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It's not the (Social) medium, it's the method - be consistent!

Ever since Martin Malden (re)converted me back to use Twitter as part of our webmarketing strategy my personal Twitter account sees an almost daily increase of 'followers'. If I wanted I could have had a tremendous number of followers, but since I'm not into "the number game" I tend to check out the latest new followers own profile page. If I like what I see/read I sometimes "follow back".

(Must say, most of my new followers I simply block. Just by looking at the difference between the number of "following" - very high - and "followers" - very low - you can count on it the account holder has some kind of automagically "follow everyone who tweets a specific keyword" set up. I always wonder if they ever read any tweets of all those persons they follow or just hope on the principle: someone follows me, so I follow back, to increase their number of followers with the single goal to sell to them.)

Automated welcome messages

Last week memsitebuilding decided to follow me. Checking out his profile page I saw Bo Nebbett is heavy into building membership sites, an area that does have my interest too, so I decided to follow back.

As many other Twitters memsitebuilding sends an automated welcome DM (Direct Message) to new followers:

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I don't know about you, but I read a question in the above DM - let me know if? And since I'm not one to leave a question unanswered I clicked the envelop icon to reply to this DM.

To my astonishment I received the following (again automated) DM back:

consistency in methods?

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How about that? Using automated systems is one thing, not even being bothered to read replies to your own automated messages is another. Reminds me of the article Justin Premick wrote and which started a very interesting discussion over at the AWeber's blog: "Do Not Reply " Address? Don't Bother.

IMHO another very bad example of 'netiquete' (online etiquette) - so Jason, if your reading this, another one to add to your list.

No matter which medium you select to contact prospects, clients and even friends, be it modern Facebook, Twitter, email marketing or old fashion phone calls and 'snail mail' letters: be consistent in the medium itself.

If you send out emails, accept email replies; if you send out Direct Messages on Twitter, accept - and read! - DM replies. If you make a phone call, don't hide your phone number and accept return calls etc etc.

How else are you going to build trust? You use one method for your own convenience but you don't allow your 'contact's to use the same convenient method. Marketing nowadays - or should that be always? - should be focused on the convenience of your prospect to contact you, not your own convenience.

Side note: I am still waiting for a reply when I did use @memsitebuilding

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Comments

Kent Blumberg

Karin,

Yes! The purpose of all social media is social. Duh!!! The idea is to reach your current and potential clients and more importantly to let them reach you. Twitter without replies is just plain old-fashioned broadcast advertising. And the results won't be any better than plain old-fashioned broadcast advertising.

Kent

Karin H.

Hi my friend!

Isn't it just. I thought the experience extremely weird and 'unproductive'. Although I'm still following memsitebuilder in the hope they will tweet something interesting and worthwhile, my 'impatient' mouse keeps hovering over the unfollow option.

Social has a very wide meaning nowadays which can be very profitable (in the long run, it is not a 'get rich quick scheme') and worthwhile for all parties. From all our Social Media efforts I enjoy the ease of interacting with our own prospects and clients (through our blog, email marketing etc) most. Every method you use should be a two-way-traffic, otherwise why bother with Social Media? They've turned it back into "hope marketing" instead of relationship marketing.

Have a great weekend!

Karin H

At 14:58 12/09/2009, you wrote:

Martin Malden

Karin, hi,

Firstly, thanks for the link back..!

That memsitebuilding example caused my mouth to drop open (not a pretty sight!), especially as they profess to be in the business of building memberships. Absolutely astounding way to treat new followers..!

I do use automated DM's to welcome new followers but nothing else on my Twitter account is automated.

Like you, I make a point of replying personally to any tweets that mention my username, unless a reply is clearly not necessary or expected - e.g. the message to me is acknowledging thanks, or something similar.

Finally, the new followers I don't even bother to check profiles on are those who are both followed by, and are following, many hundreds (often thousands) of people, but who only have 5 - 10 tweets. You can be sure those people are going to be spotted and canned by Twitter before too long..!

As Kent said in the first comment - the purpose of social media is to be social! So you'd better be social if you want it to work for you - otherwise it's just a waste of time.

Thanks again, and cheers,

Martin.

Karin H.

Hi Martin

Unbelievable, not? Still haven't received a reply on (two!) normal tweets about this from them - although it is rather a struggle to explain my irritation about this in 140 characters!

I've also noticed another strange twitter phenomenon, what I call: the cheesers. Frequently the same tweet appears giving off on reputable software businesses (AWeber, Typepad etc). When you check one of those cheeser's accounts you see no replies to anyone and they follow absolutely no one - although they do seem to have a following themselves: the auto followers on keywords;-)

Strange things happen in cyberworld, always has been and sure always will. And all will lead to nothing for them, where those who embrace these new tools to extend their social world become richer and richer (in spirit and friendships, the IMHO most important richness you can have).

Karin H

At 02:05 27/09/2009, you wrote:

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