Value to your community

I feel privileged to follow many great people on Twitter.  I’m also very thankful for those that follow me.  The other day though, someone who I follow started tweeting out pretty strong messages about a company that I will not mention.
The tweets started mentioning certain people at the company in rude ways. Ironically, the person who was sending the messages labeled themselves as a “communications pro.” That led to my tweet:
If you label yourself as a communications pro and you spew hateful remarks, I doubt you are a “pro.”
After hitting the unfollow button on my TweetDeck for this person, it sparked a terrific conversation with Aurora Meyer (@AuroraMeyer), who is the creative genius behind Dispatches from the Castle, and Rachel Lawley (@Webcommdiva), the author of the blog Wonderfully Ironic. We discussed the value of who you follow. Aurora’s litmus test  for following someone is a good one: Would you work with that person in real life?

Rachel asked if we block folks who aren’t good for business. I said yes.  Lately I’ve begun to just flat out unfollow people as well.  As I look at it, I don’t want to be associated with someone who doesn’t bring value. Of course, value can be defined many ways.  For me, Aurora’s test is perfect.  However, for the sake of honesty, there are people I follow because I enjoy what they tweet.  They may not be in PR or marketing, but they are entertaining.
Think about this for a moment: What are you tweeting? We aren’t always in work mode, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about what you say.  Your followers find you important, don’t give them a reason to think otherwise.

Remember, value isn’t a popularity contest. It IS about what you provide to your followers and, in the case of PR and marketing folks, your clients.
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About JasMollica

"It's never too late to have a life and it's never too late to change one." That's something I tell students, friends, and family all the time. After living and working in New York City, I took my own advice in 2004, switched my career from the television/radio industry and got into public relations. Now, I spend my days as a PR/social media marketing consultant and get inspired daily. It's been a good ride, so far. But the car has plenty of gas left. I hope you'll join along in this guy's journey!

Posted on June 25, 2010, in Hot Topic, Inspiration, Job Search, Personal Branding, Public Relations, Social Media and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Jason, thank you so much for the props – it was an insightful conversation. I still question how much we should regulate those who follow us on Twitter. They may not be folks we would offer our services to, but does that mean we have the right to question whether they find something about our tweets interesting or helpful? Does it open the door to too much judgment?

    There are those users that are definitely spammers – as seen in their rated-X photos. There are those users who we learn are spammers once we read their latest posts – pushing the same website in every tweet. But then there are those who are in the gray area; just because we don’t jive with what their priorities or interests are or we don’t think they’re grammar is up to par, are we the kind of people that won’t allow them “entrance” into reading what we’re posting?

    • Rachel, thank YOU for joining in the conversation. I have a number of people I follow that aren’t necessarily ones that I would seek business from (or they from me).
      As for followers, I would think they follow me because I have said something of value. If I am no longer valuable to them, it’s their right to unfollow me. I certainly don’t want them to leave, but maybe they find what I say uninformative.
      That said, the main reason I unfollwed that person was because these messages continued for most of the day. I also hadn’t had a conversation with the person except for the “thanks for following me” DM I send to any new follower.
      My point is, I don’t shut folks out. I want to give them value. If they don’t provide me with the same, I would rather follow someone (like you) that does.

  2. Great post Jason! The great thing about social media is that in most cases we don’t have to deal with people who don’t add value.

    Recently I went through my Facebook account and cleaned out the people who didn’t add value. Those that I unfriended were the extreme cases of people who use social media and don’t live by the rule of “would you say (fill in the blank) in a crowded room of strangers.”

    Social media is all about we, not me. You have to think about your followers and “friends” when you are using social media.

    • Thanks Kelly! As I said to Rachel above, if I’m not giving a follower something they like, they can unfollow me. I’m not offended.
      And I’m glad you said “we, not me.” There are a ton of people looking at what we say. That has to be front of mind.

  3. While I don’t see any need to follow spammers, I certainly follow many folk who might not meet that test of, “Would you want to work with that person in real life.” My Facebook friends are all certainly people I would love to hang out with in real life (in fact nearly all are people I have spent face to face time with). My LinkedIn network consists of those who could pass that test. And of course those whose blogs I read meet that criteria 🙂

    But for me, Twitter is a bit different. A place where I am constantly meeting new people, listening and learning something from each. And while I have yet to “unfollow” someone, I certainly do not choose to invite many into these other networks. But your post has me thinking… thank you!

    • Valerie,

      I’m glad this got you thinking. That’s the most important thing here. I didn’t want to come across as a Twitter or social media snob. There are certainly folks on Twitter that I follow that I really don’t see myself hanging out with for dinner (though I think it would be great if Rev Run and I could get together).

      On Twitter, I follow mostly PR/Marketing/Social Media folks. I get a ton of information from them. If someone is getting in the way of that message coming across, I would rather not follow them.

      I’m thankful you stopped by to read. All the best!

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