How do I have the time to respond to all mentions, retweets, comments and shares on social media? I make the time, because it is important!
I have written previously about social media being a parallel universe to the real world. In other words, whatever you would do in the real world, you must do in social media. Whatever you would never do in the real world, you better not do it here either. Sounds simple right? You’d think so…
I experience two things over and over in my daily social media activities. 1) People surprised I answer them on Twitter and the like AND 2) Stories they tell me of other “industry experts” and Brands that never do respond. If we are to believe that social media IS in fact properly used online as you might act in other social, business and life settings, why is this occurring so frequently?
Answer: The celebrity factor.
As Brands and Individuals obtain levels of social media celebrity, there are two things that occur:
1) They get big heads and decide that people connecting with them makes them awesome, so following back and/or responding to them is not necessary, because they are “cool”. You know, a celebrity. I call this arrogance, no matter how you try to defend it.
2) Due to their offline fame or newly discovered social media guru status, they have too many followers/fans and are far too busy to respond to people.
Both represent serious problems…
If you or your brand are too busy to respond to people, maybe you are in the wrong venue. Would you ignore one of your customers at the order window? Would you ignore a fan at a book signing? You either need to hire more help to ensure you are engaging the audience or be forced to continually recycle fans/followers with new ones that are willing to start the cycle over. Eventually, that cycle will stop though. So if you want more time to engage, you will eventually get it if you approach social media with the celebrity arrogance.
Recently I was pulled into a conversation my good friend Aaron Biebert of @AttentionEra was having with such a celebrity. This is someone Aaron respects and has met in person. As I watched the conversation unfold, my buddy Aaron was taking this individual to task for this same scenario we are discussing here. You see, he had met Aaron previously, yet often ignores his comments. I won’t mention the “celeb”, but let’s say I jumped into the conversation after reading excuse after excuse to throw my two cents in.
I really don’t care how many followers you or your brand has. I don’t care how many books you’ve sold or where you spoke on stage last. I don’t care how many people read your blog every day. The fact is, if what you are saying and telling others about social media isn’t represented by your own actions in your feeds, then you are now a celebrity, not a professional.
Social media is about people. It’s about building long term relationships with them, identically as we do in the real world. The main difference is that social media enables this process to be done far more quickly than in real life and at much higher volumes. You would think that most brands and celebrity types would understand this already, right? Guess again. Here is an article I shared several times this week that clearly shows they don’t – “Survey: 70% of social media complaints ignored“. A travesty no matter how you look at it.
So in short, the difference between a social media celebrity and someone or a brand that truly gets it, is that pro’s are being real, responding to everyone and focusing on the long term customer/prospect relationships that go deep, not just wide. Most celebrities come and go with the wind. Simple…