Why are we followed? Micro blog Netiquette

peltor-noise-canceling-earfmuff-hearing-protectionGood news: A lot of companies have finally picked up micro blogging! Bad news: Some of them don’t have the slightest idea of why, but they are convinced that if they can reach out to everyone they should just do that. Reach out to everyone. And that’s a really bad idea.

Let me tell you why.

I realized that the combination free publishing and infinite reach mostly generate a lot of rubbish. Companies starts posting to Bloggy and Twitter without knowing what they were doing, to whom the were speaking and why they were there.

A few companies don’t have a clue, some at least knows one way media and thinks that the Twitter is the same thing as Myspace, meaning that they try to get as many followers as possible. In an old media perspective biggest reach was always the best, while todays media instead focuses on most relevant.

stethoscopeWhy microblogs are great

The only thing that make you relevant is by adding value to your existing and potential customers relationship to you, cause that’s what twitter, facebook, bloggy (ah! I’ll even throw in qaiku) is all about. Relationships!

And the only way to build relationships with them is by conversation. – Ask what they think, tell them what you think and be open about why you are in that digital arena. Do you want to generate sales? Need input for product development? Want feedback on your new products?

All those are good reasons to use micro blogs. You build something with people and by being open of what you want to achieve, you’ll build confidence and a mutual relationship. The beneficial of transparency could easily be summed up in:

— If you show your intentions, and that is shared with everyone, sooner or later someone will contact you and help you out just because both of you’ve got common interest.

But what if we flip things around? What aren’t great things to use micro blogs for?

megaphone– Are you trying to get a lot of followers? – Direct traffic to a site? – Or just want to spread the word about your product?

Then you’ve stopped listening and just want to make people do something for you without being willing to do anything in reurn. Compare it to walking up to a stranger in the street and tell them what they should have for dinner, where they should buy it and then tell them to come back to you for more great tips.

That’s just insane, but since Internet still is ”new media” (it’s only been around for like 20 years) people still act as it would be separeted from the rest of the world. It’s not.

The simple netiquette of micro blogs:

Yeah: -Add/follow people you think are relevant for you and your business. That is, that person contributes to you, or in rare cases, if you think that person would be interested in following you. Every time you start following someone, that person will likely get a notification, so that could work as a ”poke” or something like that. Get the person attention so they will check out if you are worth following.
No-no: Start following everyone you see on the web. You’ll be consider a spammer immediately.
BIG NO-NO: Stop following in order to start following again, so a new friend request will be sent. That will likely get you suspended.

Yeah: -Comment people you follow, comment even before you follow. Like a first date. It’s a relationship, remember. ;). Post things you think will add value to be one of your followers. Share things that you think are important, that will attract people who also think such is important.
No-no: Send provoking posts just to get comments.
BIG NO-NO: Go in into threads and post irrelevant stuff. Even worse; post provoking comments just to get attention. Old fashion forums has a name for those. Trolls!!

Yeah: -Add links to your blogg, your del.icio.us, your Flickr and (of course!) your website. That will let people know who you are and makes it easier to build trust. Upload an avatar.
No-no: Be totally anonymous and think that ”Google me” is a good About page. It’s not. That’s like when someone asks who you are and your response is”Ask someone else”. Just post a link to something!
BIG NO-NO: Demand attention without telling why it should bee given.

What do you think are good micro blog manners? Share your thoughts!

CC Photos from Ernsti, Altemark and small pic stolen from Luxuryhousingtrends
  • ”Twitter is a weapon.” – Robert Scoble quoting Guy Kawasaki

    It depends upon one’s goals. You can treat a online conversation as if one is listening with a wide open heart to a weeping child or you can treat an online conversation as a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am-toss- the-body-by-the-roadside piece of sh*t. Again, it depends upon one’s goals.

  • By the way, isn’t it hypocritical to lecture about good behavior online when one admits in the same piece ”…small pic stolen from Luxuryhousingtrends”? Dubbelmoral? Yes, indeed!

  • Well Michael, i don’t really see how it can be a conversation if you’re not willing to contribute. That’s what online conversation is about,at least from my point of view.
    If your goal is to get maximum reach then you might consider to buy banner space on MSN messenger. You’ll reach millions, but no one will listen since there is no relationship there from the beginning.

  • You are correct when you say you ”really don’t see”. Your holding to the ”conversation” premise when none is desired is missing the point of the rebuttal. Learn your own lesson about listening.

    Take care and be

  • …well!

  • Pingback: Varför vi skriver « Mohlin’s Middle East()

  • Great post!

    The funny part is that I considered Michel Flessas as a spammer on Twitter, since he’s just writing rubbish och added me twice. Haha. I rest my case.

  • @jenefeldt: Thanks! Well, actually the post is a direct message to Flessas. He were abusing Bloggy.se and I reported him as a spam mlogger. He contacted me and wondered why I did so, so I decided to write a post about it and mailed him a link.

    Then, somehow, all of his Internet presence disappeared within a few days. It’s kind of a mystery, but I guess he was just some SEO guy, experimenting with what works microblogwise in order to create traffic.

  • Couldnt agree more Mr Nyström!

    I dont understand what Michael means by ”Your holding to the “conversation” premise when none is desired ” Why are you on bloggy or twitter if conversation is not desired? that must be the biggest NONO, like i heard martha stewart say today, ”oh no, i dont answer ppl, i made that clear from the beginning, i have 500.000 followers!”. She might be one of the few ppl that works for, but usually just answering one or two of these followers makes you more likable and accessible.

    You want to interact with the ones you look up to, and the feeling i got when Tyrese (Gibson, the singer) actually answered me was amazing, so now he has a fan for life:)

  • Micheal Flessas

    You guys are too inexperienced to understand. Adding and removing is not an inherent spamming of the system. The rules of the system-EULA of sorts-define spamming not folks like you two unless the system admin. after the fact rules against a particular use of the system because he or she caved to whiners. Furthermore, you two seem to be something one might express as ”typical passive-aggressive types playing victim”.What you think might have shown your ”computing expertise” actually harms your business image which, of course, is of your own unwitting doing. (Screencapture of comments just made…).

  • – So Flessas, just to keep this short: What’s your point?

    I’ts clearly that adding and removing request are abuse of the system.

    And passive types don’t report spammers, they leave the service.

  • Nice one, great topic and intressting reading. Keep up the good work!

  • Pingback: Microbloggande företag, tankvärt! « vett-och-etikett.se bloggen()

  • I liked your article very useful to me. I will come back and read the article again.

    More info on the web site add link add url