Have a Nice Day! Can Social Media Make you a Happier Person?

By May 23, 2011 Social Media

If done right, social media can lift your spirits and the buoy the people around you, according to Psychology Today.  It should be informative, engaging, and fun – for both you and your readers.  In a social network, happiness spreads among people up to three degrees removed from one another, which means that happiness is literally contagious via social media.  And your avatar matters!  There are “clusters of connections” i.e. groups of people who smile in their profile pictures, and “clusters” of Droopy Dogs who don’t.  So surround yourself with happy people and get rid of the sad sacks – because it rubs off on you.

Using social media at work to make people happy is becoming more widespread, and more accepted.  And happy people are more productive people.

As if shoes by themselves didn’t make me happy, one of my favorite companies, on-line shoe retailing genius Zappos.com is committed to selling shoes the happy way.  CEO Tony Hsieh is a master of happiness.  His dedication to happiness flows in a number of directions – toward his employee base, as well as outward toward his customers.  He is a master of how to engage social media in ways that foster happiness for a variety of stakeholders.

Heish tweets at least once a day, and uses a “happiness strategy.”  His hope is that messages fall into one or more of four categories (ICEE): Inspire, Connect, Entertain, or Educate — all of which are somehow related to happiness.   This means that he spends a lot of time saying “no” to requests for tweets that don’t further his mission to make readers happy.

How Does it Work at Zappos?

Inspire and Be Inspired: Through tweets, a great article, or a thoughtful quote. Inspirational thinkers include @theseantourage, @gretchenrubin, and @workhappynow on Twitter.

Connect and Be Connected: Understand the people who are in your industry and their need to talk with each other, and put them in touch – employees, vendors—anyone who can benefit from knowing each other.  Be a connector.

Entertain and Be Entertained: Make time to laugh or smile. Hsieh wrote “Instead of getting an iPad, I now use my iPhone with a giant magnifying glass attached to my face,” which got over 300 retweets.

Educate and Be Educated: Find articles and blog posts and share them with your readers on topics that they will find interesting.

How do you use social media to make the people around you happy?  Is social media making YOU a happier person?  Share your story.




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