[Experience] 5 Things I have learnt about social media interactions

I am someone who spends a lot of her time scrolling through social media platforms, especially Facebook. A few months ago, I used to be super active on Snapchat, and I generally feel Instagram is a super fun application that’s great for documentation. Twitter is perhaps that one thing I am not very sure about anymore. The amount of hatred and the ease with which it spreads on Twitter is something I would rather stay away from. However, it’s a great tool to keep track of the latest happenings! In this blog, I will talk about the 5 lessons I have learnt from my social media interactions with people I care about, people I work with and total strangers. Since I use Facebook the most for such interactions, a majority of what I am writing about here deals with comment threads.

When seeking opinions, make people feel important

It is the one golden rule I always abide by. Why should anyone stop and help me in between their non-stop scrolling session? They should that feel it’s important enough, that they are important enough. Put out the incentive, join the conversation, be responsive. It helps, a lot!

How do I know?

In an attempt to get people to contribute poems for something I was working on, I had put up a status, where two people had replied by sharing their original poems! The interesting bit here is that one of them is a complete stranger, except for the one mutual friend we have (who had tagged him)!

Be responsive and ask follow-up questions

This is an extension to the above point for this helps in building your sample of respondents. These people then willingly shares their experiences with you. Also, when you ask follow-up questions, people tend to think harder and say much more than they might have originally intended to share. This also helps you in shaping a simple comment thread into an interview. Trust me, it works like magic and adds so much value to whatever you are working on.

How do I know?

To understand the way people watch Hindi soaps (on TV or on applications) for an assignment, I had put up a status. A friend while participating in the conversation mentioned something about news channels being best viewed on TV as the applications are inconvenient because of the buffering involved. Now, this was in no way directly related to the topic I was working on but added a lot of value to my background research.

A lot can happen over a share

Although it might seem borderline stalking, you shouldn’t feel guilty, because it’s not! When you have put some content that you wish to reach out to a large number of people with, keep a track of what conversations happen on the shared links. Check the comments and participate in the conversation if a person is seeking some information. However, this comes with a slight condition that the person who had shared your post should be a friend, willing to let you have the space on the shared post.

How do I know?

The other day while working on managing an event, I entered various conversations on shared post (of friends), answering the doubts that had cropped up in the comments. In the end, it actually helped me in getting a couple of new participants for the event!

Always give credits and tag people 

I always tag people to credit them while sharing the article in which I have used their opinion. This helps in two ways — they feel important and their friends too feel interested in getting featured, which expands my sample size.

How do I know?

One of my seniors helped me in connecting with his friend for a story, who willingly talked to me for she had seen him being featured in one of my stories. Voila, done deal indeed!

Try keeping a professional tone but be real

Now this is slightly difficult if you are dealing with your friends in the comments section but it is always a good idea to keep your tone professional or at least neutral. However, sometimes it helps to be very casual as well. I guess the most important part is to stay true to the way you interact with them normally.

How do I know?

Wouldn’t your friends be horrified if you start talking to them very nicely, especially when you want something?!


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