Implied? Explicit? What does it mean to be Social?
That mileage may vary as will the Rules of Engagement, everything from your Twitter rules to how you LinkedIn, whether or not you mix the professional with the professional, if this is about work, play or any point in between.
Taking the long way around
This post started in one place, and then took some twists, a couple turns and a few loooong breaks, detouring and rambling along here:
Not everyone is always talking to or more importantly, with us. Many of us buy-in to listen, with an option to speak or engage later. Is there an implied social contract with the lurkers, many of whom only follow because they believe that – should they ever choose to delurk and comment or DM – they’ll have a chance at being heard?
If one develops the reputation for being ‘oh that person is social, they WILL reply, respond, follow back’ – what happens when they suddenly don’t? I don’t know.
The rule of follow back. I ain’t no follow back girl and yet, I get surprised/annoyed when I discover someone with whom I’ve engaged regularly via Twitter and blogs is not following me. (I don’t bite. I shower on a regular basis. I use proper grammar, spelling and character-saving acronyms. I’m a catch – if you care about public relations, wine, travel, SEC sports. I don’t get it.) Anywaaay…
I also don’t understand anemic 0.23% follow-to-follower ratios, or Twitter recommending such users to me. Not saying we should open the floodgates to any yahoo on the street, but something that cracks whole digits can’t be that hard to manage. If I had 10K non-fake (I also block spammers, vanity metrics be damned) followers, I’d be honored to at least follow 1K of them back.
Reciprocity. Tough one, ala thanking Twitter followers. You can’t always respond to every comment or trackback, but I think it’s also rude to ‘ignore’ your supporters, your stakeholders. When that long-supportive lurker finally delurks and offers their two pennies, that’s worth just as much to me as the comments from the usual suspects.
The people subscribe, read, comment and/or share our blogs more than a few times, you know what – they have often have blogs too. (Crazy, right?!) Isn’t responding in kind once in a while basic, professional courtesy? If you reserve your comments and social shares only for your List clique or Tribe of usual suspects, doesn’t that just perpetuate the groupthink we’re supposed to be avoiding?
Again, IDK – I loathe the idea of comment clubs or tit-for-tat RTs, but there’s gotta be some middle ground, some balance – a little give along with some take.
Friends. I think as much about others’ lives and interests as I do their businesses, their blogs. Oh – ‘you’re another Disney fan, just love that’ is what I think when I see your tweet. Moving our engagement from Twitter to other networks, or vice versa; toss in a chatty phone call or two, some emails or DM chats - the relationship really does change. Share a meal, a drink in person - offline networking FTW.
Surprises me, how common it is for me to reference this email or that tweet because of the business friends I’ve made over the years. I’m all about the business, but love that I’ve made real connections and friends online.
It’s who we are.
Whether at a party or behind a keyboard, social is part of us. I don’t know what our social contract is, nor what it will be as we evolve as a social (media) society. But I’m thinking about it – so that’s a step in some direction anyway. FWIW.
Photo: Love that I finally discovered Bluntcard.