In Phil Baumanns‘s piece, “Why I Unfollowed Myself on Twitter — Not Your Daddy’s Unfollow Post”, for the blog Punk Views on Social Media, he talks about motivation to follow on Twitter in a very tongue-and-cheek way. I won’t recap his piece; because, I think it is worth reading in full and visiting the Punk Views on Social Media blog. But with any good writer and topic, Phil got me thinking.
Would you follow you on Twitter?
I posed that question on Twitter and I didn’t get a response. Maybe it was a bad time to pose a question; it was 6pm and folks could have been in transit home or eating dinner. Or maybe folks didn’t know the answer to the question or didn’t want to answer. But it does deserve some thought.
I’ve been contemplating recently my relationship with Twitter. I’ve found I’ve been missing something. And that is conversation. A connection with people. Don’t get me wrong I’ve made some great friends over the three years I’ve been on Twitter. In that time though, I’ve watched the conversation slowly die out. In back channels, I talked about this with friends and they feel the same way. It isn’t very social anymore. We can blame it on people wanting to get in on the action by marketing and selling by just broadcasting instead of building relationships. I’ve said this before and I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last time either, but it has become all about collection not connection.
I looked at my Tweet stream. It was a good bit of sharing content I think is interesting and worthwhile as well as thoughts and observations about my daily life and the world around me. What I noticed was not a lot of interaction with others. While tweets were re-tweeted (and thank you for that to those who do), there wasn’t a whole lot of discussion or interaction. I miss that. The only word coming to mind is sad. It makes me sad.
So why do we chose to follow people on Twitter? We have some common ground. The content is interesting and useful. It is entertaining. There is some interaction and the willingness to have a two-way conversation. In other words, following this person gives you value or meets a need you have. If the interaction isn’t meeting any of the previously stated, then why are you following? And the answer shouldn’t be because everyone else is or that you’re chasing an elusive score.
I’m on the fence if I’d follow me. And I’m not happy about writing that sentence. How about you? Would you follow you on Twitter after reviewing your stream?
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Ann Marie van den Hurk, APR, is an accredited public relations professional with over a decade experience bridging the gap between traditional public relations and emerging technologies. Need help reaching your business’s customers, call 302.563.992 to schedule an initial consultation, or contact Mind The Gap Public Relations.