Are You Aware of The Social Media Golden Rule?

24 07 2013

Social-Media-Golden-Rule

“FOLLOW OTHERS IN SOCIAL MEDIA AS YOU WOULD FOLLOW THEM FACE TO FACE.”

Applaud Twitter who has made it easier for us to follow the Social Media Golden Rule by eliminating the “Auto-Followback” option!

Of all of the many lessons out there we learned about social media, perhaps one of the greatest lessons of all is:

“THERE IS NO EASY WAY TO MAKE SOCIAL MEDIA WORK. SHORT CUTS SIMPLY DO NOT EXIST.” 

While I tried a few along the way, there was one short-cut that had been out there in the Twittersphere that I had avoided, perhaps by luck or perhaps due to something in my gut that had told me “NO, DON’T DO THAT”.   Ironically, this feature has just been removed and is now forbidden forever.  The tool is the “auto-followback” feature that was available as part of many Twitter applications.  It automatically followed anyone who happened to follow you.

While it is the goal of many (including myself) to have an ever-expanding network of followers to influence, bring value and thought, there has never been any virtue to having tens of thousands of followers if 95% of them are garbage, useless, spam and fake. And for you to follow folks just because they are following you is an easy way to build a network with a porous foundation.

As a result, I always looked at my followers and made sure that I was only following those whom I felt were legitimate individuals and valuable additions to my network.  I manually selected followers both in my searches and as part of my follow-back process.  This took more time but was well worth it.  For now, my network is significantly more valuable to me than it otherwise would have been.  The ability to gloat about a huge network has never been my goal.  Sheer numbers can be very deceiving.

There is no doubt that I have a broad definition of acceptable followers to whom I would welcome the follow and gladly follow back.  However, I am actually making a decision on each one of them.

Similarly, we do this in “real life”, face to face.  We would never blindly support someone and be a part of their personal network if we don’t have some kind of connection to them.  We need to have a reason to continue the acquaintance.  We need to know something about them that validates the relationship.  And like I mentioned earlier, while our standards can be very broad, they must exist.

So like many days, while I opened my Twitter account with the desire to automatically and systematically “unfollow” those who I have followed and have (for some reason) not followed me back.  Let’s applaud Twitter for their “big news”.

If you follow social media’s Golden Rule, you will surely find great success:

“FOLLOW OTHERS IN SOCIAL MEDIA AS YOU WOULD FOLLOW THEM FACE TO FACE.”

Please take a moment and follow me on Twitter.  I am sure we have a lot to share and even more to learn from one another.  @Suss33

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