it. Whether your promoting your personal or corporate blog, tweeting from a company account like Tech Army, or using facebook to communicate with your family, remember, a little positivity goes a long way.

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