I usually post articles here on Monday morning but I changed up this week for something special… at least for me. On Sunday I celebrated my 17th year of self employment as a consultant; let me take a moment for myself…
Thus, I moved this post to today, but in its own way it’s a milestone post, though not the one I thought it was going to be. At least I’m writing this post, which means I was able to figure out how to modify a new theme, which I talked about last week. Continue reading →
Unlike a lot of people who receive free books, I tend to read them, even when I feel like I’m proficient on the topic at hand. In this case, the book is How To Tweet And Thrive On Twitter by Lisa Sicard of Inspire To Thrive, and I earned a free copy by winning it during a Twitter Chat that Lisa holds weekly… although I don’t remember the time (I’m sure she’ll let me know lol). It’s about Twitter and it gives a lot of information, most of which I already knew. However, I learned a few things I didn’t know, as well as read it in a format I wasn’t familiar with, so I felt it deserved being reviewed; here we go.
Learn To Tweet by Lisa Sicard
First, the link above will take you to Amazon, and since I’m not an affiliate I don’t have to disclose anything. Then again, I just told you where you’re going so I guess I did disclose something. lol Continue reading →
Back in March when I wrote what turned out to be my very popular post 31 Big Mistakes People Make Blogging And In Social Media, I broke up the thoughts about blogging and social media to make the article easier to read and understand. Lost of folks liked, commented and shared that post and I thought that was pretty cool.
I shared lunch!
Yet, 3 months later and I’m seeing something that’s making me write another post about 3 things regarding social media that it just feels like I’m seeing more of. The funny thing is that it’s the first 3 things I talked about in that other post, which I intentionally listed as the first 3 because I thought they were important enough to get in as soon as possible when I switched to the social media topic.
Of course this means I have to go over them again, since I really believe that people are missing out on opportunities to help us help them make big inroads on social media, and even potentially their blogs, and y’all know I’m big on talking about blogs.
Marketing All The Time
“Buy my book. Buy my program. Sign up for my webinar.”
Over and over again, I see these messages in many places. I’m not connected to as many of these people because I find this sort of thing irritating, but when I look at lists I’ve created such as my leadership list, which I use as part of my Twitter marketing, there are periods where I see someone marketing their stuff at least every 5 minutes or so. True, at least they change the wording, but who wants to see that over and over regardless?
Should we be marketing on Twitter, or other places on social media? I believe if we’re doing any type of business and have either products or services we think someone might be interested in then absolutely. Is there a correct number of times to do so? Not really I’m probably say. Is there an incorrect number of times? Absolutely!
The nature of social media is to be pretty fluid and fast moving; I get that. Lots of people are trying to eek out their bit of space to get some attention.
What some folks might not realize is that if people are connected to you and you’re marketing too much, you’re being tuned out and all the effort you’re putting in isn’t going to do you any good. How do I know? Isn’t this the generation that tunes out commercials, has ad blindness on blogs and websites, and watches more things like Netflix so they can avoid commercials altogether?
The fact that you might have 120K connections on Twitter, another 100K on Google Plus, and maybe 50K on LinkedIn doesn’t necessarily mean you’re popular. It just means people are lazy and not in the mood to block you like I will.
Try to remember that a little bit of absence can go a long way. Once, maybe twice an hour if you feel the need, is plenty. Heck, did I just counter what I said earlier? lol
Not Sharing Any Of Your Own Content
I love people who share the content of others; way to go! Now, tell us something about you. For that matter, share something that you put out on your own, something that you wrote, something that you did. Please, I want to share your contributions with other people.
Maybe don’t share this content lol
I can’t believe how many people I’m connected to who never, and I mean EVER, share anything of their own. I can’t even just go to their blogs to see what they might be producing because they don’t link to their blogs anywhere. I used to think it meant that lots of those folks didn’t have blogs but in my research (I can be a pitbull as it pertains to research sometimes) I find that at least half the people who don’t list their blog anywhere actually has a blog.
Why do I stay connected to those folks? Because sometimes they share something I’m interested in. I’ll read it and sometimes share it… but I don’t always give them credit for sharing it to begin with. That might seem cruel in a way, but what I do instead is look to see who created the article and I’ll add their name to the link instead. I think it’s fairer to share “talent” than share “shares”, if that makes sense.
I often wonder why people don’t share their own stuff. If they’re ashamed of it, why create it? I do know there are some people who don’t create anything that want to share things they see, especially as it pertains to politics or social issues. I guess that’s fine, but there’s little of that stuff I’m sharing with my group, since I have my own sense of things I’d rather share in that arena.
Still, I’m tired of seeing every other post going to Huffington Post or Inc or Forbes or… well, you name a popular website. I’m thinking those folks really don’t need all that much publicity… but you might benefit from getting some. Think about it.
I’m also tired of people sharing things on LinkedIn that they created that never say anything about what they’re sharing. Except for my initial post from this blog and my business blog, if I ever share anything else on LinkedIn I offer my opinion on it when I share it, or ask a question that I hope someone responds to, even my own posts.
Not Sharing The Content Of Others
So you’re not marketing, just sharing all your own blog posts; well, that’s something I suppose. Hey, I’ve got between 4,000 and 5,000 articles online, which means I could probably share just stuff I’ve created and not recycle a single thing after even a year. Sure, all of those things aren’t top quality, but would it matter if I just wanted to talk about myself all the time?
I read a lot every day. I visit all sorts of blogs, and I read articles in all sorts of places. One of the reasons I like Flipboard so much is because I can pick a category and have it show me both popular sites and sites that might not be as popular, but have owners who are on Flipboard sharing their articles. Sometimes it’s other people sharing their articles also; that’s pretty cool.
If people can do that on Flipboard, why can’t they do that on other social media platforms? For instance, I’m sharing a blog post written by a lady named Amy White titled How We Paid Off $293,000 in Debt in Five Years that I liked a lot. She has just over 1,250 followers, her blog is ranked around 5 million via Alexa, and I found it a fascinating post. I think a lot of other people will benefit from reading it, so I’m sharing it, and I feel good about it.
By the way, if you are actually sharing other people’s content and making it look like you’re sharing your own… shame on you! Not only is it misleading, but you can’t even take the time to share the names or handles of the people whose posts you’re sharing, especially if they supply it, so they can get a bit of extra bounce and feel good about what they’ve done? Shaking my head and wagging my finger… lol
As I said earlier, it’s not all about me. I want to share other people’s content, and I want to help showcase them in the best light. But if they’re irritating, or they’re not sharing any of their content, or they’re just being selfish… it’s not going to happen.
I’m sure most of you remember that before it was “liking” tweets what you did was click on the star and it saved it as Favorites. In the original version, saving something to Favorites was like you were bookmarking links with the intention by Twitter that you’d go back and read them later on. I’ve never been the bookmarking type, so I never used it.
At some point it started taking on a different significance, which is why Twitter switched it over last November. Even though there was a firestorm (because most people hate change) Twitter announced after a week that based on their algorithms it was 6% more popular than Favorites; how about that?
I never used it, never even thought about it… until last week, Wednesday, when a local favorite Syracuse University former basketball player named Dwayne “Pearl” Washington passed away from a brain tumor. He was 52, and even though the entire community knew he was sick it was still a shock when it happened. He was not only a great college player and a high school legend, but he was the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet, and even I had to about the one encounter I had with him, along with hundreds of others.
There were all sorts of tributes to him on Twitter, not only from locals but from former college & NBA players and stories all over the place. I shared some of those stories on my social media sites… and then I liked a tweet. Then I liked 3 others. It’s amazing that it took this to get me to like a tweet because I didn’t even add any favorites to Twitter when Michael Jackson passed away… my favorite artist of all time; that’s saying something.
I’ve been thinking about the concept of social media sharing since last Wednesday. I’ve written about how I market on Twitter, which includes a lot of sharing of articles and posts by others. I’ve stepped up the game on that one since I wrote that post, but I’ll save that for another time.
Part of me realizes that liking a tweet is sharing with the person who posted the tweet that you enjoyed what they shared. However, I haven’t been able to figure out if anyone else sees it. I’ve looked on Twitter and Tweeten (since Tweetdeck changed) and on Tweetcaster on my other technology and have never seen in any of my other streams where someone just liked a tweet. I see when they retweet it but that’s about it.
I like sharing other people’s content, and overall I think I’m pretty good at it. More people need to think about sharing the content of others as part of their own marketing strategy, as well as sharing some of their own stuff. I see way too many people doing either one or the other but not doing both all that well. Because of that I’m going to mention the names of 3 people who are the best in the business when it comes to sharing… at least based on what I’ve noticed to this point.
First we have Donna Merrill of Donna Merrill Tribe. She’s a serial sharer of a lot of my posts, and not just on Twitter. Shew as the first person to share a post of mine on LinkedIn, which I have to admit I’d never even thought about doing. She shares my posts on all the social media sites I participate on and is always graceful in what she has to say about the posts she shares. She’s even shared posts of mine from my business blog, which most people don’t even visit. Thanks Donna!
Second on the list we have Sherman Smith of Sherman Smith’s Blog. Sherman shares my posts on Twitter, Google Plus & LinkedIn. He always offers his own opinion about a post when he shares it; that’s pretty cool so thanks to you Sherman!
Third, last but certainly not least is the share queen herself, Adrienne Smith. Adrienne shares more of my posts than anyone else alive, and she was the first person to ever share a post of mine on Facebook… which freaked me out (in a good way) because once again I’ve never thought about sharing almost any of my own posts in my general feed. If I were the type I’d bow my head to her and her sharing mastery… instead I’m thanking her here; thanks Adrienne!
Are you sharing what other people are creating? Are you doing anything so they know you’re doing it? What do you think of it as a marketing strategy, or even just as a way to show appreciation for what others are writing or creating? Let me know, and of course visit my friends above. Who knows; they might even like it somewhere. 🙂
Timing is everything. Last week I was thinking about writing this particular article and trying to figure out how I wanted to start it. Then, out of nowhere, the opportunity came and literally slapped me in the face. I said I was going to write about it at the end of our conversation; this is that article (folks, realize that with writers, every encounter is a potential story lol).
As I’ve mentioned often, whenever someone connects with me on Twitter I check out their feed to see what they’re all about. I’ll admit that I’m probably a bit more discriminating than a lot of people. There’s a lot of things that will keep me from connecting with someone because I decided I don’t want to see certain things in my stream; so sue me.
Last year when I decided I was going to increase the number of people I’m connected to on Twitter I opened my vision just a bit more, looking for people who were into things I was interested in and overlooking a few more things. Thus, I’ve added a lot more people than I was connected to last year. That number would be a lot higher if it wasn’t for DM’s.
A lot of people I connected to would have something automatically coming back to me via DM. It might have been within minutes, or it might have been within a few hours. You could tell which was which, but I didn’t like either of them, which prompted me to eventually write a post asking people not to Auto DM me on Twitter and saying that if it happened I would immediately unfollow them.
I’ve stuck with that for the most part. A couple of times I’ve asked someone who did that why they did it, and I’ve never gotten a legitimate response other than “I thought you’d be interested…” Sorry folks, but that’s not enough. Twitter’s supposed to be about engagement, like most of social media (although it doesn’t quite happen that way most of the time), and as the top engagement platform on the internet I’m of the opinion that people should talk to each other in the open first, or at least make the DM (direct message) a real post, without a link or a sales pitch to be… gasp… social!
Then a couple of days ago someone else sent me a link as a first contact. It was slightly different than the standard DM sales pitch, but I wasn’t clicking on it. Folks, this is 2016, and if you’re still clicking on links from people you don’t know you’re taking a mighty big risk. Since everything I do depends on my computer, I don’t take those kinds of risks.
I wrote the guy back saying I didn’t know him and that I didn’t click on links from people I’d never talked to previously. Then I followed through with my normal pattern, which was unfollowing him, and thought I was moving on with life.
Only he decided to write back. Twitter now allows that from people you’re not connected with, although I didn’t expect it. Suddenly we were in a conversation about it. He said I was sending a negative vibe in my approach to the subject. I said my Twitter profile asked people not to send me auto DM’s; he said his wasn’t, and that he thought I’d be interested in what he was sharing. I asked him why he couldn’t send me that same message in the open, or at least write to ask me first if he could send me a link and he said:
“I don’t have time to worry about people’s sensitivities…”
After that, there really wasn’t all that much to say. I did say, especially since he decided to add that if I was that worried that I should change my profile to private. I said that I’d been on Twitter almost 8 years and that people who really cared to reach out to me usually greeted me first or asked if they could send me a link, and that someone on the same day had actually done that and I answered in the affirmative.
His response to that was he would take what I’d said to him as something he’d think about as a learning experience and that he hoped we could both end the conversation having learned something. I said all was good and that it gave me something to write about… which is this. lol
The first thing I did after that conversation was to go to my profile and change the wording to say “Don’t DM as a first connection; talk to me first.”
The second was to think about this article I was already going to write, how I was going to incorporate the above into it, and how I was going to address my gripes with DM’s on Twitter as a first contact. By the way I’m not alone on this thought. Marji Sherman wrote a post titled Kill the Auto-DM. Please, and thank you. Melissa Culberson actually wrote about this in 2011. A company called Sales Blend write about Auto DM’s in 2014. Goodness; there are thousands of articles telling people they shouldn’t do it.
I decided it was time to think more about the subject… why did I hate these things so much? Is it just the automation? Is it the impersonal nature of the overwhelming majority of them? Is it the perception of laziness, the uncaring of my time, the push to sell? Am I really worth even thinking about in the eyes of these folks, and should that bother me?
Bother me… since I can’t identify what others are thinking, I can only look at myself and figure out what I’m thinking. I thought about it and I figured it out… the same reason I want more gun control… the same reason I want more oversight of police… the same reason I stay far away from people who seem overly religious…
I don’t trust them. Yes, that’s it; few of the people who are vociferous about these things have earned my trust. Not that they have to so they can live their lives… I’m all for people being able to do what they want to do if it makes them feel good. But when it intrudes into my life, such that I have to deal with it… yes, my trust must be earned.
How do people earn trust? What makes me different in the trust area? For that matter, am I really different?
Let me start with this, for those who haven’t been reading my blogs for years now. I have three major convictions that are the standard I live my life by. In this order they are: loyalty, trustworthiness and honesty.
If I allow someone to be a true friend of mine it means they’ve passed all 3 of these tests. I learn that over time and it’s tested by my being this to them as often as possible. I’m of the opinion that we teach people how to treat us by treating people how we want to be treated; morality is strong for me, which surprises some people because I don’t have any faith to back me up on it. All I have are my ethics; they’ve gotten me this far in life.
If I look at the process of a DM from someone I haven’t really even met yet, what I see is someone who seems to be showing me that they can’t be trusted with my friendship. Heck, they didn’t even try; they just sent me a message, many times with a link, trying to tell me they’re sharing an ebook or a blog post or a course… sometimes free, sometimes not… but does it really matter?
Maybe it’s my age… maybe it’s my background… maybe it’s my race. I’m not really sure, but I’m not that trusting of people after 56 years. People get burned on a lot of things I don’t because I’m not so trusting. When I get burned I’m very hard on myself for allowing it to happen, even if it’s a rare event; I owned up in this blog’s first post of this year how hard I am on myself.
What I see are a lot of people who don’t really care about engaging with anyone, and that includes me, with those DMs. A few try to tell you they care, and maybe that’s their way of showing it, but it doesn’t fit my sensibilities.
A couple of years ago Kim Garst wrote a post about DM’s where she said she felt there was a place for them, but instead of selling people should actually write in their own words (write like they talk), ask a question to try to encourage engagement, and then actually engage with those who respond, creating a relationship before anything else potentially occurs. Of course, she’s still sending these things out via automation (at least she was at the time she wrote that post), going against the advice of the venerable Gary V in the process; now there’s chutzpah! lol
I had to think about this one for a few moments… then decided I didn’t like that either, especially because she added in her post that thing about not having enough time in the day to do it the other way. Then again, she has 437 thousand followers and is following 285 thousand, whereas I have 4,337 followers and I’m following 1,255; could I actually talk to that many people without automation?
By the way, it turns out there’s also systems that automate messages to people in the open… but since people like me can block them (I block all messages from TweetJukebox, Commun.it and a few others), but one can’t do that with DMs, I suppose it’s one reason not to even try sending automated messages in the open. Still, if you really care…
Enough of that. I’ve laid out the issue, given the major reason why I dislike it, and now, if you’re still with me, I’m going to lay out my belief on how a true personal connection should be made on the way to helping to gain someone’s trust:
1. If you’re going to follow someone who isn’t following you, try sharing something they’ve posted and include them in on it (like adding “via @name” or something like that. BTW, actually look at it first, just in case…
2. If they connect with you, send them a quick message either saying hello or telling them you liked what you shared. If there’s room tell them why.
3. Whether or not they follow up with you, if you still want to make a connection send them a quick message asking if you can share something with them and ask if you can send it via DM or if they’d like it in the open.
Are those steps really difficult? Are they really all that time consuming? Actually, they might be for someone like Kim with all those followers, but I guess the follow up question would be if she looks at what has to be thousands of DM’s coming her way with links and such, or if she’s ignoring them. Remember my alluding to the “do unto others” thing (teach people how to treat you)?
That’s all I’ve got, so now it’s your turn. Am I really all that far off base or do you understand and agree with me? Am I a product of my age (fearing Commies), my background (military kid; always lived behind fences with guys with M-16’s guarding the gate) or my race (a guy in a documentary was once asked why he kept his blinds closed all the time and he said “Because I’m black”, and I understood what he meant)? Let’s find out!