Those Who Share Win
Human beings are wired to belong. Scholars like Maslow and Alderfer have through their research provided evidence to support this reality. There are times when we may want to be alone but that’s not our dominant and normal mode. Professionals who understand this use the knowledge to achieve above average results. Marketers and Public Relations practitioners are among them. Social media are thriving because it is in our nature to not only belong but to also show off. People who help you achieve this tend to secure a privileged space in your heart. As they help you meet your social and psychological needs which can enhance your economic well-being, you feel obligated to them and may go the extra mile to help them even when it is not convenient for you.
The evidence we have, however, indicates that group members strategize to get more than they contribute. This reflects man’s natural tendency to defend his intelligence by ensuring that he outsmarts everyone in his group if he can. Watch politicians play their game and you understand this. Man has the tendency to believe that if he gets less than he is contributing, others might take him for a ride and render him an underdog. So we work hard to escape vulnerability. This is, however, the beginning of trouble for a lot of people. Interestingly, it is in letting go that we get what we want. This paradox is difficult for people from very competitive environments to appreciate and respect. The point being made here is that the way forward for most of us is in giving but not as of necessity. We must, however, give what will make a positive difference in the life of the receiver.
Sharing your friends’ posts is a form of giving. Information may be more helpful than money to both the author of the post and your network members who will receive it when you share the post. You would have noticed, however, that more ‘liking’ than ‘sharing’ goes on everywhere you turn on the social media. This is largely because people follow the crowd and most network members do not really know the effects of their clicks. When you share, you are implicitly also liking. But merely liking will not amount to sharing which is what gives posts the greatest mileage possible.
Some don’t share out of envy and to prevent the author of the post from gaining mileage or to prevent friends from getting information that makes them feel powerful- knowing what others do not know. I can confirm this from my teaching experience. Some of my students for example, refuse to tell their friends about the programme we run so they can have competitive advantage over them. Life is funny. Friends prefer to be above you and get some psychological satisfaction from watching you suffer and giving you helping hand. Ditto for your family members. Many of your friends wonder why they are not the ones who got lucky even when they publicly congratulate you. Society compounds the problem. Our tendency is to compare people we know and reach conclusions regarding who is smart and who is not, most of the time using material and ephemeral things to reach judgement. So some of your friends may not share good news about you in the effort to protect themselves from unfavourable judgement. Such people hate being vulnerable but may be unrealistically hoping that their inaction will stop positive developments about you from finding the wings to fly around.
If you want your posts to be shared, ask your friends to do so. Don’t assume that they will do this on their own. I guess you know why. Ask and it shall be given unto you. Not everyone will deliver and you may not realize 100% of your target. Don’t worry about that. Rome truly was not built in a day. Be comfortable with uncertainty and consider your imperfections, a gift. Most winners have this mindset. Some of your friends may make uncomplimentary remarks about your post. Ignore them. You may wish to read some of the works of Pema Chodron, and Brene Brown so you can deal with some of the vulnerability issues that hold you back. Not everyone will like you and the things you do. Be compassionate in the face of such provocation. The people who attack you may be going through troubled times and displacing their aggression on you. Google “defense mechanism” and learn more about this. Responding to such people will waste your time and distract you. When you seek praise, you court trouble. Objectively evaluate the comments. Learn and improve if you find them useful but don’t feel you are under compulsion to respond. Responding will give the negative remarks wings and put people who don’t like you in the driver’s seat. This is not what you want. You lay landmines against yourself if you seek praise all the time. Interestingly, highly successful people tend to opt for growth over success. That’s why they succeed. It’s a paradox that you can try to learn more about.
The good news is that a significant percentage of your network members truly like you and will be happy if you are doing well. Count on those ones but they may not be in the majority. They will share your posts willingly and without conditions. Some who don’t like you, will also share your post because they don’t want you to discover that they are not desperate to help you succeed.
If you want your posts shared by many, get your trusted friends to do so immediately you send it out. But know that losses and catastrophes are generally shared faster than gains and works of saints. Ask journalists, they will tell you that what people want to hear is that “man bites dog” and not the reverse which is not strange. Strange things sell including when people like infants who can’t defend themselves are bitten by dogs as it happened recently in Sunderland, UK where a 3 week old baby was bitten by a dog and died as a result of that. About 200,000 people a year get bitten by dogs in England annually. The ones that involve babies tend to get reported by the mass media.
The value of your network matters in terms of what sharing on social media can bring to you. Reference is being made here to social capital which has a lot to do with who your parents are. But there is a place for human agency which makes it possible for an individual from a very lowly economic and social background to rise to stardom and garner a very rich social network. The aristocrats resist such people but tolerate them if they are indispensable because of their uncommon knowledge and skills.
When you write your messages for the social media and for any other medium, know that the first and the last items in your message tend to get remembered the most. We call this primacy and recency effects in professional communication. Also note that contrasts and odd things attract attention a lot. Regular dogs are not as attention grabbing as very small or very big dogs or a cat in the midst of dogs.
Sharing which is another name for giving is reciprocal. You feel obligated to give unto those who give unto you. My clients who let their friends benefit from the training platform my firm provides are usually the first to know when we have new opportunities. Those who share this article are in for a similar treatment especially if they connect with me on the social media I have accounts with like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
The mileage you get when you post depends largely on your reputation. So do everything within your powers to guard your reputation jealously. Losing it amounts to compromising everything. Don’t let short term gains make you give it away even when you are in difficult financial circumstances. It is a robust reputation that can help you recover from setbacks and losses. So keep your promises and endeavour to under-promise and over-deliver.
The quality of your communication is also critical. So is the credibility of your message. You will therefore do well to invest in the acquisition of skills that can guarantee that your messages possess those qualities. You may want to take advantage of an opportunity that will be available soon to acquire those skills along with professional certification. I will serve as the Head of Faculty at the programme. Click here to learn how it will work and secure a place.
If you tag some of your trusted friends when you post, you gain more mileage. This is because they get notified of your post and their engagement with it can provoke conversations that will enable you achieve the purpose for which you sent out your message. You can also share with only a few if you do not want exposure to people who don’t need the information. Just create a (secret) group and share within the group. You may choose to select who you want to see your post, using Facebook “inline audience selector”. Play around with the buttons and you may surprise yourself about what you can achieve.
There is an element of risk in sharing but the positives by far outweigh the negatives if you have a good reputation and your motive is clean and legitimate.
Resources you can use now to achieve the results you want include:
1. Success Mindset
2. Right Thinking Right Actions
3. Acquisition of the latest thinking and cutting-edge skills in Public Relations. I’m scheduled to facilitate this in one of the cities in Africa. You need sacrificial 9 days of highly stimulating interactions in a very rich networked boot camp to get the awareness and skills that will take you to the height you desire. Get the details here and get a space reserved for you. If you determine who gets trained in your organization, this is a great opportunity to upgrade the skills of your workforce for amazing impact on your bottom line. I will be there to lead the Faculty and get the platform to provide details on the foregoing issues while helping Public Relations Practitioners who will participate in the boot-camp (including prospective ones) to acquire cutting-edge skills that will help them thrive in challenging times. Join them no matter your profession. The programme which will run for 9 days on intensive basis is meant to help you turn your current challenges into opportunities for uncommon achievement. Come with your friends. Their success will enhance the value of your network and speed up your advancement. What you share multiplies. What you keep to yourself shrinks and eventually finishes. Reserve your space here.
Peter Ogudoro is a Higher Education Access Facilitator, Career Counsellor, and a Leading Public Relations and Crisis Communication Trainer. He is based in the United Kingdom. His full profile is available here. He is the author of Right Thinking Right Actions, and Success Mindset. Get digital copies here.