Okay, I know I came off a little gruffly with that title but, while Brenda and I surely do love most of the folks we connect with -- on Twitter and throughout social media, it's true that many folks there don't have a clue.
In one, "Social" is defined as being "marked by or passed in pleasant companionship with friends or associates..."
In yet another, it defines "Social" as "relating to human society, the interaction of the individual and the group, or the welfare of human beings as members of society..."
The definition continues with "tending to form cooperative and interdependent relationships with others..."
Mirriam-Webster goes on quite a bit from there, but I hope friends have already gotten the idea -- or the intended meaning of "social", as in "the interaction of the individual and the group..." And I also hope our friends make that connection with what we all refer to as "social media".
Up front, I give a little leeway to certain Twitter members -- like major news outlets and maybe some celebrities -- having a kzillion followers without following many of them back. Ya, I get it, that they perceive their jobs as needing to spread (worthwhile) information to their followers.
Beyond those unique Twitter entities, however, I think it rather rude that others believe their tweets are more valuable than yours or mine. In other words, "I should follow and listen to you, but you don't think I have anything of valuable to say?" I DON'T THINK SO.
Actually, get a load of this trick... Having been on Twitter almost since it started, I've come to understand how some Twitter members will follow me, then drop me as soon as I've followed back. They might think there's no harm done, but there is.
First, they've violated that "social" trust described above.
Secondly, the process of a large number of members unknowingly unfollowing us can get you and me in trouble with Twitter. I mean, Twitter only allows us to follow a certain percentage of people beyond the number who follow us. And when we reach that number, Twitter will prevent us from following anyone new. Ya, you read that right: because of a few jerks, we're unable to follow someone we really like, until the problem gets fixed.
How to fix the problem? I use a free program that helps me weed out those who are no longer following me. Personally, I've put it into my diary for every Thursday to "Clean Twitter". So, while Brenda and I haven't yet had to worry about this in our Local Video Marketing account, my long established Coach Chic hockey account is now at least close to even at 15,000-plus followers and following.
Aaaaah, yes, that new Local Video Marketing account. Sadly, that's what caused me to start reeling at my 'writer about some Twitter folks not having a clue. Sorry, but it's true.
I can only guess that a lot of my early contacts there only joined Twitter because someone told them it was a good business practice. They never considered that the idea there is to be "social", or sociable. I see it in their river of tweets -- like real estate ads, one after another. And I absolutely know it when they never follow back. I see it in their profiles, too, if they have only 20 or so followers. Ugh. (In just a few weeks, we already have 50 Local Video Marketing followers.) That tells me that they're blasting info out, without realizing those 20 or so followers are the only ones reading their messages. (Double "Ugh!")
How did I get my relatively large following for the hockey account? In one word: by being "sociable". And in this case, I'm also suggesting that I've always been "polite" or "courteous"...
When someone follows me, I always follow back. And, when someone retweets one of my posts, I go out of my way to search their stream to retweet an equivalent message. And that brings me to a good one...
Whether on Twitter or Facebook, my stream tends to be a mixture of fun facts or articles and posts meant to help our business. Of course, I'm glad when someone likes the fun facts and such, but you know I'm praying that our business posts get shared or retweeted. And, don't you know, I've become accustomed to a very few who go out of their way to only magnify our least meaningful posts.
With that, real estate and construction people, as examples, ought to consider which of their tweets they'd really like shared. If it's the meaningful ones you'd like help with, consider doing the same for your friends. Help them, and hope they'll help you. (If they don't, consider sending them this blog post.)
In closing, I'm only suggesting that newbies to Twitter consider the "social" -- and the presumed give and take -- aspect of that medium. Be polite and reciprocate whenever you can. And, of course, forgive me for the rather crude title to this blog post. :)
Hoping to see you over on Twitter.
PS: Want to learn tons more? Take advantage of this TOTALLY FREE video course on Modern Social Media Marketing.