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Engaging people in the modern world

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At one time it was enough to have colleagues and friends. Now we are expected to ‘engage’ people through social media and in other ways. We have LinkedIn for our professional profile and connections. Facebook for  less formal ‘friends’ and there are various community groups we can join, rather than going down the pub.

There is also other forms of electronic means to engage with people. You can have a blog on WordPress or BlogSpot, you can ‘engage’ with people through email, chat to them via Skype and join Facebook groups. You can even engage, just by liking a page on Facebook.

Cell phones are another way of ‘engaging’ with people too. You can talk, but it’s more fun to text and update your social networks. You can tell the world what you’re having for breakfast with a less than 140 character tweet.  Grab their attention by doing something unusual like:

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On Facebook and Twitter, you can use hash tags to give your Tweet something in common with other Tweets. You can even use the hash tag for sarcastic reasons.  Mention some idiot politician and follow it with the hash tag #tosser…

The way to get noticed and build a good reputation is to think about what you can do for others, rather than what they can do for you. Engage them by offering them something, like some help. Be nice to people online as you would offline.

Once you have established a relationship with people, then you can ask for a small favour, but even then you can’t presume on their good nature. I’ve been asked to do a lot of things. I was asked for permission to use my photographs. I gave it, because it was for a small local business and I even gave them a free advert on my site. People who ask me to write for them for free, up front, without building a relationship are likely to be ignored. People who offer to write for me for free are engaging and building a relationship. I do what I can to help them in return; that makes sense. They are helping to enhance my online reputation and I do the same for them. The same applies to other help. I have done editing for others too or offered help with their studies. It’s about engagement, making friends, but with the limitations that online relationships usually have.

Even writing a comment on this post is a form of social engagement. Why not give it a try? You can also follow me on Twitter.

Social engagement is presenting an image and influencing the way that people perceive you online. Offline you need to appear well groomed and presentable; online you need to have a presentable profile. Offline you need to consider voluntary work or something that involves helping people to successfully engage them. Online, think about helping people too.

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