As some of you already know, I use Twitter; the micro-blogging tool, to keep in touch with some friends, clients and contacts. I have three thousand followers and really enjoy interacting with them; they are a BRILLIANT bunch of people! However, I know that many of them find it hard to get new followers, so I decided to do something to help!
I wanted to develop a list of my followers, who were all interested in networking – so people could build their Twitter follow lists. I sent my followers a Twitter message (called a Tweet), asking them to send me their name and their username, if they wanted to go on this list.
Only around 70 of the 120 or so replies I got were actually usable. The remainder were sent without a name, or were emailed to me via the blog, without a Twitter user name! Obviously, because so few of the messages were usable, it became way too time consuming for me to continue and the list has been closed.
Two important lessons I want to share with you
Firstly, Twitter is a wonderful tool, but it is limited. It only allows you to post 140 character long messages. This means it’s great for getting short, direct messages out, but lousy for explaining things. I’m sorry for not being clear enough with my request – But that’s NOT the reason I’m writing this!
There was a second, far more valuable lesson here!
Around a dozen of the messages I received were borderline abusive or very abrupt. So, as a marketing man, I wanted to know how that kind of online networking attitude was working for these people. Here’s what I found….
I decided to take a look at their websites or blogs, using a few of the well-known online research tools – just to get a very general idea of how many people they were attracting to their sites. Not one was registering even average traffic numbers. Then I took a look at the blogs of those who had blogs, and saw very few comments or signs of reader activity. Finally, I noticed that none of them had more than a handful of followers on Twitter either.
Whether building a network of clients online or offline, it seems the same rules apply:
People are attracted to attractive people
– and they are repelled by repellent people.
When I talk about being an attractive person here, I don’t mean physically attractive – I mean attractive in relation to one’s personality and actions. Even ugly, bald guys like me can be attractive as people ya know!
The way we interact with people online is REALLY important. If we try to help people, speak well of people and focus on delivering quality to people – we will attract the help and co-operation of others. However, if we speak ill of people, are abrupt with people or focus too much on ourselves – we will attract very little positive response.
What have YOUR experiences been with online networking?
Do you have any tips you would like to share with your fellow readers? If so, please leave a comment below.