Hide-and-Seek Social Media?Remember Hide-and-Seek? You probably do. It is a simple game. One person closes their eyes and counts to 10 or 20. During this time, everyone else scatters to hide. At the end of the count, the person opens their eyes and begins to find and tag the hidden people.

Hide-and-seek is so easy. It passes the time and distracts kids for a short burst of time. After a few rounds, they get bored and move on to something else.

Our social media activities can sometimes seem like a game of hide-and-seek. We hide behind our well-taken photos or snappy brand icons and then try to find people to connect with and build our network. Once we have captured someone into our network, we move on to the next, working diligently to “tag” as many people as possible.

This can happen in reverse, too. As a community member, we try to hide from someone new to Twitter. Our objective is to avoid being “tagged,” as we are comfortable with our existing relationships and established communities.

In the social media hide-and-seek game, some may get bored and put their efforts on auto-pilot, scheduling tweets and posts and re-purposing old content. What was once “new and exciting” is now a routine. It’s a science or, maybe worse, we fall into our comfort zone and only interact with our known e-friends.

Social media is seek-and-engage. Remember those images on TV when a popular politician’s car stops and she gets climbs out to shake hands with the crowd? Everyone loves this stuff. It is about people reaching out and getting to know people in the crowd – your audience. We need to get out of our social media car and engage with people.

Here are the points:

  • Social media should be about continuous discovery of ideas, thoughts, and works-in-progress. It should be about engaging the mind as much as the people.
  • Social media should not replace our real interactions. We should spend an equal amount of time — if not more — building and participating in our physical community as our electronic one.
  • Let your personality, humor, writing, art, and life shine through and be real. This is what connects and engage us to be better and do more.
  • If you are bored by your social media activities, then take a sabbatical. Don’t put your content on a continuous flow production line, just lining up parts and plugging them in.
  • It is important to not get stuck in a social media rut. Engage some of the newbies. Ask them a question. Respond to them. Social media should still be about the discovery of new friends and communities of engagement.
  • If you participate in #FollowFriday or #FF, select a new follower sometimes, and let your community know why you highlighted them. You will make everyone smile a little more by this small action.

What are other suggestions to engage in social media rather than play hide-and-seek?