Do We Know Who We Know On Social Media?
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Oct 14, 2013
Well, this was an interesting interaction. Yesterday a local friend of mine came over to help me move a rock. That sounds weird until you realize the rock is more than 400 pounds. It’s actually a boulder that I bought at the beginning of September to try to keep people from hitting and breaking my mailbox time and time again because they come around a corner too fast, skid into my yard, and crash into it. I figured with the boulder, which can’t be missed, might be a deterrent and slow some people down.
Nope, didn’t happen. When I got home after two weeks out of town I was informed that someone had hit the boulder and it had moved. It moved to a point where it wasn’t protecting the mailbox any longer so it did its job, but it needed to be moved back into place. My friend Jesse came over, strapped the boulder, and pulled it with his pick up truck; all good once more.
I thanked Jesse in public on Facebook because he really didn’t have to do it but I was happy that he volunteered. He responded and all was good, but then someone else responded to him and they started having an interesting conversation. She was attractive so I decided to check out her page (for scientific reasons you know; cough) and they I asked him who she was, but where she could see it since it was my thread.
Talk about embarrassment. Turns out I had met her and was already friends with her on Facebook from two years ago; oy! But I’d added her after meeting her so I didn’t know her that well. Then she told me we were connected on LinkedIn; I went over there and saw that we weren’t and I told her so. She wrote back saying she thought we were, and we connected with each other to get that taken care of.
It got me thinking about social media, people we’re connected to, and how much we know of the people we’re connected to. Whereas I realize that many people I’m connected to on Twitter I don’t really know and almost never talk to (or never have talked to), I thought that everyone I was connected to on Facebook was someone I’d be talking to on a regular basis. I hadn’t seen this lady in two years, not in my stream and she’d never seen anything else I’d put out. If it hadn’t been for a mutual connection and a fluke yesterday we might have gone another 2 years before connecting, and I still wouldn’t have known who she is; guess I’m a bit more memorable sometimes since she remembered me and where we met (I got it like that with the ladies lol). 🙂
When we talk about social media and social media marketing, our expectation is twofold. One expectation is that people we’re connected to will respond to what we say and do and offer and will jump at the chance to participate. Two, we hope that they’ll like it so much that they’ll share it with others and help us grow even more.
But we also talk about making relationships, and it seems to me that if we don’t even know the people we’re connected to in places like Facebook, what does that say about our own relationship marketing? Why should we be expecting anything from anyone when, in the long run, we don’t really know who they are? I think about my Twitter stream and realize I’m connected to nearly 1,000 people, but I think I might really know only 100 of them; isn’t that a shame? How many more people on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus am I connected to for one reason or another who I wouldn’t recognize in a heartbeat if they suddenly appeared in my stream? And the lady on Facebook was very attractive; how’d I forget her for reasons other than being an old married man? lol
While it’s true that if we’re looking to branch out and reach as many people as possible that it makes knowing everyone we connect to impossible, it should remind us that we need to find ways to make ourselves more memorable and to try to bring more people closer to us if we have high aspirations for visibility on social media. I still believe Chris Pirillo is right when he talks about having those 100 core fans if you will, but how many of us can actually say that we have that? Yeah, Adrienne probably does. 🙂
Something to think about on a Monday morning; enjoy the rock, who saved the day and probably got the best of the encounter with whoever hit it.