Thursday, January 20, 2011

To Thank Or Not To Thank (And Other Social Media Musings)

There's a big debate online, particularly on Twitter.

To thank or not to thank seems to be the question. 

I say thank. Some say "thank not."

Mind you, my mother had me call all adults "Mr. and Ms." while I was growing up. To this day, I still call my stepfather Mr. Jim, so manners whether on or offline, are apart of my make up.

Now, I may have to take this post "back to the basics." Some of you reading this may not even know what Twitter is, how Twitter is used or just what the heck I am talking about.  And you my friends are not alone. As a matter of fact, according to Twitter user statistics from Women In, "60% of Twitter users abandon their accounts within their first month of use while the Twitter retention rate is only 40%."

Just the other night, I was at a women's networking event in LA where a number of savvy business owners in the room hadn't even hopped on the Twitter bandwagon yet. It was at this event that a very good question then came up:  

"Why use Twitter if I have Facebook? Moreover, since I have Facebook, why do I need Linkedin?"

That was followed by my friend Brady Hahn, a Philanthropy Consultant, inquiring about Tumblr. "So I read on Mashable that Tumblr is going to sponsor 20 Fashion Bloggers for Fashion Week...but what is Tumblr?"

Here are my answers to these questions and a few more. (These are merely based on my experience and opinion on social media-simplified. Do as you please for your business.)
  • Facebook = Friends, family. Social. Think of this as an adult playground where we can examine our alter egos, post funny viral videos and not be ostracized for it because we have accepted the people we are connected to. Likewise, based upon mutual interest or childhood, they have accepted us. 
  • Linkedin. BUSINESS! But not a place where business is boring. More and more people misuse their Linkedin account by keeping it generic. For me, Linkedin allows me to make a virtual first impression so I want my profile to exude humor, wit and my creativity, not just my job title. (If your Linkedin needs some work, email me for a consultation or read this). Linkedin is a great tool to network with people online be it for a job, a short term project or professional development.
  • Twitter. My favorite! The best of both worlds. Personal, professional. Twitter provides the ability to keep up with news and events as they happen in real time. It allows you to network across the globe based on like interests. You simply follow who you want to. If you have interesting resources to share, in turn, people follow you. Twitter is also a great way to gain visibility for your brand. Your profile serves as a traffic source to get people interested in what it is you do then redirect them back to your website or blog.
  • Tumblr. An easy way to blog. (This is where I embrace my inner artist). I came across Tumblr after my 18 year old cousin and her best friend introduced me to it. I use it as a means to embrace my artists eye and have a creative outlet. According to their website, Tumblr lets you "effortlessly share anything" so why not check it out? 
Now that we've covered that ground, back to the original question. To thank or not to thank someone for following you on Twitter? 

Granted, it's their choice. However, I feel that thanking your Twitter followers is a great way to "shout them out" to your network and promote their brand. 

Yes, Twitter is a "conversation." A place where we share information whether that information comes in the form of articles, jokes, or what's inspiring you that day. I don't think a thank you disrupts the flow of that conversation any more than a "please pass the cream and sugar" does in real time. But, that's just me.

Your thoughts? I'm curious to know.

(By the way, are we connected?)

Follow me on Twitter @jaclynmullen

No comments:

Post a Comment