April 24, 2014

What are you, a social media connector or snob?

What are you, a social media connector or snob?

This question is one of the first anyone asks when starting up in social media marketing: should I connect to anyone or should I be picky about it and become a social media snob?

After all the truth, as it often happens, lies in the middle.

Every social medium has got pro and cons about choosing wether being picky or not in building your personal online community. I am mostly active on two of them, Twitter and LinkedIn, so let’s see my personal social media strategy…

Twitter

There are tons of potentially bad connections on Twitter.

The main reason why people usually connect to everyone on here is to pump up your Followers count: if someone follows you, he expects you to follow them back, otherwise in a while he’ll just unfollow you. I know, dumb uh? But that’s how it works most of the times.

I started out on Twitter by following back everyone following me for this very reason, but I am becoming more selective over time, especially when I keep reading inspiring discussions over the topic. After all it doesn’t really matter how many followers you have, the important thing is to have committed followers.

Top things I avoid and why:

  • Posting wrong hashtags. For example, don’t ever post hashtags like #iPad or #iPhone, you will get tons of auto-followers promising free iPads or whatnot. Of course if you look for quick followers, no matter what, now you know how to do that
  • Autobots. No, not the Transformers dudes, I mean accounts run by automatic programs following random people in the hope to be followed back and increase their Followers number. I avoid following them back ’cause there’s no point really, they don’t add anything to the conversation, and I am perfectly comfortable with losing their follow after a few days
  • Dangerous people. As in, people tweeting about things you wouldn’t like others to know you got an interest in. It happens sometimes to be followed by clearly porn-aimed accounts or ones giving out free magical guides to become a millionaire in 12 hours. I prefer not to be associated with such people, hence I don’t follow them back
  • Totally wrong niche. Nothing against people talking about the best household products to clean glasses and marbles, but I really have no interest in knowing the latest trends in house cleaning.

I have exceptions of course. For example, even if the niche is wrong, sometimes it’s ran by someone with a clear “socialmedia vision” behind it, generally if I feel the “human” behind an account I have no problem in following it. Otherwise, I just move on.

And now the top reasons why to actively look for new people to follow:

  • Expanding your niche. I know, I just talked about wrong niche dudes, but sometimes expanding your field of action is good for your business and for yourself, so don’t say “no” without giving it some thought first
  • The competitors dilemma. They are out there, and they directly compete with you, or so you think. In my experience, sometimes your best assets lie in your worst competitors. Your combined expertise might turn into a valuable weapon to take over a big fish and win his interest over your shared project
  • New socialmedia services. If the new guy in town follows you and he has some weird, interesting service to promote, don’t auto-reject it,  invest a minute of your time to take a look, you might like it and find a new way to improve your online public relations

LinkedIn

The “snobby dilemma” over here is big, there’s a whole discussion going on about it, and a very interesting one too.

I kinda stand in the middle. I am neither an open networker nor a snobby person on LinkedIn (though I really am drifting towards being an open networker, even if not explicitly stated on my profile).

The truth is, I don’t see a potential danger in denying a LinkedIn connection, because any new connection could be:

  • a potential client
  • a potential partner
  • a potential employee
  • a potential employer
  • a potential consultant

So, why the hell not?

Ok, I got some exceptions here as well:

  • Profiles without a photo
  • Lousy profiles (half-compiled info, bad links or no links at all, etc)

The reason is simple: if you don’t take a minute to fill out your profile (and let’s face it, it’s dead simple!), perhaps you don’t take the platform too seriously, so why should I bother?

Don’t miss out, ever!

Think about it. How many people did you meet out of totally incidental events? Maybe you followed some random person you normally wouldn’t follow, and he Retweeted someone who would later become your best buddy.

That’s how I met many important people, out of totally random events.

Can you honestly say “no” to this?

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Comments

  1. Tristan
    Twitter: tristanhigbee
    says:

    I’m both a connector and a snob.

    I don’t use LinkedIn much so I can’t comment too much there, but on Twitter I pretty much follow what you outline as your LinkedIn policy. I figure, “You know, I really don’t lose anything by following this person back.” I use lists on Twitter religiously and I think it’s an essential thing to do if you want to be productive on Twitter.

    So I connect with anyone who wants to but I’m a snob about who I really interact with.

    Thanks for the great post!
    Tristan recently posted..Newton’s 3 Laws of… Blogging Or- How I Got My Blog Moving!

    • Gabriele Maidecchi Gabriele Maidecchi
      Twitter: maidoesimple
      says:

      I use lists a lot mainly to segment topics between all the people I follow, for example if I want to dedicate 20 minutes to read social media stuff I don’t want to mess with Webdesign topics too, and so on.
      But, lately, I have been thinking, if I don’t add this new Follow to a list as well, it means I am never going to interact with him, so what’s the point of even adding? I guess I still have to wrap my head about it, it’s not an easy matter for sure.

      • Tristan
        Twitter: tristanhigbee
        says:

        Why add the person? If you don’t add the person that has followed you, there’s a bigger chance that the person might unfollow you. But you want to keep the person following you so that maybe he’ll see one of your tweets and retweet it. The chance of that happening might be small if there is no other interaction between you, but the chance of that happening is ZERO if that person isn’t following you.
        Tristan recently posted..Newton’s 3 Laws of… Blogging Or- How I Got My Blog Moving!

        • Gabriele Maidecchi Gabriele Maidecchi
          Twitter: maidoesimple
          says:

          Yeah that’s true, what I meant is, if you create lists matching your niches of interest, and you add people to them, if you can’t find any niche of interest for this new person, perhaps it’s no big deal if he doesn’t follow you, no? I mean, it’s a case per case thing of course, but sometimes I am followed by accounts whose only tweet is a spam of the likes of “click this url to win a million dollars”, or “but this! buy this! we’re the best!” so yeah… sometimes you have to be firm, I think :)

  2. Jeevanjacobjohn
    Twitter: Techpupil
    says:

    Great Post, Gabriele !

    Ever since I was blogging about blogging, I am advising other to network, promote and engage (Socialize). But I didn’t really follow the rule. All I did was write, promote my own article and comment on a few (very few) blogs. I knew I had to work on engagement but I didn’t do anything to solve it. Recently though, I decided to change my plan and work on the social networking part. Ever since I changed my plan, my traffic rank, comments and readership has been growing. I also figured that my older “no socialize” plan was the reason why I had a low number of Alexa ranking, even though I had good readership. I really appreciate you writing this post. This post will remind me and my fellow newbie bloggers to keep socializing.

    Anyway, Thanks for the post !

    Jeevan Jacob John

    • Gabriele Maidecchi Gabriele Maidecchi
      Twitter: maidoesimple
      says:

      I have to say I started the other way around, Twitter, then commenting on others’ blogs, a LOT of blogs, then finally I started my own blog ’cause I realized everything should’ve started from and aimed at it.
      Glad you liked my post, hope to see you around again :)

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