(old and new), colleagues, followers, acquaintances, and everyone else I connect with on social media.
I am so glad we have met and connected online, and I have enjoyed sharing with you over the years very much. We have shared interesting, informative, and fun things.
As many of you know my life has included living in different countries, multiple educational paths, and a few very different career experiences. All of these unique things are what make up the person I am today.
Due to this diversity, I enjoy an incredible variety of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, and followers both in the bricks and mortar world and online. In turn, I have many different interests and share many things that interest each of my unique online connections.
Also, since I have expanded beyond blogging on one small blog and now have a few different blogs, sites, and clients I like to share their work too.
However, unfortunately, it has come to my attention (once again) that some people are either not aware of the above situation or presume that because I am acquainted with them, it means that I and all of my connections have the same interests, opinions, and associations as they do.
This situation is not the case, and therefore I ask that you keep in mind a few things.
Just because I share something it does not mean:
-I am the author.
-It is my life story or experience.
-It is my personal opinion.
Also, I don’t share intimate details of my personal life online. Therefore, if you think you’ve read or heard something very personal about me online, it’s false.
Over the years I have adopted a philosophy about my social media presence. For now, it seems to serve me well, and I thought now was as good a time as any to share my strategy regarding sharing, from whom and why, as well as what I expect or hope for in return.
Also, I thought I would add my general guidelines for following and friending people.
Sharing And Reciprocation:
When I share someone else’s work via one of my social media accounts, I do so for their benefit, which is why I always include their name or handle in the attached message. This method is the only way that ensures they receive an easily trackable notification. I share other people’s work to help them gain more exposure, new readers, recognition, or opportunities. I DON’T do it for my benefit.
Let’s face it, these days there is too much of the same content out there which means there’s no reason to share any particular person’s work over another. For me, it has always been about helping others, not about me.
Additionally, I share all kinds of content, including things that don’t strictly fit into the niche for the particular platform on which I am sharing it. As I said earlier, I do this because I want to help people, but also because, no one, including all audiences and groups of followers, is one-dimensional. Everyone has other interests and sometimes like to see posts of variety.
So, to me, people who refuse to share other things, (including my stuff), because it isn’t “exactly” in their niche, are just being too narrow-minded and selfish.
In all fairness, if you want me to share your work I expect you to share mine. I’m more than willing to be helpful and giving, but I do expect mutual respect of some kind in return, no matter who you are.
Finally, sharing results in engagement, which has and always will boost your reputation and influence.
Over the years my opinions and tactics have changed in regards to who I will follow. Mostly I have tried to streamline my strategy so that I don’t keep having to play games with people who do the follow-unfollow thing just to boost their total follower count. It’s such a pain in the ass and so unnecessary.
Here, in a nutshell, is my Twitter, following, strategy;
- I only follow people who don’t have new accounts, the default bio photo,(egghead) and have confirmed their email and phone number. You can change your settings to only receive notifications from these users under your account settings.
- I only follow back people who already have at least 100 of my peers following them.
- I only follow back people who have a relatively close follower to following ratio. For example, if they are following 10,000 people and they have 12,000 people following them. I won’t follow someone who is following 10,000 people but has 100,000 followers because this type of user is usually too stuck on getting followers, not following people.
- I only follow people who follow me. If someone unfollows me, I unfollow them.
- I don’t read or send DMs. Unfortunately, 99% of direct messages are spam, so I save everyone the aggravation.
- I rarely retweet because it’s too hard and time-consuming for people to see the details of RTs. I know that I appreciate it when someone uses the “quote RT” option so that I can like the tweet and send a thank you reply. Therefore I use the same method to RT other people’s tweets. Also if you do the “quote RT” (i,e, which includes via @surprisinglives) it encourages engagement, which is a good thing, right?
My personal Facebook account is also my work account. I do administrate a few FB pages but they belong to various blogs or sites so my personal account is my only catch-all FB account where I can connect with people from all the different times and areas in my life. As I mentioned above, this situation has proved to be troublesome at times.
A lot of people who I became friends with on FB apparently never looked at my profile page and therefore had no idea that I had started blogging, had many different friends from various fields and shared varied topics.
The other reason that I’ve run into problems is my fault.
When I first started working online years ago, I was advised to use my personal FB account for work and to add as many friends as I could from all times and areas in my life to get a jump start on potential supporters and readers.
Some positive and encouraging people became my new friends. Then many more individuals who were ‘friends of friends’ also became friends.
As a consequence, Facebook’s algorithm and my ‘friends of friends’ made some assumptions, got overzealous, and I got buried in advertisements, page suggestions, invited to copious amounts of mysterious events, put into numerous groups without my permission, and spammed almost daily.
Before this time I didn’t even know that ‘friends’ could put you into any group that they wanted without your permission.
The situation quickly became a nightmare. And, of course, all of these ads, pages, events, and groups were for things that I didn’t need, had no interest in, and in some cases, I wasn’t even familiar with the subject or topic.
Over to you. What tricks or tips do you use to streamline your social media strategy? Share any ideas you have in the comments.