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I’ll get to the point: my secret to being amazingly- and profoundly-engaged with so many of my followers on Twitter, my friends on Facebook, and my circles on Google+ is because I cheat. Whenever I am between things, in lines, waiting for something, and even on boring conference calls, I pull up Flipboard and read what my followers, friends, and circles are sharing — a news — and I generously retweet, +1, Like, Favorite, Share and Comment. And I believe that Flipboard is my secret weapon when it comes to improving and maintaining my Klout score. Why? Well, the more I give the more I get. The more items I honestly and earnestly retweet, favorite, +1, Like and share, the more willing and game the people I share are also willing to take the few seconds it takes to retweet me back.

One of the hardest things to do when it comes to participating in social media is trying to give more than you take. In order to really grow your reputation online you really need to be perceived as giving more than you take. Generosity is always rewarded in this marathon of social media engagement. In order to make the most of your work online, you need to work on becoming connected with your online community. Social media demands not only commitment to feeding the beast — the 24/7 maw of content-creation — but it also requires that you take an interest in what your followers and your friends are posting as well.

And Flipboard makes it easy to do this. When you install it, go immediately to the red ribbon with the magnifying glass on it and login and link up all of your social networking credentials and Flipboard will automagically generate a personalised newspaper for you to peruse. Of course, you can also follow various topics and news sources and so forth — and I do that as well — but the real juice happens when you share the content of real people with whome you’re connect via reciprocal connection rather than just sharing content fed you directly from online media sources.

And since I really only like, share, Favorite, +1, and retweet stuff that resonates with me, it helps build my character online, allowing me to build not only my personal and professional brand with my followers but it also allows these real people to get to know me better based on what I like, as well. Additionally, all of this great content aggregates right to me, so I become not just more broadly informed but also way more deeply-informed as well. Why? Because birds of a feather flock together.

This is especially important for us social media experts, social media gurus, and social media marketers. We tend to be a little heavy-handed and tend to do a lot more egocentric and self-serving posts than other folks — it’s our business — so tempering our perceived abuse of these platforms with authentic sharing and an engaged back and forth is essential, otherwise people will tune out and we risk being unfollowed for being a little spammy.

Because Flipboard isn’t an open mike, you won’t be tempted to read your own poetry, to just speak about your own stuff, your own brand. Because Flipboard is a reader that allows full social engagement and appreciate and wraps it up with a very gorgerous bow — the UI is amazing and makes even the simplest blog posts feel like a full-color glossy magazing — it’s no pain to consume all the share of everyone you too often ignore. And, instead of being painful torture, it’s actually quite amizing. Even more, because of how easy it is to navigate through the cross-platform interface — including uniquely-designed Apple iOS apps for iPhone and iPad and a very attractive interface for the Android as well — it’s easy to breeze past the articles, tweets and posts that don’t interest you and then move on to content that catches your eye — and then easily Favorite, +1, Retweet, or Retweet with Comment. And, for you Twitter Grammar geeks, Flipboard knows how to set up an editable RT the right way, conveniently adding an RT before the quoted tweet and none of that stupid quote stuff some of the other tools offer.

It reminds me of when I was a young poet in college. I would go to poetry readings and I would spend all of my time on my own poetry — as was everyone else. Everyone was reading, reading, reading, at the reading, and nobody was listening to other poets. The audience was full of people who were spending all of their time reading or prepping to read and no one was listening.

Same thing with social media. Most brands and companies are spending all of their time talking talking talking, sharing sharing sharing, link-dropping link-dropping link-dropping, that even just listening a little, engaging a little, responding sometimes is really appreciated — and really unexpected, too.

Spend some time every day giving back. Before Flipboard, it was still essential but a pain in the neck; with Flipboard, it’s actually a very informative and entertaining pleasure.

 

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Chris Abraham

About Chris Abraham

A pioneer in online social networks and publishing, with a natural facility for anticipating the next big thing, Chris is an Internet analyst, web strategy consultant and advisor to the industries' leading firms. He specializes in Web 2.0 technologies, including content syndication; organize search engine optimization (SEO), online reputation management (ORM), content marketing, online collaboration, blogging, and consumer generated media.

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