All my life I have been a fiction reader. I have been the flag-bearer of the ideology that a book is supposed to transport you to another world, a world full of magic and hope and all things that end happily. But all of this changed completely when a close friend forced me to read the famous “How to win friends and Influence people”. Now, we all know that this a quintessential book for anyone who remotely associate themselves as an entrepreneur and that is exactly what I too had assumed before reading it; A stereotypical book on “how to be..”. But of course, I was underestimating Mr. Carnegie. Not only this book totally changed my way of thinking and hence my life but also made me realise how wrong I was about a lot of things be it professional or personal.
This quintessential book turned into a sacred manuscript that I would read before any business trip or a meeting. I would make sure to carry it along with me wherever I went and find time to read abstracts from it whenever possible. Recently, though, one of the strangest things happened when I was cruising through this book for the nth time. It struck me how every single word made so much sense when put into perspective for a social media strategy. I suddenly realised how every single word if implemented could make any brand or individual win the social media game.
So here I am giving you all my interpretation of “How to win friends and influence people” on Social Media:
“How to make people like you instantly” : Dale Carnegie, in this book, goes on and on about how you can win people if you can simply arouse a ‘feeling of want’ in them and this can be easily done by making them feel that their opinions and desires are of the utmost importance. This is so very true offline as well as online. So if you are a brand who is bombarding its audience with your own opinions and achievements, you are sure to lose out on the engagement. But then what should you be doing? The answer is audience-engagement analysis. Study your audience’s liking patterns. Study your competitors who are doing well on social media and analyse what makes your audience go ga-ga over them. Social media is all about repackaging your content into something that your audience wants to hear and expects (secretly) from you.
“If you want to gather Honey don’t kick over the beehive” : It is obvious that brands are slowly shifting towards a more focused social media strategy that aims to garner attention from a defined audience than just thriving on getting viral. While you identify a specific audience you also realise that there are certain key people with whom you want to converse. These key people are the ‘influencers’ for your brand. One retweet or share from them and you are good to go. The best way to tap into your influencers and build a network is to work towards establishing a rapport with them and nothing can beat a nice tweet or post praising and appreciating them about something that they have recently done. Works wonders!
“If you’re wrong, Admit it!” : Social media is an all day all night job. As a brand there are multiple posts to share everyday and it is just human to make mistakes. The not so good part about making mistakes in your social media posts is that they instantly get noticed and then suddenly you realise that there are thousands of people talking and debating about it. Sometimes what you post is also misconstrued that suddenly offends a lot of people. The best way to handle this situation is to admit it. Coming up with a subsequent post where you accept your fault and apologise will help you, in fact, connect with your audience more and help you overcome the backlash. How you do it could be as creative as you want it to be!
Dale Carnegie’s How to win friends and influence people was first published in 1936 and became an overnight sensation. Till date it is regarded as one of the best books in the history of writing and publishing. Entire credit of this article’s idea and the heading of each paragraph goes to Dale Carnegie. The interpretations of his chapters with respect to social media are my own and are something that I have learnt over the years with practical experience. Hope you enjoy this article and be sure to leave suggestions and your thoughts on this in the comment section!