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  • Reading the Digital Smile

    shutterstock_192661205Social meetings are as much about body language as they are about what’s said. Whether you’re aware of it or not, everything we communicate comes with a pairing of gestures, facial expressions and eye movements that tip us off to the truth behind the words.

    In fact, we look to nonverbal cues which are 12 to 13 more powerful than the accompanying content.  We look at nonverbal first. We believe nonverbal more.

    Unfortunately, the internet has changed this. Suddenly, we’re forced to read another’s words in our own voice with our own interpretation of meaning in play. This inevitably leads to conflict if you don’t know how to read today’s digital smile.

    We rarely think about our online first impression because it doesn’t happen when we are aware of it. You have 50 milliseconds to make your digital first impression. This is when people decide if they trust you

    You don’t have to be on Skype, Google Hangout, Face Time, Meerkat, Vine, Snapchat, Periscope or using a Twitter video reply for someone to “get” your digital smile.  There’s a whole host of ways that we smile and this does include digital expressions.

    Emojis are readily used through many social networks and often do the expressing that our words alone cannot do.

    Gifs are also expressing this and communicating even more emotion than the emoticons can.  In spring 2015 during the Facebook F8 Developers Conference, it was announced that Gifs would be easily and readily available in Facebook’s messaging app, Messenger, to allow people to communicate more accurately what they fee.

    On Twitter

    Digital smiles are captures in retweets and are further enhanced when you’re not only retweeted but you’re quoted along with comments or feedback from the person who share your tweet.

    A retweet is when someone shares your tweet. They like it enough that they want to share it with people on Twitter who follow them.

    Favorites are also a form of “digital smile”.  Someone liked what you said or appreciated it enough that they “favorite” it so it shows up and is associated with their Twitter profile.

    On Facebook

    The digital smile could be a simple “thumbs up” of approval (liking).  It could also be someone sharing what you wrote.

    On Instagram

    A Repost, Regram or Hearts are ways approval is show and often that smile (or even laughter) can come across so strongly that they feel there’s a real connection with the person.

    What are some ways that you’ve seen or given digital smiles? Share in the comments below.

    Maria Elena Duron is a Marketing Coach and Strategist with Know, Like, + Ignite and @mariaduron on Twitter. Would you like practical tips to create and curate content and experiences worthy of being passed person-to-person? -Get exclusive access.

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    Posted in Networking, Personal Branding, Social Media
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