What's on the iPod: Chloe by Grouplove
|Photo: The Next Web|
How was the weekend? I've not mentioned it, but I was two weeks without a husband. He went off to Arizona to see his mom, which I couldn't do because I need to get more work in. He came home Saturday night, so the weekend was about getting reacquainted. Finally, I slept. I don't sleep when he's not here.
I spent Friday doing a bit of marketing for the upcoming conference. I hit Twitter and LinkedIn and reconnected with some colleagues in hopes of being top-of-mind when they go looking for a writer. I sent out a bunch of LOIs, too. One may have scored something -- too early to tell.
I had a chance to read a few articles and blog posts regarding social media use. There were a few that were disturbing. It seems for as many people as there are taking part in the #FollowFriday tagging of good follows and friends, there are a growing number of people who loathe the practice. I saw one tweet that complained about these lists of follows clogging up the Twitter feeds.
I see the point. When someone (me) sends out four or so tweets in a row wishing "Happy #FF" to friends and colleagues, it can become a pain to sift through, I suppose. That's why on Fridays, I don't read Twitter feeds much. Actually, it's because I'm busy saying hello to everyone, but that's another issue.
But to say someone shouldn't alert others to people we enjoy communicating with just because the feeds get clogged one day out of seven seems to miss the larger point. It's social media. Even if you hate it, the #FF senders are doing exactly what the media intended -- being sociable.
I actually saw one blog telling you the proper way to do it. The ironic part -- the blogger was basically putting a fresh skin on the same practice. The message was (and I paraphrase) "Tell us why we should follow this person and stop saying hello to people you're trying to schmooze."
While I think that these messages are lost in reality (meaning the bloggers/writers are just as guilty as those who were being chastised), I get that too much of a good thing can become someone's pet peeve really quickly. So maybe the point of social media is what's missing. Here's my take on what it may mean. Feel free to add your own opinion:
To be sociable. Not everyone is using Twitter or Facebook to build a client base or sell products. In fact, my Facebook page is strictly for personal use -- just for connecting with friends. You have to allow that people get to know each other and want to show appreciation in a public forum. So be it. If you don't enjoy it, maybe don't read that day? I don't know.
To build a network. One article writer complained that Twitter's #FF was being used to sidle up to people you want to be in your network. And that's a problem because.... yeah, I don't get why that's a problem. That's the point of social media -- to connect to people you've been trying to build a relationship with, right?
To create awareness. Now that I'm aware of the people who openly hate #FF shout-outs, I'm going to temper my own behavior. If some users hate it, there's a pretty good chance those I'm trying to build relationships with do, too. However, awareness is also related to brand. I want potential clients to see me using these tools (wisely, of course), and I want to draw these people into conversation even if it means giving them a "Happy #FF" message once in a while. I'll just stop adding seven or eight people to the list.
There are plenty of bad habits coming out of Twitter and LinkedIn -- constant self-promotion being primary, but also not interacting or responding to followers, hijacking groups in order to sell yourself or your products, sending out strings of identical messages in an attempt to drive traffic to your site, you name it. To me, the least likely to bother me is the #FollowFriday lists of people to follow. I'd much rather see someone saying hello even in a list like that than sending me one more shortened URL pointing to that same damned sales page again.
But I get it. Too much of anything isn't good. So maybe there's something to tempering the #FollowFriday behavior, but at what point do we tie our own hands with social media? If it's not there to get to know other people and reach out, why bother?
What's your take on it?