Keeping Social Media Social

Twitter LogoOf all the Social Media tools available for communicating today, Twitter is my favorite (tied of course, with Blogs). Many of my friends would think this is strange since my “old school” Nokia phone doesn’t have the capability to do much more than handle phone calls and text messages.

So what is it that I like so much about Twitter? The ability to communicate! I enjoy the interaction that takes place on Twitter, in “real time.” I’ve called friends whom I first met on Twitter. I’ve run into people that I’ve been following and vice-versa, in social settings around Atlanta. I’ve even had someone come up to me who knew my name, based upon my Twitter background and say hello. And of course, there are the “Tweetups” where people can bring Social Media relationships to real time. Quite simply, I enjoy the communication!

I enjoy the ability to get a sense for what others are saying and what is important to them. For that reason, I typically “listen” on Twitter much more than I “tweet.”

A few days ago I came across a new post by Scott Stratten, on his Un-Marketing Blog. In his post, Scott discusses why he believes automated tweeting is not a good thing and refers to the practice as “Mannequin Marketing.” I laughed out loud, as I typically do when I read Scott’s cleverly written posts! I could not have agreed with him more!

Perhaps it’s the BtoB Marketer in me who values the interaction. I believe that engagement is critical in sales and marketing. Without engagement, we cannot learn what it is that the customer needs and cannot handle any of the customer’s objections.

Without engagement, the opportunity to learn is lost!

I have to confess, I’m not totally pure when it comes to my belief, since I use SocialOomph to send automatically generated welcome messages to others as they follow me.

However, I’m not in favor of automatically generated tweets. In fact, I can typically tell which tweets have been “scheduled” to run, since they typically offer no value to me and are used to “tweet the horn” of the Twitter user. I don’t have enough time to read through these types of messages, so like a billboard, the effectiveness is lost on me after the first couple of times I see something from the sender.

Social Media has provided such a valuable way to interact with others, share ideas and promote brands (both personal brands, as well as the ones we purchase in the marketplace). I believe that it’s a mistake to desensitize people with a message that gets lost before it can ever be “scheduled” to run.

Simply put, I believe in keeping the “Social” in Social Media.

This doesn’t mean I spend many hours on Twitter, or get up in the middle of the night to reach people halfway across the globe. When it comes to relationships, I’ll take quality over quantity any day.

When I retweeted Scott Stratten’s blog post, someone responded to me in disagreement and mentioned that he/she didn’t see any harm in automated tweets. I understood the points that were made to me. The good news is that we had an interaction – precisely what I enjoy about Twitter!

I would enjoy hearing what you have to say. Drop me an e-mail if you have a chance, or of course, you can always send a tweet to @wolfejeff

7 Comments Add yours

  1. I agree Jeff. Twitter is a great place to meet people, however, I have found conversations difficult from within Twitter though. For me, most happen elsewhere, like blogs. I have gotten into some great conversation on my blog from people (like yourself) who were directed to a post from Twitter.
    Not a big fan of automated tweets and/or DMs. I would turn off the welcome DMs if I were you…does anyone ever respond to them? I always delete ’em. Nice post!

  2. Jeff Wolfe says:

    Kacy,

    You are absolutely right about the Welcome DMs. Nobody ever responds to them and I don’t respond to the ones I receive, if they appear to be automated.

    You’re inspired me to turn them off!

    Thank you for taking the time to read my post and for your kind comments!

    Jeff

  3. Todd Schnick says:

    Still amazed at people who don’t get twitter. All you have to do is talk to folks. Engage with them. And it will lead to things. Promise. Thanks for being another advocate on these tools being “social.”

  4. Barry Weber says:

    Hello Jeff,
    This blog was really good a nice read. Humorus as well. Great Job.

    Barry

  5. jackwbruce says:

    Jeff,

    Enjoyed the read; I related to much of what you wrote. Twiter, Ihave found, is a great way to interact with complete strangers such as at #brandbowl, #Olympics, & #Daytona.

    As to the DMs (in the previous comments) I have a different perspective. I read through the welcome DMs and discard most. However, there are a few that I find valuable. I have also found that my DMs message do lead traffic to my blog.

    On another note, was I the guy who came up to you and said “I saw you on Twitter?”

    Take care,

    -jack
    http://twitter.com/jackwbruce

    1. Jeff Wolfe says:

      Jack,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my post and to respond! I also like to use hashtags to read through various topics and identify people I would be interested in following.

      Like you, I also read though most of the DMs, but only casually if they are autogenerated. While I did away with my autogenerated DMs for my personal account, I do continue to use them on the Dacula Lions Club account that I oversee, since it provides people with an e-mail address where they may contact us.

      You certainly were one of the people that came up to me and said you recognized me from Twitter! It also happened to me one other time at an Atlanta Bloggers Meetup. I’ll look out for you at the March Bloggers Meetup, if you’re able to attend.

      I really enjoy interactions like the one we had at the Christian Professionals of Greater Atlanta dinner because it strengthens my belief in supplementing “real life” relationships with Social Media.

      Jack, thanks for taking the time to respond, once again.

      I look forward to seeing you again.

      Jeff

  6. Chris Jordan says:

    Great post, Jeff. And I agree – Twitter wins hands down in my book. FB has too many apps and Linkedin is too corporate for my taste. Social Media – it is absolutely all about the relationships and communication… what a fantastic way to meet people before you meet them.

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