4 Ways to “Pay it Forward” with Social Media

In our obsession to generate more followers, more subscribers and more business, it’s very easy to forget to stop along the way and thank the handful of people who have influenced or helped us the most. I’ve been fortunate to meet some incredible people while engaged in social media.  This post is a direct result of the inspiration that I receive from them.  In the spirit of the classic movie, “Pay It Forward,” hopefully this post will show you how easy it is to inspire others, and how powerful paying it forward can be.

What can I do to “Pay It Forward?”

  • Add other people that you care about to your blogroll.  As a blogger, this may be one of the easiest ways that you can show respect and appreciation to a fellow blogger.
  • Schedule time to add comments to the blog posts that inspire you.  Hopefully each week you come across blog posts that inspire, educate or otherwise impress you.  You may not always have time to stop what you’re doing and add a comment, but you can at least bookmark the post or e-mail yourself a link so you can go back later in the day to add your comment.  This is another example of a small time commitment that can have a big impact.
  • Share the best posts through the social media channels that you inhabit. The next time you come across a great post, take a second to share it with your social media contacts via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or the long list of other available options.  Not only are you doing the author of the blog post a favor, but if it’s truly good content, you are doing your social media contacts a favor as well.
  • Profile a person who influences you. Think of someone who has made a significant impact on the way that you do business or think.  Write a post about who they are and why you find them inspirational.  If you don’t want to profile the person directly, you may also consider profiling one of their blog posts and elaborating on a point that they make in their post.  Chances are if this person inspires you, he or she will inspire the people in your social network as well.  While this requires a substantial time commitment, it’s probably one of the highest forms of praise that you can give.

What inspired me to write this post? I got to work this morning and discovered that I’d been profiled by a fellow Bloggers’ Bulletin contributor in a new post of bloggers who offer valuable advice.  What a great way to start the day, and what a great surprise!  In fact, when I investigated the others profiled in the same post, I was able to connect with yet another contributor to the Bloggers Bulletin and secure a potential guest post.  Special thanks to my friend, Michelle Salater, for paying it forward, inspiring me to write this post, and connecting me with a great, potential guest blogger!  (Wow, did I just Pay It Forward in this post!)

What should I expect in return for “Paying It Forward?” The answer is nothing.  That’s right NOTHING!  The spirit of paying it forward is that you expect nothing in return.  Think of it as giving a gift-that’s how marketing genius, Seth Godin, puts it in his inspirational book “Linchpin.”  The concept of “Pay It Forward” does not require a monetary gift, however.  You can heap praise on someone, help them solve a problem, or refer them to a trusted colleague who can solve their problem.  There are unlimited ways to pay it forward, the only barrier is the time required to do it.

Oh, and by the way, even though you should expect nothing in return, if you stick with it, and you’re really sincere in helping people you will find that the good that you do WILL come back to you.  Remember, the key is to give WITHOUT expecting anything in return though.

What’s my challenge for you? Has this post inspired you at all?  I hope so!  If it has, commit to “Paying It Forward” at least twice per week.  Wait, it’s not that easy!  Pick a specific day and a specific time each week to “Pay It Forward.”  Schedule it on your calendar right now before you navigate away from this post.  If you want to cheat, start RIGHT NOW, but DON’T skip your first “Pay It Forward” session.  To get an A+ you can report back in the comments section below and share how “Pay It Forward” has impacted you.

In fact, please use the comments section below to recognize someone who has inspired you to “Pay it Forward,” or please share your experiences doing it.  Thanks in advance, because your comments will inspire good deeds from other readers.

I hope you’ll consider sharing this if you found it helpful-it would be your first step in “Paying it Forward.”  Thank you!

  7 comments for “4 Ways to “Pay it Forward” with Social Media

  1. July 8, 2010 at 7:42 am

    I like your suggestion of scheduling time to “pay it forward.” It’s funny how those who genuinely give a great deal and support the people around them, get support and help in return.

  2. July 8, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Blase, what an awesome post. And thanks for the link! My team and I have found the more we share blogs we love with others, the more our social community grows. Paying it forward is, I think, the who point of social media. It’s about connecting, sharing, and creating a dialog with other people.

  3. July 8, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Doug & Michelle, thanks to both of you for your thoughtful comments!

  4. July 11, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    I want to recognize a very good friend and business colleague, Mark Berman, who is the epitome of “pay it forward.” Starting in the late 1990’s Mark was instrumental in my being hired by his agency, he was a trusted partner in a business we subsequently started, and he has always gone out of his way to offer his support. He has inspired me to try to emulate him. No one ever had a better friend.

  5. July 12, 2010 at 1:14 am

    I read a lot of blogs every day. It is part of my job and my hobby. This one was really good. Since it is about paying it forward, I would like to mention another blog, which I find to be a delight.

    Her blog name is Modern Sauce, she can be found at http://modernsauce.blogspot.com/

    Her posts are a humorous romp through her life. Check her out, you will love it.

  6. July 12, 2010 at 4:39 am

    Wow Jeanette, thanks for sharing your story of inspiration! I think that helping people find work or getting started with a career is one of best ways to pay it forward! So glad that you remember Mark’s kindness and use it to as motivation to help others.

    Brian thanks for sharing the link to Modern Sauce-certainly no lack or personality in Madame Sunday’s blog! You can tell that she really has fun with her blog and enjoys keeping her readers engaged.

  7. August 6, 2010 at 7:36 am

    I agree with you Blase. I have had more success growing my business when I focused more on promoting other people, rather than just myself. I pay special attention to those people that advocate optimism and rarely complain or lay fault on others. I find these people to be the best people to work with. You being one of those positive people, of course.

    Great post.

Comments are closed.