Monday, January 11, 2010

Article of Interest for Monday, January 11, 2010

Here is today's article of interest.  We spend so much time focusing on the things that we HAVE to do in order to make our social media efforts successfull, we often don't take the time to look at what we SHOULDN'T do. 

Today's article comes from the GISuser website, click on the link to see the entire article.  It was written by Glenn Letham of the GISUser.com site.  It features five things you should avoid when working with social media.  Here are the tips:

1. Not responding to @mentions or request/questions sent directly to them. This is particularly frustrating when experts ask for an opinion, feedback or information from their followers. You take the time to reply and help them out only to never hear back from them. I’m sorry but if Guy Kawasaki can effectively reply to almost everyone that reaches out to him then so can you!

2. Boasting about the number of followers they have. Its cool to have large numbers, however, given that there’s many ways to attract auto-followers, on Twitter quantity isn’t everything and a true expert is all about sharing and caring, not all about them!

3. Re-Tweeting the same people all the time and constantly Re-Tweeting only those who have huge followings. This is somewhat honorable, however, if all you do is re-tweet Gary V, Mashable, Guy Kawasaki, or other “celebrity” Twitters come on, you’re likely just kissing ass… try coming up with your own words of wisdom and own advice.

4. Auto-follow everyone that follows you and automatically send your followers a message that reminds them how great you are. Unless you happen to be a robot, what value is there in automatically following anyone that follows you? As more and more automated and robotic functionality gets incorporated into Twitter this is going to become hugely problematic in the future.

5. Tweeting only about “buzzword” topics. Sure, Twitter, facebook, the iPhone, Google, and Ashton Kutcher are all popular, trending topics, however, if these and other trending topics of the day are the only thing you tweet about then you are clearing trolling and begging for followers and re-tweets. If you are truly knowledgeable about the trending topic then prove it!
You may have no desire to become an "expert", however, to increase your chances and to become a little more productive with your social media efforts watch some experts or social "die hards" and observe what they do, how they do it, and most important, check out the tools that they use. If Mashable  uses the Disqus comment system on their site then I'd say it's likely good enough for your blog too! If your favorite news outlet tweets using Hootsuite then chances are good that its a decent tool. If you notice many mobile Tweets coming from Echofon or Tweetie then they are good tools to investigate.

This is a great example of things that too often we do, without thinking about the real benefit.  We all make mistakes, and the only problem with making mistakes is not learning from them.  Having a list of things NOT to do, alongside a list of "TO DO's" can be very helpful as you put together your PR and social media efforts.

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