by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief of Social Media Strategy at xynoMedia
I was watching an episode of Rick Steves Europe on the Create channel and he traveled to a place called Ephesus in West Turkey (yes, as in Ephesians and Paul from the Bible). In that place, there is a library called the Library of Celsus where there are four statues of women. Those statues represent the virtues of knowledge, friendship, understanding and wisdom.
(Don't worry, this isn't going to be a religious post.)
When I heard Rick Steves' guest Mehlika Seval mention these virtues I thought it really interesting that these are some of the same virtues that can help one become successful in their social media pursuits.
Knowledge. You need some degree of knowledge about your subject matter to write a blog, host a podcast or otherwise spread your know-how throughout the blogosphere. I have found that the people who fare the worst with social media are people who are "newbies" to an industry or craft and don't have enough "ins and outs" to share.
Friendship. It's so important to have a friendly conversational tone when using social media. Whether it's Facebook or Twitter, you "catch more flies with honey". No one wants to be around a perpetual grump. I should know, this is a fine line I walk all the time myself :)
Understanding. It takes a fair amount of understanding the social scape and in general "how things work", to make effective use of social technologies. You don't have to be a social media whiz (in fact, it's best if you stick to your knitting), but you CAN understand the basics. It's kinda like you do with finances. You don't have to be a CPA, but you do need to know how to read a balance, cash flow and/or profit and loss sheet.
Wisdom. If you're not already wise, social media will give you some quick lessons that will stay with you for the rest of your life. It's amazing how the lessons you learn by interacting with myriad people translate into other areas of your life. For example, one of the first things you'll learn (if you're paying attention) is when to walk away and when to avoid online drama...and when to make an example out of someone ;-)
P.S. I could be presenting with Baat Enosh from @NCWIT at #SXSW next year! Vote for my panel here. (Hint: Just click the "thumbs up" button at the top. Quick registration is required before you vote.)