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How to Win Friends and Influence People… in Social Media (Exclusive Summary)

How to Win Friends and Influence People… in Social Media (Exclusive Summary)
Read the full e-book: http://bit.ly/winfriends-sm

By Brian Cugelman, PhD (www.cugelman.com) and Matthew Potter (www.askmatthewpotter.com)

Back in 1936, when Dale Carnegie published his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, he could never have anticipated it would become one of the first bestselling self-help books, selling a huge 15 million (and counting…) copies worldwide.

Dale's classic book on interpersonal communication provides concrete advice on how to handle people—how to encourage them to like you, to win them over to your way of thinking, and how to become an inspiring leader. Although the world has drastically changed since Dale Carnegie originally published How to Win Friends and influence people, 75 years ago, his classic book is just as relevant to online communication and persuasive social media engagement.

With social media platforms becoming the dominant online channels, demand for community managers is rapidly growing. By the term community manager, we mean the member of staff who builds, manages, and grows communities around an organization, its products, services, or causes. As community managers and other digitally-engaged staff can easily gain more eminence than their CEOs,  it’s essential that organizations adopt communication practices that can help them ‘win friends and influence people’, rather than deploy tactics that ‘lose friends and infuriate people’.

If Dale Carnegie were to take a community manager job today, we’re pretty sure he would have had no problem mastering his ‘new’ role. Sure, he would have to learn new technical skills and spend some time getting familiar with various online channels, but as a master in the art of handling people, Dale would know what to communicate and how to communicate it.

If Dale Carnegie were to take a community manager job today.

To simplify Dale Carnegie’s advice on handling people, we have taken 31 of his principles and merged them into just 10 groups. If Dale were alive today, we’re sure his advice to community managers would look something like this:

1. Be a good listener - Whether you’re aiming to influence one person, a market segment, or an entire group, feedback is your key to success. In social media, it can be more effective to let the other people do a great deal of the talking, rather than dominating discussions yourself. This way, you’ll be able to gain a deeper understanding of their interests, motivations, and needs. This insight will allow you to formulate a stronger position, articulate a better response and satisfy the needs and interests of your stakeholders.

2. Genuinely talk in terms of the other person’s interests - One of the easiest ways for community managers to engage prospective audiences is to focus on issues that their target audiences already find interesting. It’s difficult to interest a person in something they consider dull. However, despite this, many organizations still use social media to disseminate content that their target audiences find irrelevant. In order to be more engaging, you’ll have to find ways to link your products, services, or social causes to the issues that already motivate your target audiences.

3. Arouse in the other person an eager want - When you are introducing a new idea or proposal, you’ll have to find a way to make people feel happy to do what you suggest. If you approach them in the wrong way, it’s easy to arouse resentment and resistance. So if you want to make a lasting impression, you can't just tell someone to do something, rather, you must get them to want to do what you are suggesting. To inspire internal desire, you may want to let people come up with solutions themselves or foster their ownership of an idea. While this is happening, be sure to praise and recognize all their progress towards the target behaviours.

4. Make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely - We all need to feel respected, and often the mere perception that we are being disrespected, even if we are not, can cause a long-lasting resentment. To make an impact in social media, you’ll be more successful if you can make the people you are dealing with feel important. One way to achieve this is by demonstrating honest and sincere appreciation. It must be sincere: Fake complements can cause more harm than good, as many people will instantly spot manipulative flattery.

5. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires - In social media you may, and probably will, often disagree with what other people have said. When responding, you must be sympathetic to the other person’s ideas and desires. Although you may not share their frame of reference, your response will be more palatable if you can frame it within their way of thinking. One way to achieve this is to try and honestly see things from their point of view. By placing yourself in their shoes and showing sensitivity to their views, people will be more likely to reciprocate, by seeing things from your point of view too.

6. Begin in a friendly way - Whenever you need to ask someone to do something, or to deliver bad news, or you need to respond to negative comments, always start out in a friendly and respectful way. The trick here is to include sincere praise and honest appreciation before expressing your message. Also, people are far more receptive when you ask them to do something rather than tell them to do it.

7. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly - If you are dealing with an individual who has posted a comment that clearly contains a mistake, they will be more likely to accept your response if you address their mistake in a diplomatic and indirect way. Even when people are flat-out wrong, they’ll be embarrassed and potentially defensive if you are too direct in your correction. If you must be direct, move the discussion offline—the last thing you want to do is embarrass someone in public and risk driving them to defend their honour by attacking yours.

8. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it - In social media, it’s ok to publicly express disagreements and different views, but arguments should be avoided. By arguments, we mean intellectual wars where at least one of the parties is emotionally committed to winning some intellectual contest, and ensuring their opponent loses. No matter who is right or wrong, more harm will often result from open arguments, especially those in social media. This does not mean you should avoid defending yourself or your organization if it’s slandered or falsely accused of a scandal or crime. It means that if you want to get the better of an argument, don’t argue! Be creative and find another way to respond.

9. If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically - Though few people or organizations easily admit their faults, criticisms of your person or organization may come from legitimate frustrations. When an organization’s management are out of step with their customers’ needs and values, defending any questionable practice may cause more harm than good. Before a problem grows, address it, fix it, and move on. If you attempt to repress or hide issues your customers find frustrating, your problems may grow, and potentially blow out of proportion.

10. Smile - Believe it or not, the way you look online will impact how people relate to your social media profiles and online properties. Your smile affects how people perceive you in person. Similarly, a friendly and professional looking social media profile can inspire a greater sense of goodwill and trust towards your profile. In social media, you need to present a credible photograph with a profile that demonstrates your expertise and trustworthiness, but that also presents a friendly approachable person, as demonstrated by your smile.

Just think about the last time you've witnessed someone breaking these key principles and found themselves missing obvious opportunities or worse, finding themselves embroiled in a useless conflict. As timeless wisdom, these 10 principles will help you win friends and influence people in social media or whatever technology you use to connect with others.

Read the full e-book: http://bit.ly/winfriends-sm





Join The Conversation

  • Vivienne Storey's picture
    Aug 5 Posted 4 years ago Vivienne Storey

    Great article thank you - I've espousing this idea for a while and it's great to have it so clearly articulated. I also agree with Renay in that "everything old is new again". Social media provides us with such a great opportunity to connect directly with our customers.

    All the best


  • Kent Ong's picture
    Aug 3 Posted 4 years ago Kent Ong

    Great to share this. I am big fan of Dale Carnegie, until today. And I just blogged about the same topic "Why You Need Dale Carnegie When You Use Linkedin"



  • sabrinagage's picture
    Aug 1 Posted 4 years ago sabrinagage

    I have joined your linkedin group, which is a nice gourps for us to talking about social media. Interaction in social media is the same with the communication in real world. Provide useful information to others, increase your exposure in social media and help others are good ways to win firends.

  • Jul 31 Posted 4 years ago rmpicard01

    I couldn't agree with this more wholeheartedly! Many people have a tendency to look at social media as this new thing and think that there is some mystique involved in approaching it correctly. That couldn't be further from the truth.

    I am a firm believer that "everything old is new again." Many eons ago, small businesses (and even large ones) interacted directly with their customers, talking to them about products and listening to customer feedback in a very live and personal way. We got so far away from that with TV advertising and mass campaigns.

    But with social media, we're finally getting back to it. We can now interact with customers again, we can hear their concerns, address their problems and acknowledge the positive feedback. And the Dale Carnegie principles apply to this "new" medium as they have for years.

    Thanks for the great post, Brian!


    Renay Picard

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