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The Golden Rule Of Successful Social Engagement

Facebook status update by Robert Scoble on social engagement

Robert Scoble recently called out all of the people who complain about the lack of response to their posts--those very same people who don’t take the time to respond to posts made by others in their network.

It's a pretty basic concept--if you're going to expect people to engage with you, you also have to engage with them.

When you don't, then  you have a fundamental tear in the fabric that defines the essence of social media. 

As soon as I read his comment on Facebook, the first thought that popped into my mind was that guy from the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

The guy who is in the band but doesn’t sing or play an instrument.

The guy who dances his ass off as long as the music is playing.

I’ve never quite figured out who he is or why he dances, I just know he’s totally engaged

Continuing on the music riff, the second thought that came to mind was old school hip hop. If you look back to the early days of rap, most artists had a hype man—someone like Flava Flav (see the guy wearing the clock around his neck in the video clip below) who would get up on stage and really get the crowd going.

He might repeat some lyrics.

He might wave a towel.

He might do both.

Like the dancing guy from the Bosstones, the hip hop hype man was always totally engaged.

But let’s bring things back to social media.

Scoble is exactly right. The only way to have meaningful conversations and develop meaningful connections is for people to get involved—to amplify others just as much as they would want someone to amplify them.

When the people we care enough to follow post interesting content, we need to be that guy dancing his ass off from the Bosstones. We need to be that hype man that old school hip hop groups used to get the crowd growing. 

We’re way past the point of sitting on the sidelines and waiting for everyone else to engage with our content when we’re not willing to extend them the same courtesy.

And it all starts with us being better followers. After all, if we’re looking for a little social love, we need to give a little social love—the Golden Rule of successful social engagement.


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