Nowadays it’s tough to know who your real Facebook friends are.
I value all my online contacts, and look forward to spending quality time on their blogs. I always offer a genuine like when I see them in my daily feed. That’s because I’m a genuine, down-to-earth online persona.
In this age of social media, it’s easy to forget who’s really important to us online, and it’s even easier to fall out of touch with those we love on messenger, Snapchat or even imessage.
What’s missing now is the real online connection, the warm touch of a notification ding, which affects us all deeply. Nowadays, we hardly ever look each other’s profile pic right in the eye, let alone read their latest post to find out about their day. And how many of us are showing heartfelt concern by taking the time to leave a comment?
I had a wonderful moment the other day. I had lunch with my myself — I live alone. And I had an opportunity to share a picture of my meal with someone special. That someone was the 64 people who liked my picture on Instagram.
That’s what’s missing from our stressful, digital lives—that feeling of knowing when someone cares enough about a picture of your meal to take the time to show you by double tapping.
A true social media friend is hard to find. How many of us have special follower we can truly count on?
Oh sure there’s plenty of “loose ties” on social media, people you’ve never met or maybe they’re your wife’s cousin’s friend and you only accepted their request because you had a couple of people in common. But a genuine member of your tribe, someone who likes your page from the heart or shows up for you when you do a live video—that’s rare.
I’m talking about someone whose shares are there for you when you need them, who shoots you a reply with an emoji when you’re feeling down, someone who comes to your aid when you’re in need of a retweet.
What it all comes down to is this: who’s responding positively to the promotion of my personal brand?
It’s these special Internet friends who know and understand my online persona better than anyone else. They understand my brand story, my current offers, and my unique selling proposition.
I was just kicking back in Google hangouts with one of my very best Ideal customer avatars the others day — seriously, this is a guy whose buying behavior I’ve analyzed for years — and he told me something about my online reputation that no one else could know, unless that person had gone to page two of my search results. I don’t recall what he said, but that’s not the point. The point is, that’s one of the thousand true fans right there, someone who’s obviously incredibly important in my online business life and someone I need to do a better job staying in touch with through surveys and compelling email subject lines.
So you can see I have a rich life filled with authentic online engagement. Here’s some advice for achieving deep relationships like mine—the kind that can sometimes lead to a more than 32% satisfaction rate—take the time to unplug once in a while, go on battery alone, and spend some alone time with your LinkedIn recommendations.
Scott Dikkers is a columnist for Grit Daily. He is the founder of TheOnion.com, The AVClub, and Blaffo. He’s also the #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Write Funny and Outrageous Marketing: The Story of The Onion and How to Build a Powerful Brand with No Marketing Budget.