7 behavioural traits you need if you want to be a social media wow!

Where shall I be famous today?

I was talking to a friend recently who also happens to be a dab hand at all this “social media malarkey”. She said that social media could be a fantastic business tool or a massive drain on your personal resources depending on who you talk to.

And that got me thinking, why is there a difference? What is it that separates the rousing success story from the dismal waste of time?

 And more importantly could we find a list of characteristics we could simply check ourselves against to predict the value of dipping our toes into the world of tweets, pokes and diggs (sounds painful, doesn’t it)?

Now, I’m no SM guru. Only about 10% of my revenue stems from social media channels and in truth I have no real wish to change that, but I am fascinated by success. And there is no doubt there are some titans of the SM territory who have found success, so it is to them I have looked for inspiration.

Before I go further I will say that this is an on-going project for me, and that I would love your input, but so far my research suggests the following are key qualities successful SMer’s possess: –

  • Generosity – in the truest sense of the word. Will you give to your followers, without any thought of “what’s in it for me”?
  • Interested – not just in your field, and definitely not in the sound of your own voice, but rather in the wide-ranging interests of your followers. Do you love what they love and follow what they follow?
  • Interesting – this is a key aspect of SM usage as it doesn’t matter how clever you are, if you’re not interesting to the people you want to serve you will die on your arse.
  • Genuine – people can spot pretence and ingenuity within five words of a sentence and they do not like it. Will you be yourself and follow your values rather than the quick buck?
  • Innovative – If you can throw out new ideas, tools and approaches at the drop of a hat then you have a very powerful currency to add value to your tribe. Question is, can you?
  • Brave – If you toe the line and voice the status quo then your followers can get that anywhere.  Can you be brave with your opinions; your ideas and your stance on the topics close to their heart and so give your tribe something they can’t get anywhere else?
  • Focused –despite saying you should be interested in many things will you then have the self-control to stay focused on the people you serve and the messages they find valuable? This is a key element of success and never more so than on social media.

Of course this list is just from the start of my research so may change with time, but as it stands I see an interesting element to this list. All of these qualities are necessary in any successful business developer, regardless of medium.

So, what do you think? Is success in SM just reliant on the same skills as those of any other business developer or is there something above and beyond that I have missed? I would love to hear what you all think on the topic.


Passionate about making business development a profession not just a job. Built and sold a £40m group in less than 9 years. Doing it all again and loving it!

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4 comments on “7 behavioural traits you need if you want to be a social media wow!
  1. All of the characteristics listed, and more. Particularly with regards to investment of time without much initial response. It takes time to bild a SM strategy which bears fruit, in both the financial and emotional sense.

    • Mike Ames says:

      I agree Verity and I am bound to say as more people join social media channels it takes longer and longer to get your voice heard.

      I suspect that there are easier ways of earning a crust.

      Thanks for the comment and your support, as always.


  2. Paul says:

    My worry with SM is that it becomes like a drink in our local pub, ie. its not a conversation, its just waiting for your turn to speak …

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Mike Ames

Passionate about making business development a profession not just a job. Built and sold a £40m group in less than 9 years. Doing it all again and loving it!

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