I participate in a lot of Twitter chats. Granted, I’m no @LttleWys, but I at least lurk in a few every week. The one thing I’ve noticed is the ‘power’ Twitter users, say those with over 50,000 followers, almost never join Twitter chats. UNLESS they are the co-host/guest host. In other words, if they can’t be the center of attention, it’s not worth their time.
In fact, I started looking at the Twitter streams for a few of the ‘big name’ Twitter users. I saw the same pattern: Twitter bigshot throws out statement, such as ‘The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing at all’, or some-such business witticism. Then the Twitter power-user spends the next 30 minutes answering @ replies to his statement.
Folks, that’s not engagement. I even tweeted this, saying something like ‘If all you do is answer tweets directed at you, then you aren’t engaging, you’re responding.’
Then after about 5 minutes of responding to ‘amen!’ replies to my statement, a tiny voice inside my head said ‘hey dumbass, you just did the same thing you were trying to call out the Twitter ‘power’ users for doing’. Oops.
Is that being social? Really? And if you think about it, that’s how most of us use social media, because that’s how these sites have trained us to do it. Go look at your Facebook newsfeed: It’s an endless stream of friends and connections throwing content out there, then other people responding to it. We’ve been taught that the content that gets the most reaction is the ‘best’.
In other words, we’ve been taught that social media is about creating content that gets the most Likes, the most RTs. We’ve been taught that these represent levels of engagement.
Folks being engaged with someone’s content is NOT being engaged with them. And if someone IS engaged with your content, that doesn’t mean you are engaged with them.
‘Dude get off my back, the majority of my tweets are replies! I engage!’ Really? Are those replies where you tweet someone out of the blue and ask them how their day is going, or do those replies come from you sitting back and fielding replies to your cutesy statements that you tweet out every couple of hours?
Think about it.
We don’t always have to be the center of attention. Social Media is a wonderful idea, but instead of focusing on the SOCIAL part, it seems we are gravitating more to the MEdia part. It’s all about creating content that draws attention to ourselves. And to be fair, I’m just as guilty of this as anyone.
So what do you think; Is Social Media making us more or less social? We’ll be getting all social and discussing this tonight at #DadChat, starting at 8pm Central on Twitter. #DadChat is run by my friend Bruce Sallan, who has asked me to co-host tonight’s topic.
I’m looking forward to the discussion, hope to see you there!