Qualman: Social media about relationships, not technology

Erik Qualman
Erik Qualman

AT THE MARKET — Erik Qualman, the “Digital Dale Carnegie,” delivered a high-energy primer here on the power and challenges of social media. “It’s not all about technology,” Qualman said. “It’s about relationships.”

One key to success in social media, he said, is to provide information that is helpful to others. “Post it forward,” he advised. “It’s not about you.”

Make a habit of posting information that helps others and lifts up leaders in the community, Qualman said. Spend three minutes a day on that activity, he added.

“Posting it forward” is “networking before you need the network,” Qualman said. That will make you happier, and it will also make the people you reach out to happier as well, he noted.

Qualman is the author of several popular business books, including “Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business.”

His messages have reached 25 million people this decade, and he’s been called “the second most-likable author,” after only Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling.

His talk at the High Point Theatre, presented by the Home Furnishings Assn. and the High Point Market Authority, featured several activities involving audience members, including one in which the attendees donned Qualman’s trademark green glasses and assumed a “superhero” pose.

Qualman encouraged his listeners to “step into discomfort” every day. That’s how you challenge yourself and that’s how you grow, he said.

Too many people are afraid to take action in business, Qualman said. That’s because they are afraid to fail. People say that failure makes you better, he continued, but that’s not true. “Evaluated failure makes you better,” he observed. “How do you take advantage of failure?”

Qualman said that pioneers in business always get push back, and said that’s a sign that you are a pioneer. “When you are not getting pushback,” he said, “that’s what you are about to get disrupted.”

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