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Drew Neisser, CEO at Renegade, is always reminding us in the office of one thing when it comes to social presence: “We must be interesting or be interested!”

Be interesting or interested. It is a very simple, yet powerful, concept. What this means is that when it comes to marketing on social, a brand or person must make an effort to either be so interesting that people cannot help but engage, or be so interested in the audience that engagement with quality conversation is a priority.

Being interesting means having big news that your audience cares about or offering them an opportunity to engage in exclusive ways. Being interested is on the opposite end of the scale. It’s about allowing your audience to be the star and giving them the room and ability to shine in your community, akin to Level 5 leadership.

I personally prefer to lean toward the latter and embrace the “social” of social media. There is no reason in my mind why a brand and a person cannot behave similarly when talking *with* people. In most cases a social network is a level playing field. Brands and personal accounts are treated the same way on the network (aside from Facebook). We as people want the opportunity to speak, and social media is the perfect medium for anyone, brand and person alike, to have that exchange.

What “being interesting and/or interested” is not…

It is not about talking about yourself, at least not blatantly and without a purpose. News is always a good reason, but let’s not feed our egos just for the sake of doing so. Share, but don’t gloat.

It is not about asking rhetorical questions (for which the answer is often your product or service). Ask real questions and expect real answers in order to have a real conversation with your audience.

It is not about gamification. Although elements of gamification may fall into the category of  ”being interesting,” it isn’t the ultimate purpose. Gamifying your engagement is almost cheating when it comes to this concept because it isn’t genuine. You want to have genuine engagements with people, not because they want the carrot you are dangling in front of them.

This concept has been a great tool to measure our content against. It’s the first filter we use to make sure content is doing its job correctly. We always ask ourselves, “are we being interesting or interested?”

What tactics have you used to be interesting or interested? 

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