I grew up in a house with a lot of rules. From the time I was 8 it was just the girls in my house.... my mom, my sister and I. My mother taught us strong values and we were expected to follow them everyday. Don't get me wrong.... there was a lot of love as well. But, my mother set high standards for my sister and I.  And, for the most part we followed them. Mostly, because
we were scared what would happen if we didn't.

My mother brought my sister and I up to be ladies..... respectful, gracious, kind and loving.

What I didn't realize is that my mom brought me up to succeed at Social Media.

My Mother's Values to Social Media Success

  • Honesty - Be an honest member of the community. If you lie and the community finds out they will never be able to trust you. If they can't trust you there will be no relationship now and probably never in the future. Once any online community thinks of you as a liar.... it is terribly hard to climb your way back to be trusted again.

  • Be Considerate - Think about others feelings and not just your own.

  • Respect - Treat others in the same regard that you would want to be treated.

  • Kindness - There is always a kind & gentle way to do anything.... say anything. Never be anything less. Members of any community will appreciate you for this.

  • Compassion - When a friend of mine is hurting I strive to eliminate the pain. If I can't eliminate it I try my best to lesson it at least. I would do that for any friend.... online or in reality.

  • Responsibility - Be responsible. As a member of a community you will have to be held responsible for your voting & comments. Use your powers for good & not evil.... oherwise you will need to be held accountable. Accountable.... another thing my mother taught me. You must always be held accountable for your actions.

  • Tolerance - I was brought up to love, respect and enjoy people no matter what their beliefs were or where they were from. When participating in Social Media activities online and being part of Online Communities I spend time with people from all over this wonderful world.... and because of this value that my mom taught me at an early age I'm a better person
    for it.

Some other things my mother taught me that will help in Social Media Success...

image by Gwennypics
  • The Art of Conversation -
    Conversation is what Social Media is all about. So, what my momma taught me about Conversation is one of the most important things taught.

    • Say Hello- Introduce yourself by starting the conversation. Don't wait for others to start the conversation.
    • Listen - Don't just talk.... listen. You can't join in on the conversation if you aren't going to listen to their side of the conversation. And, if you are the only one talking it is not a conversation.... it is a speech.
    • Think before you Speak - Think things out before just responding and just running your mouth out of emotion. Everything can be said kindly, politely and proactively.

  • What's the Magic Word? - Don't forget the simple words like "Please" and "Thank you".  I'm sure you all know how important this is and it totally applies in Social Media.  For an example of how I use it... I send "Thank You" message every time someone reviews me on StumbleUpon. As of today I have 200 reviews on StumbleUpon.

  • Do Not Judge a Book by Its Cover - Sometimes the only visual we get of an online community member is their avatar.  But, just because the avatar is a picture of a beautiful woman or a handsome man does not mean that is what the person is. The proof of what the person is all about, whether he is trustworthy or she is a loyal community member is in their actions. And, this brings me to my next item....

  • Actions Speak Louder than Words - Be an active part of the community.... participate, contribute and enjoy. Actions speak louder than words.... don't just sign up to be a member and hope that members will accept you. This doesn't ever work. Instead. participate and contribute. This is the only way to earn their respect.

  • Treat others the way you want to be treated yourself. - This goes back to the "Respect" value my mom taught me above. If you want to succeed in any community, online or in reality, you must be respectful. No one will respect you if you will not respect others.

  • Be the Best Shana You can Be - Or in your case be the best "you" you can be. My mom always pushed me to be my best. At the time I hated being pushed, but I know now why she did it. I think this is one of the reasons I am an over achiever and a perfectionist. Not necessarily the best qualities as I am my toughest critic, but I know that's a huge reason why I am a good business woman.

  • Don't Let what Others Say about you Bring you Down - My mom use to tell me on the days that I was picked on as a child, "Shana, they are only picking on you because they are jealous". I know that wasn't probably the case, but my mom didn't want me to be sad or care too much about what people were saying about me. But, what that taught me was to not let what others say about me bother me too much. And, that plays a part in my Social Media life. Once your blog readership grows large enough you start to receive many comments with each post. You are bound to receive negative comments occasionally. You can't let these comments bring you down. This is difficult for me to accept even to this day due to my People Pleaser nature, but I try to take these comments with a grain of salt. As long as I can be proud of how I am as a Social Media community member and online friend there is no reason to let these negative comments bring me down. It would just be a waste of energy.

  • Being a good friend is all about Give and Take - Yeah, it is!! If you just take, take, take from any friend in any community and not give an equal amount back.... I can promise you that you won't have friends for very long. If you just take and take you are being selfish.... no one wants a selfish friend.  Give back.... it feels so good.

  • Patience is a Virtue - Nothing is going to happen over night. Don't expect to join a bunch of Social Networking Communities online and have 3000 friends by the next day.... it is just not going to happen like that. Creating relationships online takes time. You need to earn trust and this does not happen over night.

You see, these are common values our parents teach us growing up. We practice these values in the real world everyday. We practice these values at home with our family, with our colleagues at work, with our neighbors in our community at home. There is no reason why it should stop there. You should be practicing those same values online in all of your Social Media activities. After all,
these people are human beings.... human beings thrive on human interactions.
You want Social Media success???? Follow the values you were taught as a child.

Shana Albert is a Social Media Consultant. She writes on all things Social Media and Web 2.0 on her blog - Social Desire. Subscribe to hear more of her ramblings.