Good Social Media Behavior is Rooted In the Bible

On November 23, 2009, in Inspiration, Personal Branding, Social Media Marketing, by Mike D. Merrill (@mikedmerrill)

Just Walk Across The RoomIt’s amazing how many blog post ideas originate out of a great sermon at church, a conference, or a personal development book. As I was sitting in church this past Sunday at Grace Community Church, I couldn’t help but see the parallels in Pastor George’s sermon to social media. The background for the topic was based on the book, Just Walk Across The Room, by Bill Hybels.

Now for those that are reading this that might not be religious or Christian, just bear with me. Give me a chance to explain the parallels whether you agree with Christianity or not. The primary story in the sermon is about stepping out of your comfort zone to help or engage someone who might not fit into your typical social circles. It’s also about how taking even the smallest steps may make a world of difference in someones faith, hope and willingness to change.  By showing remarkable generosity, folks will often be attracted to the very foundation of our behavior. This attraction creates curiosity. Whether this is to our religion, our skills, or our overall values, we always have an ability to make an impact.

Spend Time Online with Intent to Connect Offline

I believe social media is powerful because it gives one the ability to get to know a person on a deeper level far before I ever meet them in person. This is the idea behind personal branding and authenticity. As a result, the conversation can start at a much deeper level from the onset without having to determine if we want to trust this person we are talking with or doing business with.

Walk-Across-The-Room People Live Life in 3D: They Constantly Look for Ways to:

  • Develop friendships:

Offer acceptance and love to those in your community regardless of their appearance or lifestyle

There is a reason the word “social” is in social media. To make the most of your efforts online look for ways to appreciate the differences among those you follow and friend in social media. What makes the world a wonderful place is it’s diversity. That diversity offers a myriad of opinions, ideas, and opportunities for collaboration. There are many statements folks make in social media I don’t agree with or appreciate, but they have every right to use this medium for what ever purpose they want. What I look for is their intent. Was it for good or bad? It’s because of our longing to be part of a group, we often associate with those with similar social status or interests. But as a result, we don’t grow mentally, professionally or spiritually.

Take that a step further and it is also interesting how we tend to group ourselves only around those who know social media and make fun of those who don’t. We should continually offer to include those new to social media. Reality is, it’s still so new and evolving, everyone is a newbie at something, regardless if their Twitter bio says they have been doing something online since CompuServe.

  • Discover Stories:

Spend time with others and show interest in the stories of their lives

If you have ever read any of Chris Brogan’s blog posts or Groundswell, you recognize the value of listening in social media. Often times, this is the first step before engaging or taking action. What are your followers or friends saying? What are their needs, pain points and challenges? How can you or your business offer them a solution or alternative? How can you personally express genuine interest and offer to help. In this economy, many businesses are struggling as well as are individuals looking for work. Offer to help them network to any potential roles in your company or your extended social media influence.

It is only by knowing their story, can we truly know their motivation and dreams.

  • Discern Next Steps: 

Listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit for the right time to share your story and your faith

Now for some of you, that last one may have really turned you off.  The fact is, it’s the Holy Spirit who guides me and prompts me to share stories and influence others.  This is not the case for everyone.  The Holy Spirit to me, may simply be an instinct or urging for you. If you feel the urge to help someone in need, do the right thing, or offer unmatched generosity, you may have been prompted by the Holy Spirit.

Regardless, our ability to do the right thing for others and give of our time and heart is what makes all the difference. Just like this Citrix employee went out of his way to send one of my prospective customers an email, it all makes an impact in social media.

Now once you develop friendships, discover stories, and discern next steps you are truly living a life of excellence and making a difference in someone’s life. See how this approach changes how you leverage social media.

What are your thoughts?

Related Bible Passages: Mark 3:5 (MSG), Luke 15:1-32

Disclosure:
Now I don’t consider myself a Jesus Freak but I am a Christ follower and believe me I have sinned and still do, but I am trying to less and less. It’s a Journey. I rarely would bring up religion or politics even if prompted. There’s a place and a time for that. Nor do I believe I should push a religious agenda. However, I couldn’t help but parallel this to what I am seeing in social media.

 
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  • JeffHurt

    Nice. I have the same experience with my church regarding blog posts. I'm sitting on a couple posts now that were inspired listening to faith messages…Deliver Us From Social ME*dia: Welcome To Social WE*b; Sticks, Stones & Blog Post Rants…well, you get the picture.

    Thanks for the transparency and interesting post.

  • http://www.mikemerrill.com Mike D. Merrill

    Thanks for stopping by Jeff. It's amazing where we get inspiration sometimes. Have a good holiday.

  • http://www.marketinginprogress.com/ Brett Duncan

    Mike – great post. I do worry sometimes that maybe the reason we keep getting blog post ideas at church is because we have social media on the brain!! I work at a network marketing company, so you can imagine the similarities with church.

    Great post, though. More than anything, though, I applaud the effort to let the Holy Spirit guide your whole life, not just your “spiritual” life, whatever that means. We don't have a spiritual side – we are simply spiritual (whether we admit it or not).

    Just joined SMC Dallas, so I'm looking forward to meeting you soon.

    @bdunc1

  • http://twitter.com/irishoutlaw76 Irish Outlaw

    if you like scripturally inspired rants about corruption check my blog out… well said..http://warriorsocietyradio.com

  • http://cornersix.com/ Dwamian Mcleish

    Mike,

    It's funny you should mention this. I had a similar experience a few weeks ago after attending church. I was so inspired by the parallels of a specific topic I had been thinking about, that I wrote a blog about it the following day. That blog post drew more clicks that week that any other blog post I had written. I love it when life influences my passions. Good insight. Keep up the good work.

  • http://www.mikemerrill.com Mike D. Merrill

    Dwamian,

    Thanks for stopping by the blog. That's why I had to give credit to the Pastor since he motivated the through process behind this.

  • http://cornersix.com/ Dwamian Mcleish

    Mike,

    It's funny you should mention this. I had a similar experience a few weeks ago after attending church. I was so inspired by the parallels of a specific topic I had been thinking about, that I wrote a blog about it the following day. That blog post drew more clicks that week that any other blog post I had written. I love it when life influences my passions. Good insight. Keep up the good work.

  • http://www.mikemerrill.com Mike D. Merrill

    Dwamian,

    Thanks for stopping by the blog. That's why I had to give credit to the Pastor since he motivated the through process behind this.

  • http://twitter.com/erikj Erik Johnson

    Regarding the first bullet on “acceptance,” some of my most meaningful connections now are to people who I barely knew back in High School. Twenty (okay, twenty-plus) years after graduation, remove the stereotypes, cliques and popularity issues, and it’s amazing to find how much I’ve always had in common with some diverse folks, but never knew it until connected on social media.

  • http://www.mikemerrill.com Mike D. Merrill (@mikedmerrill)

    Erik,

    thanks for comment and Retweet on Twitter. Comments are the best Christmas gift of all :)

    MIke

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