As a kid I placed a lot of importance on having friends and being liked by others in my small Iowa town school. Even though my town had a population of only 1,000 people and most of the residents knew each other there was still the need to know that I was liked. I wanted to belong, to fit in and I worked hard to do that. As I entered college I found it less important what other people thought of me and I became comfortable with the few friends I had. As an adult I find myself with a more complicated set of circumstances. I not only have friends, I have work associates and business acquaintances. With the demands of personal and work life I find it is becoming harder to maintain these relationships. When I thought I’ve got it all figured out Social Media entered my life. I struggled with the idea of Social Media because I wanted my personal life to be personal and my work life to remain at the office so at first I chose not to participate in Facebook or LinkedIn. However, I finally had to surrender.
My buddy Jeff told me about LinkedIn when it first appeared on the Internet. He sent me an invitation to connect and I set up an account and accepted his invitation out of courtesy. I did nothing with LinkedIn for a couple of years and finally completed my profile at the urging of my marketing guru, Victoria. After filling out most of the details on my profile I used the LinkedIn tool to see who I knew that also had a profile on the site. I sent out invitations and got connected but saw very little value in wasting my time further. Social Media just didn’t make sense to me and seemed like a waste of time. Victoria helped to create a company profile, encouraged me to finish filling out my personal profile, and to devote some time each week connecting with people. I now find myself contacting complete strangers with invitations and hoping they are willing to connect. Hoping they will like what they see in my profile and feel that it would be beneficial to connect. In essence, they have to like me.
My daughter Alexandra convinced me to start a Facebook page. In fact she designed the page for me and helped me get my first friends. It took some time but I’ve gotten use to Facebook and do an update once or twice a week. Victoria found out that I was using Facebook and encouraged me to get a company page, which she put together for me. She than told me that I needed to get friends and the way to do that was to get people to like the company page. Again I find myself needing to be liked.
I must tell you, being social takes a lot of time out of a person’s life. It has always been a lot of work for me to maintain personal friendships and now I have a group of connections to nurture and people who like me and want to remain informed about my company’s activities. I’ve learned over the years that I must call and email my friends on a regular basis if I want to maintain that friendship. It was equally apparent that I needed to update my Facebook a couple times a week if I want to remain relevant to my Facebook friends. It has only recently occurred to me that I must also be active in communicating with my LinkedIn connections if I want to get any value out of
It is hard to believe but I come full circle … needing to be liked as a child to now needing to be liked as an adult. It was a lot of work then and it is a lot of work now. Are you liked? How do you go about nurturing those relationships?