One day last week I felt it was time to trim the number of people I’d hooked up to follow on Twitter again. So I opened up the link to Twit Cleaner, ran the sucker, and stopped following nearly 100 people.
I don’t say that to be smug; I lead with that to get to this. Out of those 100 people, probably half of them indicated they were some type of social media expert. I like to use the term “specialist”, but I may have to revamp my thinking on that word one day. But I digress…
The issue at hand is that the people I decided to stop following had, in my view, in some way violated the concept of what I feel social media is all about. What were the sins? Let me point them out:
1. Not posting on Twitter. To me, it’s okay if people don’t want to use Twitter. However, if someone says they’re a social media expert, they need to be doing more than just having a Twitter account. What possible advice could they give to a client if they’re not using one of the most popular social media outlets in the world? By the way, this also goes for not having made a post in months, whether you used to be active or not.
2. Not being social on Twitter. One of my biggest gripes with some people on Twitter is that they never talk to anyone. Thanking someone for retweeting your post is not a conversation; neither is just saying “thanks” (that part also goes for responding to comments on blogs). Something Twit Cleaner does is asks if you want to see how your account is seen via its tools. I decided to check, and it said I was fine and perfect; well, I don’t remember the actual words. However, Twitter really was set up to be a communication device, for people to talk to each other. Sure, we can’t do it 24/7, but if you’re claiming to be a social media expert, you have to show that you indeed know how to talk to people.
3. Talking to yourself. Goodness, there is a lot of this! It basically takes 3 forms. One, the person keeps posting links or quotes, whether it’s links to their sites or the sites of others; two, the person keeps writing about everything going on in their day, only pausing minutes here and there for a breather; three, consistently marketing, talking about themselves… all 3 of these never including talking to a single person at all.
4. Not having a true link back to their website. This one I usually forgive early on if I’m following someone, but after awhile I won’t let it go. If you’re some kind of expert, which means you’re doing this for a living in some fashion, you need to have a website or blog or something you link back to showing some of what you do. If you’re linking to your Twitter, Linkedin or Facebook account instead, well, I’m the kind of guy who’s going to be suspicious of that.
5. Doing the “Follow Friday” (FF) thing all the time, whether it’s Friday or not, and only doing that, posting all those names without every doing anything else. True, appealing to someone’s vanity is never a bad thing, but if they see it all the time without any substance it starts falling on deaf ears; y’all don’t have anything on Eddie Haskell!
It’s true, there are no officially written rules for Twitter. But it’s obvious that there are things that help people stay engaged in some fashion. I still follow more than 1,000 people, and I have a lot more people who follow me. Everyone knows that if they actually write me about something I’d said I will respond to them. I don’t always respond to the people who just retweet me, especially if they do it often, but if it’s a new name, or someone I don’t see often, I will thank those people. I also don’t always respond to those “FF” things if it’s listing a bunch of names all at once.
Of course these are just my opinions, which means someone else might have a different thought on this one than me. If so, lay it on me; after all, I’m not calling myself a social media expert… yet. 😉