carnegie-and-social-media-blog-photoHere are 9 Dale Carnegie Human Relations Principles that are just as relevant today as ever before.

1) Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

Engagement is the key to success with social media. A Facebook page that is just a platform for a business to talk about themselves will not draw the attention of people.

In the world of the Internet, you listen by asking questions. When you ask questions, you tend to garner more engagement because people love to be heard. And when people comment, your page spreads.

2) Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.

A question I’m often asked is “What should I post to my social media profiles?” My answer is always the same: whatever your audience thinks is valuable.

Value can be in the form of an intriguing article, a thought-provoking question, an inspiring quote, a humorous video, or something else. The more interested they are, the more likely they are to engage in the conversation.

3) Smile.

How do you smile on the computer? :)? No, it’s not that easy. What Mr. Carnegie meant is that a smile helps warm people up to you. And when writing content on the Internet, a smile takes the form of a positive attitude.

In the world of social media, this can come in the form of a LinkedIn endorsement, a Like on Facebook or a Re-Tweet (restating something someone else says) on Twitter.

4) Arouse in the other person an eager want.

Most people know that if you aggressively sell your products or services on your social media profiles, people will run for the exits as if there was a 3-alarm fire. So don’t do it. Instead, find ways to creatively get people to “want” to learn more about your products or services.

An example of this would be a free preview of a Dale Carnegie Course or a low-priced workshop that is easy for a new prospect to say yes to. By keeping the risk low, you’ve successfully aroused an eager want and found a creative way to get me to the next step in the sales process.

5) Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

If you’ve used Twitter, you’ve most likely seen the letters “RT” in many different tweets (Twitter posts). This stands for “re-tweet” and means that you are restating what someone else originally said. The proper way to do this is to add the person’s Twitter handle (or name) to that message. This is to give them the recognition for originally writing what you considered to be a valuable tweet. When you do this, it makes that person feel important and they, in turn, are likely to return the favor and re-tweet one of your future messages.

When they do this, your twitter handle is hyper-linked, and so anyone who reads their tweet can easily click on your name and connect with you. So would Mr. Carnegie have been successful on Twitter? Well, he would have used a person’s name in every tweet he posted and, therefore, would have had thousands of people very happy with him and ready to return the favor. And that’s a very successful Twitter strategy.

6) The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

This pertains to negative reviews on the Internet. Now that people can vent their frustration behind a computer screen, these nasty-grams seem to be more frequent and a lot more damaging. So when confronted with criticism on the web, the best thing to do is avoid, or ignore, if at all possible.

By defending yourself, all you will do is fuel the fire and, unfortunately, give more recognition to the critic as well as the content they have written. Do your best to rectify the situation or the next best thing is to simply ignore the negative and work on getting your champion customers to come to your defense by writing a positive review.

7) Throw down a challenge.

Having a blog that nobody reads is no fun. Having a Facebook page for your business with no connections is both lonely and downright depressing. So we need to be proactive in getting people to connect with our social media profiles. Mr. Carnegie was right again as the best way to get people excited about connecting with you is to throw down a challenge. An example of this is a recent contest we have done with local Dale Carnegie Franchises.

Each Franchise donated $100 and the first Franchise to 1000 Facebook connections got to donate the total amount collected to a local charity. The Franchises were able to promote this contest to their customers and class members and everyone was anxious to help out as it was for a very good, local cause. The result of this challenge was every Franchise who participated saw an increase in support to their Facebook page.

8) Give honest, sincere appreciation.

Linkedin is a powerful networking tool geared more towards businesses and professionals than it’s counterpart, Facebook. Studies show that roughly 80% of companies check Linkedin before hiring an employee and many of those same companies also review other businesses before purchasing a product or service.

A nice feature that Linkedin offers is the ability to post recommendations from other people on your profile. This allows others to sell you instead of having to sell yourself which can appear more like bragging. One way to increase the number of recommendations you have is to go out and give recommendations to others.

When you do this, the person receiving the recommendation is asked by Linkedin to approve or reject your recommendation and, more importantly, if they would like to return the favor by giving you a recommendation as well. By following Mr. Carnegie’s advice, you can give others sincere appreciation for something they’ve done for you while also building your recommendations at the same time. A win-win!

9) Become genuinely interested in other people.

Few times in my life have I been truly speechless, but what else is there to say? If you follow only one of these principles when using social media, just follow this one. Truly become interested in those you are connected with on the web, and positive things will begin to happen for you and your business.

So would Mr. Carnegie be successful in social media? You bet he would. My guess is he’d have literally hundreds of thousands of friends, fans, or followers, but they’d all truly feel that they had a friend in Mr. Carnegie. He’d probably tell them to just call him Dale. 🙂

To your success,

Corey Perlman