Social Intelligence: a must for social media marketing

Social intelligence is an absolute must for our social media marketing to be truly effective.

There is plenty of advice on how to market your book in our social media world. But there is a serious lack of understanding of something that goes far deeper into how to market a product.

Social intelligence is that gift we all have, to a greater or lesser degree, that must be applied when engaging with others about anything… It is particularly relevant for Believers when seeking to convey our message of hope through written words. Using our social intelligence to engage clients must be a part of our marketing strategy, for without it, we’ll be merely “ticking boxes” and going through the motions. Instead of ‘doing the necessary engagement to make connections’ we must be sure to use our two greatest assets: Jesus-in-us and ourselves!

Social intelligence

According to Lifehack, social intelligence is the capacity to influence other people’s emotions and relationships by knowing one’s self and others. It develops over time, and through our experiences with people, we can learn from our successes and our failures in social settings.

Some call it “street smarts”. Yahoo calls it “human capital”.

My preferred description comes from www,aboutintelligence.co.uk which says, “Social intelligence can be described as a combination of abilities: the first is a basic understanding of people (ie a kind of strategic social awareness) and the second is the skills needed for interacting successfully with them. In other words, the ability to get along others and encourage them to cooperate with you.”

According to About Intelligence there are 5 dimensions of social intelligence:

1. Presence – your external image or sense of self that is perceived by others, eg, confidence, self-respect or self-worth.

2. Clarity – your ability to express yourself and explain concepts clearly and using language effectively, while persuading with ideas.

3. Awareness – your ability to understand social contexts that influence behaviour (ie. “read situations”) and to choose the behavioural strategies most likely to be successful.

4. Authenticity – the way of behaviour which gives a perception of honesty.

5. Empathy – your ability to create a sense of connection with others and to encourage them to cooperate with you, rather than work against you, as well as an appreciation for the emotions and experiences of others.

For the sake of clarity it is my intention, for myself and concerning the body of Christ, to encourage us to be genuine, honest and sincere, even though we may have experienced some worldly institutions using social interaction to coerce or manipulate or control the behaviour of others.

Using our social intelligence in dealing with clients

Demonstrating common sense and empathy when dealing with people enables us to relate to others personally, when we are encouraging them to look at our work. Even though we might be at a distance — on the internet rather than at book signings, for example — we can still listen attentively and focus upon them to gain awareness of their needs. Responding to them with authenticity and clarity will encourage them to continue to engage with us. Finally, presenting ourselves with confidence in our work (as opposed to a projecting a sense of apology for contacting them) is more likely to draw them into our client circle.

If you have social intelligence, apply it to your marketing. If you haven’t social intelligence, build it: study, learn, engage with people and learn from observing how other people interact successfully. Jesus had supreme social intelligence: he drew from his understanding that everyone needs love and acceptance. He genuinely loved others and like a sponge, people absorbed his love and followed him (except of course for those who were jealous and had contempt for him, in which case his love bore the opposite affect upon them).

Applying social intelligence in our engagement with prospective clients is something as important on-line as it is in person. As we “study” others, we will grow our SI (social intelligence). As we love others, we will become better servants to their needs. As we trust Jesus, we will grow in self confidence and empathy for others.

Let us apply our social intelligence to all our marketing, for the glory of GOD… and also to attract more readers.

Dr Sarah Tun

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