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Are Your Social Media Standards Too Strict?

Posted by on Aug 17, 2012
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A couple of weeks ago I had a post and video titled What Will You Do For More Followers? I asked at that time whether you’d go for the gusto to get more followers and thus more publicity with the possibility of more influence or whether you felt that wasn’t what you wanted to do at all.

Talk Nerdy To Me #2
Constantine Belias via Compfight

This time I’m asking you about your social media standards; what will you do, what do you do when it comes to social media in general. This question supposes 3 things:

1. That you have standards;

2. That you know what your standards are if you have them;

3. That you have good reasons for those standards if you have them

Yes, that’s kind of a challenge, because if you don’t have standards then it’s hard for you to be a part of the conversation, although I suppose not having standards can be freeing. If you have them but you don’t have any reason for them other than “because”, well, that’s your right but it’s certainly not informed. But if you have standards and have reasons… that’s when things get interesting.

This is a question I ask myself all the time because I do have standards and I have reasons for those standards, and sometimes I wonder if I’m holding myself back in some ways because of those standards. I mean, is it legitimate for me to hope to get tens of thousands of followers on Twitter when I’m following less than 900 people? Is it right of me not to connect with people on LinkedIn because they don’t have a picture on their profile, or because I can’t figure out why they think our businesses are compatible? Is it right of me to not just accept every friend request on Facebook when they know at least one other person I’m connected to? Is it right that I don’t just automatically follow people on YouTube or Instagram that are following me?

Some weeks back I made a comment on a post by Marcus Sheridan titled The Fleeting Title that is “Social Media Expert”, when he asked what makes someone a social media expert. I stated that I tend to believe that most of the folks put on lists were anointed by someone else who really had earned it and thus had the banner passed onto them without having had to work for it. I stated that I looked at a list that was recent at the time, checked out many of the names I didn’t already know, and saw that this blog was ranked higher than a lot of them, had way more content, and was written at least as well as those blogs, or not better (trying not to be conceited), and that the only real difference I saw between myself and those folks was that they had been anointed, put on a list, and given a boost that I’m not sure they deserved.

Then I looked at other numbers and, well, that’s when you get to thinking about things. These were people connected to tens of thousands of people on Twitter, thousands of people on Facebook, and well connected in other places as well. I’ve never really played the numbers game so I don’t compete well on this level. I do know that numbers mean something, but I’ve always been more about engagement and interaction, figuring that worked well with my mores.

Are your social media standards strict at all? Are mine? I’ll share mine; tell me what you think:

Twitter – If you don’t talk to anyone except to say “thank you” or to share links, I’m not following. If your politics are not only different than mine but your statements come across as hateful, I’m not following. In general, if you don’t really interact with others, I’m not following. If you AutoDM me after we connect, I’m immediately unfollowing you. I have some other standards as well but these are enough for now.

LinkedIn – If you don’t have a picture and I don’t know you, I’m not following. If your business isn’t compatible with anything I do and I haven’t talked to you in a group and you’re not local, I’m not connecting with you.

Facebook – If you ask to connect with me as a friend and you don’t have a picture, it’s not happening. If I don’t know you and you don’t know a lot of people I know, I’m not connecting with you. If I know who you are but we’ve never talked anywhere before, I’m probably not going to add you. And, sad as this might be, if I start getting irritated by stuff you’re putting up all the time because of its negativity, I’m hiding everything you post from that point on, possibly removing you from my friends list.

YouTube – if you don’t have any videos on your channel I’m not following you. If you have some videos but they’re not yours or you’re not in them, I’m not following. If they’re horrid… well, you know.

Instagram – I’m still relatively new to Instagram so I’ll admit to not really having a standard there yet, which is fine. However, I figure that for those people I have checked out that I haven’t added there’s got to be something in my mind that’s repelled me, and once I figure that out then I’ll have a true standard to uphold.

Am I too tough with my standards? Are there any you’d like to share? And is it possible our standards hold us back, and if so is it worth it?
 

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31 Comments »

I personally believe and have always share on social media, forums and blogs that there is no reason to limit strategy. There are many networks out there that can bring more traffic and popularity. It is much easier and actually more straight forward if target niche as niche forums and social networks can really bring quality traffic and more followers.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

I hadn’t thought about it in terms of strategy Carl but you make a great point. It can be quite strategic doing things how I do if I concentrated on one specific group of folks.

Carl Reply:

Sure, there are hidden markets even in social media, I have experiment even with different language and local social networks for two particular niche and I must say that results were very good, actually the company get first customers from particular country in 5 years.

August 17th, 2012 | 11:12 PM

I do blogging from some time and using social media from long time. i don’t give more time but i am clear here on that Facebook or other social media sites has no limit so how can be limited here.that’s why i choose SEO/SMO field.
Thing should be noted,we should clear on that what are we sharing on that platform Facebook or other.
Bhushan recently posted…Travel Portal Software Development Delhi NoidaMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

I’m not totally sure what you’re saying Bhushan, so I can’t accurately address your point unfortunately.

August 18th, 2012 | 2:46 AM

I do not think you are too tough with your standards, Mitch. I so agree with them. I do unfriend people a lot because they post something that I really think should not be shared in public!

I do have some people I follow who really are not in my niche at all, but they are either interesting to me or have something I am interested in.

It’s quite hard to separate business from pleasure, don’t you think? There are contacts I would never add on a business basis, but the social side of me wants to connect with them because they’re nice people!

Enjoy the journey.

Mandy
Mandy Allen recently posted…Keep Your Readers Flooding BackMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks for your comment Mandy, though I had to go pull you out of the spam filter. lol It really is hard to separate business from personal. In 2008, during the presidential election system, I was amazed at some of the things people were saying about Obama. Being against him is one thing, but making things up and saying things that, in my mind, were borderline racist is over the limit. And I knew they couldn’t see it, so I removed them from my stream, and some of them were well known names. Nope, I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life, ever.

August 18th, 2012 | 4:55 AM

Hi Mitch,
The social media has opened to us unimagiable avenues for every business that embraces it and masters it at the same time.
Elizabeth recently posted…Advertising Co-Op : Is It Worth Creating One?My Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

True Elizabeth; wonders and worries everywhere.

August 18th, 2012 | 5:54 AM

I’m pretty much like you Mitch on the standards. I don’t accept friend requests on FB unless I know them or have met and known them on Twitter or they are a regular visitor to my blog. I’ll stop following on Twitter if they only tweet their stuff unless they are breaking news or weather alerts :)
Lisa recently posted…Do You Remember Your First Time Using A Computer?My Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Good stuff Lisa. I used to follow a few more people that didn’t talk on Twitter but it just started to get really annoying being sold to all the time. It is called SOCIAL MEDIA after all. lol

August 18th, 2012 | 10:30 AM

I have a simple policy with social media and commenting (just connect with real people, who have a real picture and of course, I need to know them).

As with Twitter, no auto DM (I have a strict policy with automatic following or using automatic methods – I am more of a manual guy, follow manually, manual tweeting :D).

As with replying to people, I try to be more conversational ;)

As with FB, I am a bit more strict with accepting friend requests. But, these days, I am bit more relaxed with accepting friend requests, especially bloggers).
Jeevan Jacob John recently posted…Episode 03: Conversational Commenting, How Do You Converse?My Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Good stuff Jeevan, and it seems like our policies are pretty close to each other.

August 18th, 2012 | 4:40 PM

Mitch I think it good to have standards of the people you follow. If you do not your account will get out of hand like mine and you ended up offended almost every day.

I wish I had gotten a better handle on my FB and twitter early. Now they are spiraling out of control.
Michael Belk recently posted…Sports and Ethics (Pay for Performance)My Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

You can always get it back under control Michael, though it’s not easy. For Twitter, go to the page Twit Cleaner and run it, and it’ll list lots of folks under criteria that lets you decide what and who you don’t want to deal with. It’s harder on Facebook so you just be more judgmental from this point on.

August 18th, 2012 | 10:09 PM

Your “social media standards” can’t be ‘too strict’ – because they’re yours. They work for you. They may not suit anyone else, but that doesn’t mean either of you are just being too strict/lenient. :)

This post reminded me that I’ve been meaning to share my rationale behind my social media following too. Thanks, Mitch!
Shai Coggins recently posted…Nad’s by Sue Ismiel and Daughters: Client WelcomeMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Glad to see you Shai, and that’s a very profound statement. Overall, it was a question whether restrictive standards holds back one’s business and if so whether it’s worth it. For me it is, but maybe for some others it needs at least some thought.

August 20th, 2012 | 11:38 PM

Hi Mitch it is definitely a good idea to have standards and this has given me some food for thought.

Although I am on a number of social media platforms, I use them mainly for sharing my own and other people’s posts and am just getting to grips with one at a time for doing some real connecting with people.

Thanks for your thought-provoking Blog.

Angus
Angus J McEwan recently posted…Why I am refusing to show your Comments on my Blog …My Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks Angus. I think having a strategy protects one from doing something stupid or something they might regret. I can see the business side of things but even there one has to be cautious.

August 21st, 2012 | 7:33 AM

Nothing wrong with having standards Mitch.

I believe we all do. I don’t just add anyone as a friend on FB, unless they are connect to more than just one other person I know and if their interests/niche is not close to mine, then they don’t get added.

Can’t say much about Twitter, as I really don’t spend enough time on there. I know I should.
George Park recently posted…Procrastination – Excuses – Information Overload.My Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

George, I have to admit that adding some of the NWS folks has thrown me off because some of it violates my normal standards, but we’re our own group so it’s a time I make allowances. I’m with you as far as evaluating people overall though. There’s stuff I don’t want to see as well.

August 21st, 2012 | 11:08 AM

I too think there is nothing wrong in having high standards.

August 23rd, 2012 | 1:11 PM

Another great post. Social media sites have some limitations that are sometimes stupid or pathetic. It is always good to know how these social networking sites work before doing any promotion and marketing. Knowledge is the key!
Martin recently posted…Graphic Design Mistakes You Should AvoidMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks Martin. I’m not sure social media has limitations but people using it probably should in some fashion.

August 23rd, 2012 | 8:05 PM

Hi Mitch,
I also have standards especially on face book i don’t accept people that i don’t know and especially if they don’t have pictures am also very care full on who i follow on tweeter
Steve.
Steven Papas recently posted…Mobile Personal Finance Apps Rock…But Are They Safe?My Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

I’m with you on following people without pictures Steve, unless I know them. Twitter… I just need to see people talking because I don’t want to waste my time with bots.

Steven Papas Reply:

Hi Mitch,
I don’t understand why some one will not put a picture on his account on Facebook unless he has something to hide again i also check on what they have been writing on their wall i don’t want to be ion trouble. with tweeter its a bit different but have to read what they have been twitting.
Steven Papas recently posted…The Top 8 Music Apps On Mobile TechnologyMy Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Of course I know you mean Twitter Steven. lol And some people just want to protect their identities because they’ve heard of a lot of people using their images for nefarious stuff, although the worry isn’t necessarily unjustified.

steven Papas Reply:

Hi Mitch ,
Those are some of the things we have to cope with in social media however i still think social media and internet is one of the best things that ever happened in this century.
steven Papas recently posted…13 of the Handiest Insurance Apps Out ThereMy Profile

August 29th, 2012 | 8:22 AM

I’m with you on most of this Mitch. I definitely have standards apropos social media and I also wonder if they’re a bit too strict or even a bit too over the top.

Like you, I won’t add anyone without a profile pic, with the exception of old friends or family who I know and then I try to persuade them to use a photo for their own sake. I also avoid people who spout stuff that I find overly offensive. (There is a certain amount of stuff that is mildly offensive to some people but which doesn’t really bother me).

Twitter – I’m still trying to understand Twitter and I’ve not been using it long enough to identify autoDMs with one hundred percent accuracy yet – though if anything comes through to me there that looks like spam, it get deleted or blocked. I’ve already blocked several ‘people’ who’ve followed me who I’m sure were really bots. So far, I’m following people who come into the following categories: their tweets amuse but don’t disgust me; half or more than half of their tweets that aren’t conversational have something that I’d actually want to retweet and would feel okay retweeting; they are doing more in the majority of their tweets than just plugging a product. I get fed up with people – regardless what platform they’re on – who get on a site and only publicise their product with no attempt to connect with other people. (I have one exception to that rule: if I know someone well from my offline life, but even then it gets trying).

As for interactions with other people, at base I’m a very shy person (though I know I don’t come across like that) and I still have quite a lot of difficulty jumping into conversations where I don’t know people. It’s kind of like the cell-phone generation who are happy to talk to their friends and family within earshot of anyone – I’m not like that, I can’t do that, I’m very old-school. So the fact that people are doing it in social media hasn’t quite infiltrated my consciousness yet… and I really have to force myself to join in.

I’m just starting to retweet a bit more, but I worry too much about how my choices might be construed. For instance, on my blog I am very reserved in terms of the language I use – or will allow. On other social media I’m different. Why, I’m not sure, but I am.

Facebook – well, I’ve just gone back to using it quite recently. I have a fan Page which I made before I had a profile so that has limited my ability to connect with my fans (or ‘Likers’ as they seem to be now, lol!) And then I made a profile on a separate account thinking that I could somehow link it to the Page and that didn’t work either. So I’m now using my Profile just for real life friends and a few people I’ve known for ages online. That said, part of me would like to expand it. And I’m actually in a quandary now about this as I can’t make up my mind if I should. The part of me that wants more people along to my blog says ‘yeah, do it!’ and the part of me that wants more of a private life says ‘heck no, don’t!’ So… I don’t know. But my standards of who I would add if I were to open it out would be similar to the ones for Twitter.

Youtube – I add very few people as I’m not really using it as social media. I had intended to and maybe I will in the future, but I can’t imagine anyone would want to follow me there unless they share my taste in music or humour as, apart from other people’s videos, all I have of my own there now are videos of birds and lambs! The main reason I don’t use Youtube as social media is because of all the racism on the site. Why more people don’t moderate their comments is beyond me. Maybe they just don’t care.

Sorry the comment’s so long.
Val recently posted…What did you want to be when you grew up?My Profile

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Now there’s a comment! lol Val, we seem to have the same values using social media and that’s good. We open up when we want to yet protect ourselves in other ways also. Although I don’t set out to do it, I’ll block someone in a heartbeat if I’m irked; that’s not why I’m on social media. But it’s rare, which is a good thing because it means I filter well up front.

September 1st, 2012 | 9:43 AM