Social Like Lionel

If you're trying to wrap your head around social media, you're not alone. There are several books on the subject and thousands of articles penned daily in an effort to explain it all. Social media has burst onto the scene and brought with it technology that's confusing for many. From business leaders to stay at home moms, folks are worried about getting left behind. Whether you're just starting out or looking to incorporate social media in your business strategy, I have a wonderful example for you to follow. His name is Lionel.
As a student of social media, I immerse myself daily in the words of thought leaders like Brian Solis and Jason Falls. In his book, Engage, Solis defines social media this way:
"Social media is the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers. It is the shift from a broadcast mechanism, one-to-many, to a many-to-many model, rooted in conversations between authors, people, and peers."
With that, it's important to know that social media is essentially about listening to others and engaging them in meaningful conversation whereby participants walk away having learned or resolved something. Whereas the technology used for conversation and interaction changes, the human element does not. Hopefully, that gives you some relief. If you can communicate effectively, you can succeed - regardless of the platform. That's where my friend Lionel comes in.

Lionel is not a social media guru nor is he a corporate CEO. He is a retired Cajun gent with a well groomed mustache who loves travel, nature, music, writing, and great wine. His passion for living and his genuine interest in the lives of others is remarkable. Whether he knows it or not, Lionel is an amazing communicator. His posts to Facebook are upbeat and positive and almost always tell a story. With his words he draws you in, sharing rich experiences that make you laugh or make you ponder. His style is playful and never forced: 

"Should you encounter a Navajo... don't hesitate to amble up with a smile... and uttter... 'YA-TA-Hay...' It should extract a smile... If not, try 'Bah-o-hoony' and walk away!"
"An incredible Motel check out... Barstow Ca... Happen chance... a fellow enroute from Nevada to Ca... his mother's funeral... a group from Nebraska... having continental breakfast... and the Indian Owners... I mention my guitar... the Nevada fellow plays and sings... we strike up a song. "Old Smokey"... SING ALONG... 30 minutes later we are all friends!"
"Learned many years ago, most human beings... if not all, enjoy conversation... I will on occasion, select some distant subject... approach a total stranger... and pose... a question or two... igniting a chat. Recently at a local Costco... I decided to survey 6 seniors... "Have you ever picked cotton?"... much to my amazement 3 had!! ... we compared sacks, stalk heights!"
"Had two birds... crash head-on into our porch window... I was able to revive one, yesterday... with very delicate "CPR" on its little feathered breast... Bobbi and friend Roger, were spellbound... until the bird slowly opened its eyes... look around, then was set on the deck... where in a few minutes... he made a running takeoff... it was a Rufus Sided Tohee... "
So what can we take from these words and why should we be social like Lionel? I say, regardless of why you use social media, it's important to find a voice, to be sincere, and to say something worthwhile. Be consistent and engage your audience; listen to and share yourself with them. Eventually, you will become influential in your field. Our friend Lionel sure has... he's proven himself a pro at living life!

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