When I shared the following topic suggestion with Shelby earlier this week, we both loved the idea and thought the posts would be easy to write.
Is it the size of the network or the way in which you utilize it? [Name of friend removed to protect the guilty] locking her account changes Twitter for her. But is that really any different than Path where I just choose to keep the audience small?
Yet when presented with Shelby’s first draft of “Finding the quality of social media,” I finished reading it, looked across the table and said, “I love it when good writers take the easy way out.” It was right about then that it hit me that so many of us are conditioned to think we need 2,000 Twitter followers, 500 Facebook friends or 500+ connections on LinkedIn. The reality is that there is nothing further from the truth.
Quality will always trump quantity in social media
Since Shelby already did an excellent job addressing many of the social networks individually, I’m going to focus on two stories; both or which happened to me in the last eight hours. I learned two valuable lessons during that time period and one is to never write off a network you believe in. The other is to never forget the folks who helped you become who you are.
The Path to meaningful relationships online
If you have not explored one of the newer social networks, Path, I suggest you at least give it a shot. Path has a cool feature that allows you to share the music to which you are currently listening. So last night while driving home I heard a song I had not heard in several years and it took me back to a place and time. I felt the need to share so I did. Upon waking up today, I checked Path as part of my morning routine and was surprised to find not only activity and comments on my music share but a great deal of activity from my friends as well.
Path is a place where I have only friended about 30 people, so some mornings when I check the network there is zip, zero, nadda activity. Today however, Path revealed itself for what it could truly become. People I know, like and care about shared stuff that mattered overnight. Now on one hand, that makes me realize many of my friends are either insomniacs or night owls, and on the other hand, it makes me realize they also appreciate the intimacy and security of Path as a network to share things you might not share with 4000+ followers on Twitter.
Loyalty for those who have supported you
Over the last few years since my friend Joe Sorge and his wife Angie opened AJ Bombers, we’ve had a bit of a “burger war” in Milwaukee. In the Milwaukee market, Joe was a social media pioneer in the restaurant business. He utilized social media to build a successful restaurant that opened in the height of the current financial downturn. Along the way, Joe befriended many folks in Milwaukee who he helped to grow their own social media presence. Joe gave freely of himself to those who asked, and really asked for nothing in return except that you try and support his new burger joint. I’m one of those folks.
Earlier today, I noticed several people I lump into that “Joe helped us” category tweeting happily about heading off to the competition for lunch. The thing is that three years ago (and even as recently as a few months ago), the competition had virtually no presence on Twitter and in my humble opinion didn’t have a clue how Twitter could be utilized to grow a business. I’m not sure if they hired a social media manager or an agency but in the past few weeks, they’ve become quite aggressive reaching out to folks who helped Joe build his business.
They tried it with me and I ignored them. It’s not that I don’t like the burgers at Sobleman’s, it’s just that I am not going to help them build their social media presence. I’m loyal damnit, and even if Joe and I had not become friends, I’d still be so. He offered lots of advice and suggestions about growing the social media presence for both myself and my business. He did all this for free on his own time and often without being asked.
So earlier this afternoon, Shelby and I made it clear we are loyal friends of AJ Bombers and even planned a visit there for this weekend. As expected, our tweets did not go unnoticed. I have no idea if at the time they realized those tweets were in response to what we saw happening with other friends, but regardless they engaged and tweeted back. I guess they recognize and appreciate loyalty too.
This week’s #shehechat
This week, Jim and I will host #shehechat at 8 p.m. CST Thursday night from Nice Ash in downtown Waukesha, Wis. Feel free to join us!