Insightful social tips from a few of my most influential Twitter followers – Ted Rubin, Amber Osborne and Joe Moran

Some Blog posts are easier than others, that’s for sure. While most flow fairly effortlessly, others require more think time. When it came to choosing my final Blog post topic for the year, I had moment for pause. I obviously want to finish on a strong note, and since January I’ve covered a broad range of issues, from thought leadership, to Twitter tips, to putting your skills to work as a volunteer. As an interesting aside, my most popular Blog posts this year: East of what? Getting a regional comms program right, closely followed by: Are we a society of voyeurs? How lethargy has become the deadliest viral trend. Read into that what you will…

In any case, while Predictions for 2014 seemed the logical choice, there have been a plethora of those, and I don’t think I could have written anything more insightful than what John Kultgen wrote here: Top 10 Social Media Predictions for 2014 (Based on 2013 Moments).

So… what then? ‘Lessons learnt’ was the suggestion from my beautiful girlfriend, who also happens to be a Comms Pro! After all, how can you predict the future without acknowledging from whence we came!?

I decided I’d reach out to some of my most influential followers to ask them their no.1 lesson learnt on social media. Ted, Amber and Joe were kind enough to offer their wisdom. They have a combined followerbase of 200,000 and each has a Klout score over 70! Needless to say, they’re kinda good at this!

Ted Rubin (AKA @TedRubin, and leading Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist and Acting CMO of Brand Innovators) says:Relationships are like muscle tissue… the more they are engaged, the stronger and more valuable they become.”

Such a simple observation, yet so powerful. If you don’t nurture your community and the individuals within it, they’ve got plenty of other options out there. You have to give them a reason to be a co-investor in what you are putting online. If you don’t you will find your social experience rather lonely and I suspect that is why many early adopters and enthusiasts pulled back from their social outreach after jumping on board originally, hoping followers would join them just because they ran a cute competition.

Amber Osborne (AKA @MissDestructo, and CMO of @Meshfire) says:I would have to say the biggest lesson is learn to just step away from it all once in awhile.”

Once again – not earth shattering in and of itself, but something I can attest to. When you are in community, you tend to get wrapped up thinking that community is your world and you get an unreal sense of sentiment because it largely centres around ‘like interests’. Stepping away from your computer or turning your phone off every now and then is ultra important in achieving balance in perspective and conversation, which in turn leads to more authentic engagement.

Joe Moran (AKA @JoeSaidSo, and Communications and Technology Director @TrueColorsFund @WeGiveaDamn @FortytoNone) says: “Connecting with people in real life strengthens digital bonds more than any meme, retweet, or share ever could.”

This is key. I love social, but it will never replace personal interaction for me. It’s fantastic for scale, but intimacy is much harder to attain. I also find that many of my relationships in the real world aren’t mimicked online. Still, bringing the digital to life in the coming year is something I have planned. Because personal and digital relationships don’t necessarily cross over, there is plenty to lose if you don’t nurture both independently and collectively.

FINALLY, it’d be remiss if I didn’t also share my biggest social media learning for the year!

Me, Aaron Crowther (AKA @ASCommsTweeter, and #CommsPro working in Sydney, Australia): Building trust online takes time, and relationships forged in community – even longer! I’m pleased to say, I’ve had several thousand visitors to commspro.me this year but it’s still early days. Who knows if I’ll ever be in the same bracket as Ted, Amber or Joe, but in 2014 – I will be focusing on further exploring the issues that matter most to my community, so please, if you’ve got feedback for me, or want to suggest a topic to cover, don’t be shy!

Seth Goddin was recently quoted in BRW when asked about the funding of his book through Kickstarter. He said this, “the bad news is that it only took four hours for my Kickstarter to reach my goal, but really it took eight years. Eight years of me showing up everyday on my blog, earning a tribe and earning permission and earning trust.” It’s a lesson for all of us. You don’t need a DeLorean time machine to get your head around it. Getting your communication right, takes patience, thought and a whole lot of determination!

– My name is Aaron Crowther. Follow me on Twitter @ascommstweeter

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