Yes. You can succeed at networking via social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook by studying and following the teachings of classical Philosophers. Many philosophy quotes that fly through the Twittersphere are either directly from a philosopher or an abstraction of a thought by a philosopher. The best way to resolve the paradox of marketing yourself without marketing yourself is to conduct social case studies of Twitter users themselves. Study what tweets are retweeted; study the A-lister’s actual work habits not just their blog posts and tweets of wisdom. In addition, study the people who do it wrong. After all, we learn what is by determining what is not.
Success is arrived at through a series of habitual actions
While many say success is a journey and not a destination, I’d argue that there is one ultimate destination in life: happiness. On the road to happiness are many stops that require taking a journey. According to Aristotle, happiness is not an emotion but a state of being reached upon complete fulfillment of desires. As long as those desires are not led by emotion and are based on good intentions, they are, therefore, virtuous. Virtuous behavior being a necessary element of happiness, it is vital to behave this way.
The following images are tweets pulled from Twitter users illustrating the link between philosophical thought and Social Media optimization.
The Knowledge Paradox and Social Media Experts
Social media experts are like the Sophists of their time. Paid to teach their wisdom, they became scorned by the true Philosophers who refused payment for their noble teachings. Like the Sophists, social media experts claim to hold the keys to the wisdom employers are seeking. Guess what? There are no social media experts, gurus, etc…. We are all learning with and through each other. Those who take the wisdom they have learned and apply it to their various fields are qualified in their industries, thus deserving pay. However, expecting pay for knowing how to use dirty marketing tactics will have you ridiculed by those who can deliver quality results, not just meaningless numbers.
Experience is Enough
The only way to establish yourself as knowledgeable in the realm of social media is to do what it is that you say you know how to do. Without lived experience it is not possible to understand the intricacies of human nature as it relates to the business of marketing. However, no one is just going to give you the experience. A good way to get it on your own is to study individuals. There is little better place to do that than through social media networking platforms. Philosophical tenets have proven themselves to be everlasting. Technological advances and changes in culture have yet to make vast differences in basic human behavior. A study of a few philosophical principles such as the ones listed earlier will start you on the path to developing insight into individual behavior and finally figuring out the answer to how to get more followers. Lived experience is not enough, but it is a good start.
Chanelle Schneider, also known as @WriterChanelle on Twitter, runs There From Here where she often writes on the topic of adult internships and other career and life advice for Generation Y with a specific focus on non-graduates, the students who had to leave school but didn’t drop out. Chanelle writes for Examiner.com as the Washington, DC Social Media Examiner, and is the founder of the generational chat: #GenYChat on Twitter.