In the first article in this four-part series, I defined the three elements that contribute to business benefits through social media:
Connections + Meaningful Content + Authentic Helpfulness = Business Benefits.
In this final article, we’ll examine the difficult issue of Authentic Helpfulness.
“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.”
-
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

This famous quote pretty much writes this article for me. It perfectly represents the helping spirit that oils the engine of social media every day.
For me, this final element takes on a spiritual quality. I’m convinced there is a social media “economy of giving” that provides untold benefits. You may never know when or how, but true kindness will find its own reward, first in your heart and eventually, through the returned kindness of others.
We are on the cusp of a unique era! We are the only generation in history to have free, instantaneous, global communication. What will you do with this gift? Will you use it to hawk porn and get-rich quick schemes? Or, will you reach for something as great as this moment? How will you use social media to listen, care, respond, and find some small way to help your connections through their daily struggles?

You, my friend, have been blessed in many special ways. Perhaps it’s your talent, your experience, your heart, your ability to listen or make people laugh … maybe it’s even your pain. All of these have the potential to comfort, teach, inspire … and draw people closer to you.

It takes courage to be authentic. Sometimes I fail in the face of a harsh and critical world. I’m afraid of being misunderstood, unintentionally hurting somebody, or leaving myself open to scolding criticism when I write something provocative or bold. I strive to be transparent — when I’m happy or sad or angry, you’ll probably know it. But emotions, especially in written form, can be misunderstood, too.
But I know “authentic” is what I have to be — and what YOU have to be — to form a meaningful connection in a digital world. Authentic helpfulness earns loyalty, respect and friendship.
This concludes the series on C + MC + AH = Business Benefits, but I’m sure these important concepts will be re-visited constantly. What does authentic helpfulness mean to you? How does the whole formula land on you?
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