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Liking Or Sharing Your Own Stuff With Others; Let’s Talk…

Posted by on Feb 17, 2014
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A couple of weeks ago the Hot Blog Tips Crew (without me these days…) did a video on the subject of what to share on Google Plus without, what Brian Hawkins of said Hot Blog Tips believes, is spamming. I thought it was a fairly interesting video, and since I’m not a part of it I’m just going to include the link to that video and tell you to check it out.

Sharing
ryancr via Compfight

One of the things he said in the video I totally disagreed with, and in thinking about that one particular thing it got me to thinking about some other things, hence I thought it was time to share some thoughts while asking y’all what you think of these same things.

There was another blog post I read a couple of months ago (from where I can’t remember) where the writer was saying that in today’s social media world sometimes you have to “like” your own submissions. He didn’t mean you have to like what you write as much as publicly affirm that you like what you write by clicking a Like button or a +1 button on those platforms that allow you to do it.

His reasoning was that often some of these items you share won’t get seen if no one ever clicks on them, even if they’ve viewed them, and he’d done a test where if he voted his own submissions upwards that they’d get more attention. He didn’t talk about YouTube so I doubt that was a part of his testing.

Frankly I think that kind of thing is dubious, yet if you create a Facebook business or fan page you actually have to like your own page to be able to access it properly, and the same goes for groups you might create. Thus, in an odd way you become the first person promoting you as an authority so that others can see what you like and potentially come by even before you invite anyone.

By the way, this isn’t the first time I’d seen such a thing. Another of my online friends had said the same thing over a year ago, but she was speculating without testing. I didn’t quite like it then and I don’t like it now, so I refuse to go that route.

However, Brian’s contention is that if someone shares something of yours on Twitter, G+ or Facebook and you give them a “like”, it means you’re suddenly spamming people because they probably have seen it already if you shared it. And, if other people share what you’ve posted and you like or acknowledge all of them, now you’re really spamming and people are going to hate you for it and possibly unsubscribe from you.

This is the concept I have a problem with, and I’m going to explain why. One of the things we all talk about is acknowledging people who share things of yours. It’s a nice thing to do and it encourages people who like what you do to share, knowing that you’ll appreciate it.

I think sharing should only be done if people have actually read the piece, which is another interesting topic of discussion because I know some people who share things from blogging sites or shared sites that they’ve never read to get rankings; that’s kind of smarmy, although if you do it you won’t see it that way. I never put my name on anything I haven’t read or looked at because I care about what I approve.

Anyway, if someone shares something of yours, how do you acknowledge it? Is there really a proper way? Maybe yes, maybe no; let’s look at it deeper.

Let’s look at Twitter. There you have two things you can do to thank people. You can retweet what they’ve shared and thank them or you can just thank them. Twitter moves fast; there’s tons of messages and still 24 hours to kill, and even if you share your blog articles 4 times it means you’ve missed 1,436 minutes where people might have missed it. Is it so bad to use the opportunity to share it again and let other people know why you’re thanking someone? Maybe if it’s been shared 20 times within an hour but if it’s shared 5 times total?

I think not.

Sharing
Creative Commons License [Duncan] via Compfight

Let’s look at Google Plus and Facebook. You have two options there as well. You can +1 the article or “like” what’s being shared by someone else or you can comment on it.

Here’s what I’ve noticed on both. If you write something on those shares, people in your sphere of influence see it, whether you “like” it or +1 it or not. For that matter if someone comments on a YouTube video of yours and has it go to Google Plus, and then you comment on their comment it shows in both places, but on G+ others who weren’t connected to the original poster are now going to see it.

This means that if you decide you want to thank someone for sharing something of yours, it’s going to go out to the masses anyway. Are you spamming, or are you being courteous? Should you ignore people who share things you’ve put out or not?

One last point here.

Normally we think of spamming as more of an automated thing. I hate that stuff, and I notice on Twitter sometimes that some things pop up every 15 minutes or so. At some point if I get sick of it I’ll just unsubscribe from that person and get on with life because I know they’re not there and don’t really care.

To do the acknowledgements however, you have to be present. Truthfully, how many times for most of us does our stuff get shared? Maybe for someone like Ileane Smith or Adrienne Smith (no relation lol) they could get 20 to 25 shares per article, but that’s across all platforms.

Are any of us really upset when we see different people sharing their things and then seeing them being thanked for the honor?

Are we really that sensitive to seeing things more than once when most of the time, because of how fast the internet and social media moves, we’ve probably missed it not only the first time but every subsequent time as well?

All of this is both my question and my opinion. Now it’s time to ask you for yours. Is the option not to ever thank people for sharing your posts and videos and whatever as opposed to thanking as many people are you can recognize? If you thank one person and ignore everyone else how to you think they’d feel? And put yourself into both of these situations; how would you feel if it’s you?

Making you think on a Monday; I’m so wrong… ;-)
 

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31 Comments »

In all honesty Mitch, I avoid thanking people excessively now on social media.

To me, it’s a lazy way of engaging. Particularly if it’s a group thank you.

Instead, I usually start a conversation with the person who shared my post.

I think that’s a much better way of engaging and acknowledging them.

I do get tired of seeing lots of group thank yous and endless Triberr shares to be honest.

Even if people add their own commentary to a Tweet or other share that would help.

I do agree that there’s no point in sharing something you haven’t read though.

It’s very easy to do but if I think someone has done that, I usually ask them a question about it when I acknowledge the share!

Just my opinion and I’m sure others will think something completely different :-).

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Thanks for sharing your opinions Tim. I can understand your not wanting to overdo thanking people on Twitter. I have to say it was Adrienne who got me to understand that thanking people for sharing my posts helped with engagement, while also giving me a chance to sometimes share my links a second time, especially because most of the time when my blog posts go live I’m not around. It’s rare that I do a group thanks, but I do think it’s important to acknowledge when people cared enough about something you put out to show them how much you appreciated it.

Marcie Reply:

I’m with Tim. I think starting a conversation is a better way to interact and build relationships. However, a group thank you is handy on those days where time is not your best friend.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Hey Marcie! How often is time our best friend? lol For me, group thanking was easy when the old TweetDeck was around but now it’s not convenient to even try to do anymore. And you’ve seen me on Twitter; who tries to talk to more people than me? :-)

February 17th, 2014 | 10:16 AM

I wrote you a whole post in reply, Mitch. ;)

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

I hope you wrote it somewhere else other than here Holly, because it’s not here. :-(

Holly Jahangiri Reply:

I wrote it on my own blog, silly. But I think CommentLuv wasn’t giving me the Luv today, because there was no link.

Holly Jahangiri Reply:

At the risk of being labeled and blacklisted and… whatever, here’s the link to my reply: http://jahangiri.us/2013/do-you-like-your-own-stuff/

February 17th, 2014 | 3:03 PM

Hey Mitch,

Without watching the video and just picking up what you’re saying here does that mean that Brian thinks that if I thank someone for sharing my stuff that I’m spamming? You said you had disagreed but went on to talk about other things as well.

I’m always going to thank people who share my stuff and to be honest with you, if they don’t appreciate that or anyone who constantly sees me thanking others doesn’t like it then just don’t follow me. I’m not going to lose any sleep over that because I’m not changing for anyone. I appreciate it and I’m going to tell them.

I do not however thank everyone who hits the like button on Facebook or gives me a +1 on Google. Oh my gosh, I’d never get anything done. Okay, it’s not that bad but you know what I mean.

I did hear recently though about something as far as sharing stuff across Google+ and you needed to turn your notifications off or it would be shared 20 million times across every community you were a part of and that can become annoying and some might look at that as being spammy. Not sure if that’s what you were talking about as well.

I do plus 1 my own stuff and I have from the beginning because I was taught to but I quit liking anything on Facebook after I wrote that post about how they’re misleading people with the likes that you’re not seeing yourself. I’d rather chat then like anyway.

So that’s my take Mitch and I’m sticking to it! ;-) Oh and thanks of the mention, always an honor.

~Adrienne

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Adrienne, you’re one of those people who have a lot of your articles and posts shared, which is why I mention that if you were doing it, thanking everybody on Google Plus, they could get overwhelming. The majority of us don’t get that much attention anywhere, so when we decide to take a chance on some how thanking people I don’t believe it such a big deal. My point as it applied to Google Plus was that whether you decided to +1 or leave a comment thanking someone that it was going to show up in other people stream anyway, and that personally I believe that it’s courteous for someone who doesn’t get as much attention, like myself, to show acknowledgment meant in some way.

I have never liked my own posts on Facebook, but if I noticed that someone who shared something I posted or previously shared I will give that a like. To me,Facebook moves so fast that there’s going to be very little chance of spamming anyone unless you’re trying to do it intentionally.

Overall, what I think was missed in the video was how or whether people should thank or acknowledge others for sharing their submissions. It was kind of a gripe video without a suggestion or a solution, which is why I disagreed with the premise.

February 17th, 2014 | 6:18 PM

Wow Mitch, you are making me think today. I try to thank everyone but it doesn’t always happen on Twitter. I’d say about 90% of the time I do and I try to share their stuff too if it is something I think my followers would like. I don’t understand though on Facebook people thanking people for liking someone, that’s a little much for me. I will comment when other’s comment on my posts or comment on their’s. But I don’t thank people for every like on Facebook. Is that wrong? The same on Google Plus, I try to thank everyone there as well.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Great stuff Lisa. I would think the issue is whether you can thank every one, but whether we should thank people at the risk of some others thinking were spamming, or whether we should just ignore people who share whatever we put up and seem like we don’t care at all.

I believe it’s okay to thank people publicly for sharing your stuff, and how you decide to thank them is up to you. In the video, Brian went a different direction. I’m not saying that he doesn’t believe anyone should never be thanked for something, but it wasn’t conveyed that he believed in it and that’s the part I’m disagreeing with. But you’re right, it does make you think.

February 17th, 2014 | 7:59 PM

I get involved only in facebook. Liking is saying thanks in a way when I share someone’s post as does someone mine. Other than that to thank someone for sharing my post will become a virtuous circle!

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Rummuser, if I notice on Facebook that someone has shared something of mine I will give it a like, but it’s so rare that I see it happening that I can’t believe anybody could ever consider it as spam of any sort. I don’t know if this happens to you there, but often if someone shares something of mine they include me in their timeline and I get that message asking me if I want to add it to my timeline. Sometimes I say no, sometimes I say yes, but I don’t know that I have thought deeply as to whether it should go one way or the other all the time.

February 17th, 2014 | 8:02 PM

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. It is not a leverrage, just it depends on what is shared. The point of sharing is other people to appreciate it, not myself. If somebody have share and like something, most likely there is a good reason behind that, so there is no point to send thank you now (which usually is usual practise on Twitter).
There are no evidence that this help or not help, I doubt that a reasonable research can be done on this subject, just social science is too complicated.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

I think the way you do it is proper Carl. I don’t think any of us sees everything that someone shares of ours, but I’d like to think that were seen as being gracious and thankful rather than spamming when we do it.

February 17th, 2014 | 11:10 PM

Hi Mitch,
Thanks for mentioning me here.
So let’s talk about that for a sec. How did I know that you mentioned me?
I started off monitoring @ mentions in HootSuite, but I knew that I was missing some of the mentions because the counts never added up with what I was seeing on the sharing widgets on my blog. Then I found out about Google Alerts – this worked great for me at first and I’m lucky enough to have a unique spelling of my name (not one that is the same as a famous musician such as yourself). Then as time went by Google Alerts became less and less reliable and I found a few other tools like TalkWalker and Mention.net (which is how I found out that you mentioned me here). But those two aren’t 100% accurate either and I found more and more tools to monitor mentions. I can’t even remember the names of all those tools but let’s just say that none of them finds the same stuff. They all return different results and there are lots of times when people share my content but they don’t even mention me or the name of my blog. To be honest I could spend about 45 minutes a day just going through all of the alerts I get! Keep in mind I have 2 Twitter accounts, 3 blogs, an active YouTube Channel, a Podcast, Facebook Page, Google + Page…..no need to go list everything here that I get notifications about because I think you get the point.

So here are some of the questions that I’m faced with – is it more important for my content to be shared or does it need to be shared by influencers in order for people to read it?

Do I care if Michael Hyatt or Amy Porterfield share my content even though they never read it? Or should I be thankful that they sent hundreds of people to my blog who did eventually read it – and they reshared it and I got huge traffic spikes and great comments and interaction? Some of these folks mentioned me when they reshared my posts and some of them didn’t. Do I need to thank all these folks?

Ok so let me just say this now – I don’t have answers to all of these questions I just wanted to point out that I have some totally different questions than you have.

In fact I even wonder if I am wasting my time monitoring all of these mentions if I don’t have time to acknowledge all of them.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Glad to see you Miss Ileane!

I ask a much different question, but I’ll respond to your first one. You asked should you care if someone else is automatically sharing your posts. No, but they should. Maybe not you specifically but there could be other people whose posts they’re automatically sharing and they might not have the control over content that you do on your blog. For instance, there was a post by a guy named Jack B who wrote about looking for cheap, uhhh… oral sex by prostitutes… as a topic, and the title suggested it. One of our friends automatically posted it to Twitter. Now, it was kind of out of character for the writer, but it was also out of character for our friend to share. I think I commented to him about it and he was a little stunned but went with it anyway. But you see what I mean here?

Second point, do you need to thank all the folks sharing your stuff? Heck, you’re not even sure you know who all of them are! lol I think everyone gets to make the determination as to whether they want to thank no one, some of the people, or no one. I think “need” only comes down to your own feelings, and no one else’s.

Third point, why are you monitoring all these folks? Probably for the same reason I’m trying, although not very hard. I want to know if I’m mentioned because I’ve turned off trackbacks, and so I know I miss a lot of posts where someone has included me in their content. These things I’m using still don’t work, so often it’s months later when I finally know about it. That’s a shame but it is what it is.

And finally the fourth point, which is one I’m making up because, well, I’m not close to as popular as you online. Your video is still the most watched I’ve done, and just how many lists are you showing up on these days and how many interviews are you doing? You’ve reached that point where no one is expecting you to keep up with it all; that and you actually still have a full time job! lol I’m certainly not there yet, and neither are many other people, so looking for those times when we can thank someone for taking their time to even think about us a little bit is how we get to social network. We’re trying to get to where you are; them’s the facts ma’am! ;-)

February 18th, 2014 | 6:40 AM

Grrr. This bird just ate my post so I’m not rewriting ALLLL of that, but I disagree(d). I do “like” my own posts,depending on what they are, to get them noticed. It’s only one vote – if I must call it that. It’s not like I can repeatedly LIKE my post to make it popular, because LIKE is a toggle switch. I do thank people for commenting and/or re-posting, and and many as I can, and I absolutely re-post/re-tweet without reading what I re-tweet. There are many awesome folks in my stream who I know to be sharp and reputable, and I don’t need to read — or even be interested in – everything they post. That doesn’t mean the topic won’t be relevant to my readership. And a re-tweet is not necessarily an endorsement. As far as spamming, FB delivers posts to fewer and fewer people because they want you to pay for people to see it. You may send to 2000 connections but far fewer than that will see the post. Including the likes. Personally… I have almost all push notifications turned off so I only get to see who’s liked what when I log in and look intentionally. So it’s not such an annoyance. I will thank them verbally for their action , or “like” their action. That LIKE of theirs may be the only interaction we’ve had in a while so I get to acknowledge that and thank them for still being there.

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Actually, you only disagree with one point and I’m going to disagree with one point.

You disagree on the liking your own stuff part, and I didn’t necessarily say that was bad, just that it’s not for me. I admit conflict with that one, but it’s one I just can’t pull the trigger on. And I don’t think that could be considered spamming in and of itself; I do worry about those other times when I have shared something and then someone includes me when they reshare it, but I deal with it.

The one I disagree with you on is that sharing doesn’t mean you endorse it. That’s a dodge; of course you endorse it. If you have no plans on reading it then that’s disingenuous to all those other people who look at it and think “Oh look, Kelvin recommends I read this” and then go read it and are possibly disappointed in it. Now, if you only do it for a few people that’s one thing, but if you’re not being perspicacious with it then it’s reckless. Look at the comment I left Ileane for the example I shared and the embarrassment it caused a friend of ours.

Still, when all is said and done, everyone will do what they see and feel works for them. My premise for this post was that liking and +1′ing and retweeting stuff others share of yours isn’t spamming in the traditional sense; do you disagree with that? lol

Kelvin Reply:

I disagree (re: endorsement) — but, you knew that ;) Even if I read and the post, there’s no guarantee the people I send it to will like it. Just like if I read a book and recommend it, there’s no guarantee they’ll like it. To pass something on via subject to say, “this might be of interest to you” is not disingenuous — and I’ll look up that “p” word later.

As for the final point, I don’t necessarily consider that spamming in any sense — depending on the volume, of course. The very nature of the Social Media platform is that the things we put on it are transient. Depending on other interaction, the thing you post at noon may be far downstream by 5 whenever a particular person comes online. ESPECIALLY with Twitter, and when FB went to the streaming model AND given that they now only show a given post to portion of your potential audience, even moreso with them. So if you re-post the re-tweet or repost, chances are an entirely different segment of the audience will see it than when it passed the first time. Further, given that SPAM is “unsolicited and unwanted,” well…90% of the stuff that comes into any given stream is potentially unsolicited and unwanted. So it’s kind of an oxymoron <– and don't be trying to turn that around on me either ;-) Have a great day sir!

Holly Jahangiri Reply:

I have to agree with Kelvin on this one, Mitch – sharing is not an “endorsement.” (Of course, I think I say that explicitly on my profile on Twitter – at least on my work account.) ONLY if I add my opinion to it MIGHT it be considered an endorsement. Otherwise it’s just, “Hey, passing this along because it looks possibly interesting.” So, take all shares and RTs with a grain of salt. Generally won’t do it unless it seems possibly interesting to me, too – but no promises.

Also, on FB, I share things to provoke discussion. Again, the only thing one should assume about MY opinion on the matter is anything I bother to WRITE about it – either in the post or a comment below the post. Sometimes I’m just throwing it out there for the hens and wolves, to see what they’ll do with it, before I venture a comment. (That’s different from trolling, mind you – where one already knows EXACTLY what they’ll do with it, and that it won’t be pretty.)

Kelvin, I’m the one who’s always wanting to make more of oxymorons than they deserve. ;) Mitch is far too kind.

Mitch, as to your comments about being uncomfortable changing years of upbringing and attitude – you just go right on playing the game your way, doing what you’re comfortable doing. Bottom line, when it’s your own blog or FB wall or Twitter stream, there ARE NO RULES. Only the ones we self-impose or are imposed on us by the site’s TOS. You can fit in with the community or be a little out of step, and those who care about you will continue to do so no matter what. ;)

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Holly, as I responded to Kelvin, I’ve written on this blog that if you see me sharing something you can bet I’ve looked at it, otherwise I’m not sharing anything. And except for my initial blog posts in the morning hours, since I write them in advance, any time someone sees me sharing something you can bet that I’m live at that moment and if you say “hi” I’ll say something back to you. I really want engagement and networking, and sometimes it’s disappointing when I don’t get it back.

And thanks for understanding comfort levels. It’s kind of like zucchini and mushrooms; hate those things with a passion and it doesn’t matter how nutritious anyone tries to tell me they are, I’m not eating them or most of those other nasty vegetables and fruit. :-)

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

I wrote a blog post some time last year on the subject of sharing and I said that if you’re on any social media platform and you see I shared something, it means I endorse it because I’ve looked at it first, and my word is my bond. You know that much about me. So, that’s how I take my reputation; I might see it much differently than you, but that’s what I learned from my dad. :-)

But see, we agree on the second part. lol

February 18th, 2014 | 10:16 PM

Firstly, as you know, I promote all my stuff on as much social media as I can as I figure it gets it out there that much quicker.

As for thanking everyone who shares my post I usually only thank them if I know them personally. I certainly don’t thank everyone, especially with those posts that get over a thousand shares ;)

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Sire, I’ve never had a post get 1,000 shares; this one’s getting a lot and it’s probably going to end up being my most shared post ever. Usually I’m lucky to get 5 shares of anything. And I’m not saying to thank everyone because we never really know everyone.

I have written about marketing and how many times we should or shouldn’t share but I’ve always just asked questions about it because I really don’t know what’s too much or too little. I know what I like and don’t like to see and yet sometimes I wonder what’s so different in someone posting their link every 10 minutes when compared to those TV commercials that come on after every pause of a favored TV show.

February 19th, 2014 | 6:22 AM

I wanted to reply here yesterday Mitch but, honestly, I couldn’t understand what you were referring to. Now, the next morning, I still have no idea where I said thanking others for sharing or for liking their reshares of ours is spamming. Even though I’m the one that made the video I just re-watched it twice to see if I’m out of my mind but I guess I am because I don’t believe I said any of that. lol

I did write in a post about something somewhat similar but it was about using Google Plus. In that post I mentioned that “others” were saying the “Thank You tactic” is a form of self promotion and not necessarily a thank you. I express my opinion in the second paragraph of that section where I say, “Personally, I think the problem here is with those that are making it a crime to thank one another by insisting it’s self-serving”.

As far as liking our own stuff, thanking others or sharing content we haven’t read… I just worry that we tend to get hung up on minor details and while we’re analyzing and debating, real business is passing us by. The discussion is fine, I just encourage those reading to continue with what works and don’t allow minor details to stop you from taking action. Even the wrong actions are better that no action, at least we learn something from it.

I recently had a Facebook friend follow me on Twitter. She shared one of my blog posts on Twitter so I thanked her and I retweeted her share. I got a two paragraph email on why I should never retweet a tweet that’s tweeting my own posts. I guess that makes me look spammy? Life is too short and I had to ignore the email.

Off topic – I’d love to go back 15 years and use the phrase, “retweet a tweet that’s tweeting” within any sentence. lol

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Hey Brian, glad to finally see you here.

Actually, I just went back to look at the link I shared and that’s not the video. It was part of one of the Hangouts on Air and the topic really wasn’t about Google Plus but you started talking about some things you didn’t like when it came to how some people share some things and you said how some of the practices that I thought were fine were “spammy”. Now I’m going to have to go through all those things again to find it. That is, unless you’re saying that you agree with the stuff I wrote about that I think is fine to do on G+, in which case I’ll just move on and eat some peanut butter cups… which I still have to buy. :-)

February 19th, 2014 | 8:59 AM

Before I delve into the topic, I just want to say that, this is one of the few topics in which I don’t exactly follow my own opinion.

I love when people share my content…and I do want to thank them, but I am of the opinion that I don’t have to do is constantly, especially if this particular person is a consistent sharer/reader of our blog. They already know that we are thankful for them (plus, I find it annoying when people just send me thank yous again and again).

I have wanted to stop doing it…stop thanking my loyal shareres, but I still do it (for some reason).

As for liking/plussing my own stuff, that’s whole another topic…I don’t do it every often, but I do believe we should do so (We have to become our own first loyal follower….we have to experience what it is to be a follower…only then can we become a true leader).

Anyways, interesting topic, Mitch :)

Mitch Mitchell Reply:

Interesting quote Jeevan; is that an original? lol

I think you express an opinion that everyone has at some point, one that one of us never resolve. I try to thank people but I’m like you in believing that if someone shares almost everything you do, you find other ways to thank them that, well, thanking them each and every time. And yet, there are folks who do it. I appreciate it, and I hope others appreciate when I do it for them.

February 20th, 2014 | 11:05 AM

Hey Mitch: I do not have to over-think this as I just thank people whenever they like something. To me it is just courteous and the right thing to do.
I have not liked my own stuff, except by accident. Not sure about this one, but you made some valid points as to why you may want to do this. Still not sure though.

February 21st, 2014 | 9:01 AM