So there I was rushing into the Spar to grab bread and milk. My kids were lagging behind me. We were all tired as it was the end of a long day. After waiting in the queue, I started offloading the contents from my basket onto the counter.

Pick up. Put down. Pick up. Put down.

I was day-dreaming and going through the motions at the same time. My mind was there but it wasn’t.

Suddenly, I was brought out of my monotonous moment into the hear and now with a welcoming and warm “How has your day been so far, Ma’am?”

I stopped and stared.

This was no  ordinary “How are you? Would you like a packet?” type greeting. I could feel the sincerity immediately. She was really talking to me and really interested in hearing my answer. In fact, she had stopped what she was doing and Ethel (by now, I had checked her name badge) was looking directly at me, almost through me.

I smiled and started sharing with her the frustrations I had gone through that day as if I was talking to an old friend. In turn, she started telling me about her day too. In this short time, we had bonded.

As I walked out of the shop, it hit me like a ton of bricks. This genuine short exchange between two strangers had more of an impact on me then anything else that day.

Why?

Simple. We had a meaningful connection.

And isn’t that was social media is all about?

It’s about forming a connection, and not just any old connection but a meaningful connection. If you are able to genuinely connect with your audience, strike a cord, ignite emotion, you are putting yourself streets ahead of your competition.

So, how did this lone cashier stir up so much meaning in life? Well, it’s simple really – Ethel cared enough to reach out to me. She engaged with me by asking me a genuine question. She waited in earnest for me to reply. The whole conversation was relaxed, real and authentic.

Yes, there is merit in how many times you post, in making sure you use visuals, there are formulas that you can apply to increase engagement but  all of these formulas won’t mean much unless your content comes from a place of authenticity, is genuine and you guessed it, meaningful.

So, next time you post something, keep Ethel in mind and ask yourself – is this content going to really make an impact on the person you are “talking” to?

To your success,

Nicky

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