THE BLOG
09/15/2014 01:39 pm ET Updated Nov 15, 2014

3 Things About Social Media You Should Have Known From Life

Life was not meant to be easy, and you can multiply that if you're a brand working to be effective on social media. To begin with, you're not even a real person. You're a brand. And likely not a passion brand at that (hey, not everyone can be the NBA), you're a brand that makes cheese, or toilet paper or some such. And yes, people love eating cheese, and they undoubtedly need and appreciate toilet paper. But talking to or about either? Things get pretty dicey pretty fast.

1. No one cares if you're Remarkable

'Be remarkable', the adage says. Because people love people who are smarter/faster/more successful than they are. Right. When was the last time you were dazzled by someone showcasing or explaining how remarkable they were?

Try never.

'Remarkable' content, while wonderful in theory, is not sustainable in practice (or even to the point). Messages resonate when they empower an audience to express how remarkable they are, or to share a message to others that makes them look good or remarkably funny/ interesting/ cluey. The very best conversationalists are the people who let people talk about themselves: their hopes, their accomplishments, their opinions. That's just as true for a person as it is for a brand.

2. If You Talk When No One is Listening, People Will Not 'Like' You

You know that guy standing on the street with his bluetooth headset, having a loud debate with someone? You've probably judged him, or at least walked a little faster to get away from the sound of his voice. I know I have.

Now, notice that he doesn't actually have a headset in, but he's still talking. Who's he talking to? Perhaps you've started to walk a little faster.

Now, imagine that he - rather than letting you walk away - chases after you and tries to loop you in to his conversation, and keeps asking for your opinion and showing you images and videos.
If you think that's creepy, think about what actually happens to people when you add media dollars to unpopular social content, forcing it into people's faces. After all, if they didn't like the music at low level, they are SURE to love it at full blast, right?

This is why people don't 'Like' you.

3. It's Like Walking Into a Party (Full of People you don't know) -and the same rules apply

We've all been there. You've arrived at a party invited by a friend, your friend is nowhere to be seen and you don't know a soul. And everyone knows everyone, and they're laughing and chatting and having the best time. You grab a drink, make eye contact with a few people in hopes that someone will notice how uncomfortable you are and make small talk. But in return you get nothing, not even an acknowledgement that you're human. The world can be cruel.

Now - you're a grownup so you can't just flee like a scared little kid, but you can't mingle either. What to do? Finally, you get the nerve to cut in on a conversation, nod a few times at whatever that person's saying, then everyone erupts after a joke so you start laughing too. And even though they're thinking, 'who is this guy who's just jumped in and started laughing at that joke even though he didn't even hear it?', you've finally breached the perimeter. You're in!

So you listen as much as you can first, trying to get to know what people are talking about, who they all are, and jump in to add value if and when the opportunity arises - not before.

You've entered the conversation successfully, and if you add value enough times you will eventually find the right moment to tell people more about you, and you may even make a few new friends.