Thursday, December 24, 2009

Making Eye Contact in Social Media

Just when I thought some of the heat and debate would start to die down, then I find that the fire just keeps on burning with some.  I am not against other people voicing their opinions.  That’s what freedom of speech is all about.   I scratch my head though with repetitive comments and thoughts from 2009 already streaming into 2010.  Using social media simply has core attributes that cannot be ignored if you want a measure of success. 

Let me quote you what Mike Schnaffer said in this morning.  He was referring to Ford’s campaign when he stated the following. 

“A good example is Scott Monty who heads up social media for Ford. Monty is very effective in getting Ford's message out by talking with customers rather than just talking to customers.

The basis of the entire article was talking about how certain groups of people could actually be killing Social Media.  The spammers and the blatant advertisers who want to get you 2 millions followers and whiten your teeth are the ones who are ruining the experience.  There are a lot of good techniques to avoid these people in the first place which will be the subject of another post.  I want to leave everyone with the simple thought of the title of this blog.  How do you make eye contact in social media? 

There are some gross misconceptions out there as to how you should interact on these platforms.  I had one individual the other day ask me how to have a conversation and interact on twitter?  The question itself was very perplexing to say the least.  Making eye contact in regular conversation is a fundamental communication principle that we learn through leadership programs and through just LIFE!

Should it be any different with how we have conversations on a social media platform?  I think not.  When you are using these tools, pretend you are looking the other person in the eye.  That is talking with a person and not just to them.

Written by Jonathan Saar- The Training Factor


  1. You are exactly right, Jonathan. Twitter was most certainly inspired from the days of the "mass text message" where were we would tell a bunch of our friends where were, where we were going or what we were doing. When those group texts were sent, we were EXPECTING an answer back from people. We WANTED our audience to tell us their thoughts. Twitter is no exception to this: we should want and expect to hear back from our friends and fellow denizens of the Twittersphere.

  2. Jonathan-

    Dude, I'm not kidding when I tell you that might be the most useful and thought provoking way to talk about true engagement via new media. Holy cow, man.

    "Make eye contact."

    I make eye contact by doing things a bit differently for every one of the folks I want to engage with. Different angles of approach stack the odds that one of your feelers will reach them in a way they like. Let's continue this discussion!

  3. In other words, "Talk to me" not at me. Great post Jonathan. I enjoy your tweets, so it is no surprise that I also like your posts!

  4. Thanks Trevor, Ian, and Carol. I appreciate you reading the post and your thoughtful comments. When we get to meet face to face then we will have a blast! Most of our relationships all start online, but my goal is to meet everyone of you personally. Thanks again for your comments.