Dec 22, 2012

Gift-Giving, Social Media Style.

Image via Fatbeehive.com

Image via Fatbeehive.com

If you’re active in social networks, over the course of the year, you’ve probably collected a raft of new cronies whose opinions you value and with whom you have truly developed a relationship.   In the throes of card-sending and gift-buying, these important new contacts may go overlooked, save a “Happy New Year!” tweet you have scheduled to go out at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.   A nice sentiment, surely, but not enough for your newfound friends, followers and fans.

However, just because you’ve never met these folks in person doesn’t mean that you can’t give them a personalized gift that will surprise and delight them.   And best of all, you don’t need to pull out your wallet.  No, all that’s required of the giver of these gifts is just a few minutes’ time.

A collection of fantastic images from Flickr member Mycologista  I shared with some fellow mushroomers.

A collection of fantastic images from Flickr member Mycologista I shared with some fellow mushroomers.

Curate some awesome content:  Do you and your new cronies occupy a very specific niche?  Spend a few minutes finding some new, unique and dazzling content to share with them for the sake of enjoyment.   For example, in my spare time, I’m an avid wild mushroom forager, and I belong to a forum of fellow mycology enthusiasts.  I recently stumbled across a photographer on Flickr who takes dazzling pictures of fungi.  I shared a link to the images with the board, and they loved it.    While you’re at it…

The Social PR Daily, a paper I created, had been shared almost 1000 times.

The Social PR Daily, a paper I created, had been shared almost 1000 times.

Create a subject-specific Twitter list and publish a related Paper.Li :  It’s easy to lose control of your Twitter feed – once you start following a lot of people,  staying on top of the information flow is like guzzling from a fire hose.  Building lists is a great way to organize the people you follow.  And if you make your lists public, you can make it easy for others who are interested in a niche subject to follow a curated list of relevant and interesting people.  Take it a step further, and publish a Paper.Li edition based on your list, to provide even more easy to digest value for your own followers, and visibility for your list members.

The gift of attention.  The bloggers on your social media “nice” list love it when people read, share and comment upon their blog posts.  Take a few minutes over the holidays to catch up on their blogs.  Share posts you like with relevant social networks, and leave a thoughtful comment or two while you’re at it.

I endorsed some colleagues on LinkedIn.

I endorsed some colleagues on LinkedIn.

The gift of your high esteem.  They’ve added to the conversation all year, you’ve re-Tweeted them dozens of times – these are the savvy people you’re really glad you connected with over the course of the year.  Tell them unequivocally how much you value their perspective by endorsing them on LinkedIn, or giving them Klout or Kred for their expertise.  They’ll be flattered.  And who knows, you might even get a plug or two in return.

So take a few minutes and give something nice to some of your favorite social media denizens. And while you’re at it, tell us what the nicest social media “gift” you’ve received was!

Sarah Skerik is PR Newswire’s vice president of social media.

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