Another year, and an incredible 12 months its been in the world of social media too.
Lots of businesses, solo entrepreneurs and marketers will be reviewing 2010 and looking on in amazement at the reach, influence, and increasing power of social media platforms.
So, for the last look at the year, I was thinking: what can Christmas teach us about social media?
* When you give, you receive
One of the biggest joys of Christmas is to see the looks on the faces of the ones you love and care for when they open the gifts you've given them. The reward this gives back is incredible. And social media is the same - if you approach it solely with a "Me Me Me" attitude, you're going to get less joy, enjoyment, and (crucially) reward from your social media engagement.
* Remember the important stuff
Christmas is, for me, all about remembering the important stuff, the things that count, which give us a reason to get up and tackle each day afresh. Social media is similar - remember the important things, the connections that count, the wonderful people that re-tweet you, comment on your blogs, and mention you in their networks. This IS important.
* Take time out for people
The Festive Season is a time when we're all able to give a bit more time to friends, family, and those who really matter to us. The busy hectic schedule of day-to-day life is on hold briefly, and we can focus on giving quality time. Your engagement on social media should reflect this - it's about the quality, not quantity, of what you give.
* Celebrate the good times
Christmas has a knack of making us all reflect and ponder things from the previous year. We look back and (hopefully) celebrate the brilliant stuff, whilst learning from the mistakes and tough times. You'd do well to emulate this in your social media efforts: keep learning, observing, and don't forget to celebrate the good times.
* Relax and enjoy it
During the Christmas holidays, we'll all hopefully get the opportunity to relax and simply enjoy being there. Focused on family, friends and food. Social media should be the similar - by relaxing, being yourself and enjoying the journey, being part of the ride that is social media engagement, it becomes far more enjoyable, worthwhile, and fruitful.
* Listening - the most valuable communication skill
Whether gathered round the Christmas Lunch table, around the television with an afternoon movie, or walking across the beach/fields/woods to work off the grub with family and friends, this time of year is when listening becomes really important: and, funnily enough, with daily distractions reduced, our listening skills often seem to improve. Make sure you're listening effectively on social media platforms - if you focus on broadcasting at people, they'll soon lose interest.
All that aside, I'd like to say a big thank you to my followers, readers, commentators and the incredible network of marketers, agencies, solo entrepreneurs, and businesses who have engaged with me during 2010.
It is very much appreciated.