I’m all about social media automation to save time, but lately there’s a trend unfolding in social media that could change my thinking on that. Here’s what’s happening: Someone follows me on twitter. I follow them back. Then I get an automated reply saying something like “Hey! Thanks for following me on Twitter. Let’s be friends on FB too: http://bit.ly/imnothereeither.”
As much as I like the idea of following people back on twitter, the automated reply always bothered me. I think if you’re going to follow someone on twitter, why not at least take 5 seconds to create a meaningful reply that might actually foster a connection? After all, this is SOCIAL media right? I’m not going to unfollow you, but that’s just kinda wierd to me. It’s like answering your front door and then making me talk to your robot instead of inviting me in. By the way, please thank your robot for thanking me for following you. That was so nice of it.
While I’m on my social soapbox why don’t I tell you what else I’m thinking about social media; like you care.
You may have noticed, I don’t follow many brands. That’s because I like to interact with people, not brands. It’s a little creepy to me. There are a few brands in my following list, mostly because I personally know the person who tweets for that brand. As a rule though, I just don’t follow brands. No offense.
No Profile Picture, no follow back
Another of my silly rules. I like human faces, or at least some part of the human anatomy belonging to you. Logos are ok, but not my favorite. If you at least use a human name, but use a logo for some reason, I will usually follow you back but reluctantly..
No Tweets, no follow back
This I can’t fathom. Social media my friends. It’s called social media. People talking to people, sharing ideas. In my opinion, there’s no reason to be twitter unless you intend to be social, or you are a hacker using twitter as your personal laboratory. In which case, I’m still not following you back. Nana Nana boo boo.
No Profile Bio
This is your chance to tell me about yourself, and read a bit about me. No bio is like me walking up to you, and you just standing there not saying anything. Again, I just don’t get it… and I won’t follow you back. The idea is to begin a relationship, not to digitally stare back at me saying nothing. If you can’t think what to say about yourself, ask your friends, if you have any.
Triberr, the reach multiplier
I use Triberr. It’s not my favorite. It goes against my better judgement. However, most of the retweets that come from Triberr are from people I would retweet anyway, without Triberr’s on again, off again automation.
“Social media is”
I always feel uncomfortable when I read anyone’s blog starting out saying “Social media is.” Social media is what we make it. It’s not tools, or follower counts. It’s becoming what we use it for. Whatever it was designed for really has little bearing. Facebook for example, was originally designed as a way to pick up college girls. While it may still serve that original purpose, 900 million users have found all sorts of other uses for it. So, social media is what we make it; Me, you and a gazillion other users.
Starting over, mixing it up
What I really like is when people find new and creative ways to use social media. I like people who think and grow and learn; who use social media as an extension of their already social selves. Chris Brogan for example, who has a bazillion followers on twitter, decided to create a second twitter account to see how the “big names” would interact with a guy who only has 45 followers. He’s not gaming the system, he’s testing to see what kind of judgement exists on social media. I like that. After all, social media is what we make it. It’s a chance to be you and watch others be them, in real time. What do you want from your social media?