On 12-12-12 one of our clients, Jillian Maas Backman, left a cryptic little note on Facebook telling us to respect the posts on her page of others, and that she was tired of self-promotion. After being a little dumbfounded and confused we found out what she was really up to! Listening to her intuition and receiving guidance is only one of Jillian’s many talents; she’s also an award-winning radio host and the author of a best-selling book, Beyond the Pews. So when the ideal vibrational forces aligned on 12-12-12 she presented her gift to the world of social media, a whole day of sacrificing her own promotional time to only promote her friends, their businesses and endeavors. What a great surprise! The reciprocal part was that it also allowed her to engage on a deeper level by opening up the opportunity to others. Imagine the flurry of excitement when bloggers found their hits soaring, and new people found their way into fresh territory. Facebook and Twitter were abuzz with the promotion of new blogs, ideas, bands and businesses all because of the gift of one person! Learning something new on a daily basis is one of the many “tasks” of social media marketing, just to stay ahead of the learning curve, but we’d like to pass on a few tips in the spirit of the season. Please feel free to leave your own in the comment section below. 1. Share with Spirit We’ve all heard about the spirit of the season, no matter what’s being celebrated, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or the Winter Solstice, there’s something magical about the month of December. Although dark and cold, and often forcing us indoors, there’s something about being within that allows us to contemplate more about giving to others in the spirit in which gifts are intended. Giving is simple. It doesn’t have to be expensive ,or the latest trendy gift, but nothing more than a simple “share.” Whether sharing the bounty of your garden, the bounty of your time, or the bounty of your profits, sharing with others is a priceless gift. In the world of social media “sharing” takes on a new meaning. Most often we are sharing links to our own blog posts, our own interests, or trying to generate leads for our own businesses. As we witnessed Jillian’s one day of giving her bounty of creative talent on Facebook and Twitter (@ChangeAlready), we see that the spirit of sharing is a gift in and of itself. 2. Listen with Grace The dark days of December tend to create a darkness of spirit and mood for some, even though it should be a time of happiness and light. What better way to freely give than by listening to someone graciously. There are millions of individuals on social media networks that are hurting. You see the missing persons posters, the articles about crime, or those who have suffered a loss during the year. Perhaps it’s the first season without a beloved friend or family member to share it with, perhaps there are those who are spending the holidays alone. Take the time to listen gracefully. Send a message of encouragement, or better yet, take a closer look at the missing persons posters you generally whiz by and share it with your personal circle of friends. You never know, it may be you who is the one to lend a compassionate ear to someone who is overwhelmed by sadness. It costs nothing, but the reward could be priceless for you both. Had Jillian not listened to the inner voice of her spirit, there would have been loss instead of gain on 12-12-12! What does listening have to do with social media marketing? If we don’t listen to the needs of our clients, and act accordingly, where will we be? 3. Give with Joy One of the benefits of social media marketing is the ability to quickly recognize someone for their achievements. So often we are busy marketing ourselves, wishing for record setting page hits and comments from those we have been able to engage. Joyfully announce someone else’s marketing! Obviously, we aren’t the only kid on the block when it comes to social media marketing, and those who have made strides in this competitive field deserve to be the recipients of accolades. The joy comes in the reciprocity, what you give joyfully will return. Who are the top producers in social media and how did they get there? By giving their knowledge to others who continue to add value to the medium by sharing it. Jillian, again, made it happen by joyfully taking her creative skills and sharing them with others. 4. Take with Gratitude Marketing, with it’s push and pull mentality, often leaves little nuggets of gold dropped in your lap. Grab them and be thankful! Don’t be shy! If you don’t act when the opportunities arise, you’ll never know if it’s something right for you or not. Life has risks, the same holds true in social media marketing. Be grateful for those who go before you to light the way and who pass back the nuggets to those who are following the learning curve. Take advantage of the knowledge, and the sharing of that knowledge through the social media networking channels. It’s not the intention to be greedy, but the intention to learn, either from their mistakes, or from their achievements. Be grateful to those who are willing to share your posts, your events, and even the funny pictures or crazy poetry. Jillian didn’t have a clue if her experiment would work, it probably wasn’t even in her plan, only that her intention was to be true to the intuitive nudge that said it was the right thing to do. Those of us who took advantage of it, are blissfully grateful! 5. Dare to be Different It’s ok to hate social media, yes, it is. Stand up and let it be known, don’t hide the fact that if you have to look at another twit tweeting on Twitter you’ll set your hair on fire and run through the streets. Use your enthusiasm and let your own personality dictate what you do, not what you think you’re supposed to do to become noticed. Find your niche and narrow your targets. The thing about social media marketing is that you can never be all things to all people, and you will never know everything. There truly is no cookie cutter formula of success created by a backroom “guru expert scientist type geek.” This is all experimental, no matter what the alogorithims or matrixes or stats say….it’s all about being SOCIAL! Creating valuable and readable content and engaging your readers goes a long way to building the relationships, either personal or business, that being social is all about. Go and hang out on other social media platforms and channels and start engaging with people you never thought you could meet before. Do you want to talk to Oprah or Obama or the Wizard of Oz? Go ahead! By taking the risk of being different and offering something new to the crowd hanging around the Facebook water cooler, Jillian was able to capitalize on making new connections, and engaging with her fan base on a deeper level. A totally win/win situation! Let’s put our heads together and come up with even more ways to give with spirit from the social media world! Leave your personal tips here!