With or without YOUR involvement, people on social media will have conversations *about* you. So participate. Engage with people like a skilled conversationalist, and they’ll engage more fully and fairly with your ideas.

It’s possible to build relationships with people online by doing the following:

/1 Observe their behavior: Pay attention to what else they’re commenting on. Active social media users can point you to hot spots online—like a LinkedIn discussion group, or a brand’s fan page—where you can begin or join conversations with potential customers or advocates.

/2  Provide a channel: Create a Twitter hash tag for your presentation and invite audience members to use it to chat with you and one another about your message. Of course, this is appropriate only for external presentations with broad audiences. You wouldn’t broadcast content from confidential company meetings, for example, or client sales calls. Encourage attendees to use the backchannel before, during, and after your presentation by displaying your hash tag on an introductory slide.

/3  Ask for their input: While preparing for your talk, try posting a partially developed idea and ask people to help you refine it through social media.

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