Seven Reasons I Won’t Follow You on Twitter

In the past few weeks, the blogosphere has been abuzz about various philosophies for choosing whom to follow on Twitter. Mitch Joel and Mark Schaefer recently dueled on their opposing approaches – be selective in who you follow or follow (mostly) everyone. Gini Dietrich also weighed into the debate.

Although people are quick to point out that there are no “rules” in social media, there are certainly best practices. Determining how to use the tools to your benefit is certainly up to you and what best aligns with your social media goals.

Because I use social media to develop relationships and to build business, I follow most people who follow me. However, I don’t use an automated system to follow people back. I look through every person who follows me. That’s right, I take a minute or two to look through the profile of every person who decides to follow me. I think it’s important to get to know the people who care what I have to say online. And most times, I will follow people back.

But there are also some reasons I absolutely will not follow someone. For instance, I will not follow you if:

  1. You don’t have an avatar. An avatar is the picture or image associated with your account. If you have the Twitter goose egg there instead, I won’t follow you. I want to see the person or business behind the account.
  2. Your bio is incomplete. The bio is only 140 characters. Take a few minutes to say a little bit about yourself. If you leave this blank, why should I get to know you?
  3. Your avatar is a picture of money. I avoid get rich quick Tweeters like the plague. If you are all about “making money online” (the spammy way), I won’t come near you. Sorry.
  4. Your avatar is something even less savory. Twitter has cleaned up the spam quite a bit, but for a while, it was common to get followers with some inappropriate photos. Those followers, I block…and fast.
  5. You’ve never tweeted. It’s amazing to me how many people open up an account and let it sit. Don’t let analysis paralysis keep you from tweeting. Put yourself out there and say hello. If you don’t say anything, why should I follow?
  6. You’ve never replied to your followers. For me, the point of twitter is to build relationships. If you’ve never @replied to your followers, it shows me you don’t care about a two-way conversation. There are some exceptions to this rule, but generally speaking, I want to connect with people who are going to talk back.
  7. You only promote yourself. Plenty of people simply use Twitter to promote their own stuff non-stop. It almost turns into a 24/7 RSS feed of their blog. If that’s your thing, that’s fine, but I’m not tuning in.

One sure-fire way to guarantee I’ll follow you back? Engage with me. One of the main reasons I’m on Twitter is to build relationships. It’s amazing how many wonderful people I have made in-person relationships with all because we struck up a conversation online.

So, if you want to connect with me or anyone else on Twitter, say hello. Chances are, the person will talk right back.

What are the reasons you choose not to follow someone? Is there anything we should add to the list?

Laura Click

Social Media and the Helen Keller Effect

Update to start 2012: Quick search for the exact phrase “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” for the entire year of 2011 shows close to 33,000 results still being tweeted an average of almost 3,000 twitter mentions per month!

In January 2010, The Social CMO blog you are reading and this amazing group of bloggers now affectionately known as The Social CMO Crew was formed. When putting up the blog using WordPress, as always there’s a spot for the blog subtitle and because it seemed so fitting I used a quote I had seen fly by on Twitter at that time not aware of its’ original source and it has since stuck.

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much!

Since January 2010 this has been our rallying cry here at The Social CMO and been proven out in many ways including the creation of our #MMchat held every #MarketerMonday evening at 8:00pm. In addition as a group The Social CMO Crew now has more than a million followers that are all amazing tweeps who are continuously reading, retweeting and supporting this dynamic team of marketers as we interact across the social media sphere.

It wasn’t until months later that I was actually told that this quote was from Helen Keller, one of the most famous disabled individuals ever and avid advocate for the blind and other disenfranchised groups. I will not repeat her biography here, but you can review her entire story through her Wikipedia page. So why I am I telling you all this on Sunday in late November? It’s simple because this one phrase really captures the essence of the power of social media. That’s why I instinctively chose it for our tagline at The Social CMO and it appears that I am not the only one who has felt and been inspired by what I am calling the Helen Keller Effect on Social Media.

Yesterday I was at a chess tournament with my son and wanted to send out a tweet on my Blackberry of our tagline and Who Are We? page link as I do from time to time. It has been awhile since I had done this so didn’t have the tweet and link handy so instead thought I would just Google it to pick up my previous tweets with the link. Well much to my amazement for the next few minutes the results of this search literally flooded my small screen!

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Loyalty Programs are Passé, what about Customer Advocacy Programs?

Customer Loyalty programs have been around for more than a century and marketing managers have used them very effectively for rewarding loyal customer behavior, especially repeat purchase. According to Gartner, U.S. companies spend more than $1.2 billion per year on customer loyalty programs. It is also estimated that more than 75% of consumers today have at least one loyalty card and number of people with two or more is estimated to be one-third of the shopping population (for more, see The Lowdown on Customer Loyalty Programs: Which Are the Most Effective and Why:) Knowledge@Wharton.

It is time for business to look beyond Loyalty Programs that reward repurchase and consider having a Customer Advocacy Program instead.

But given recent growth in Social Networking on the internet and our ability to precisely track outbound Word of Mouth (WOM) and its impact on customer behavior, it is time for business to look beyond Loyalty Programs that reward repurchase and consider having Customer Advocacy Program instead.

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Want to Lead Corporate Social Strategy? Read This.

Few people understand the constant pressure that the corporate social strategist is faced with. On any given day, the pressure can include internal challenges such as culture change, demands on proving the worth of programs, program development and execution, vague understanding of the role by some colleagues, the necessity of integrating the function throughout the enterprise, as well as external demands such as interview requests and a constant barrage of questions via email, Facebook and Twitter.

The role is clearly evolving and is one that many companies, small and large, are currently filling. I was lucky enough to be selected to fill the role of global digital & multimedia communications manager (aka head of social media) for Ford Motor Company in July of 2008, and I’ve witnessed much of the above – and more – in my role. We’re definitely at a crossroads in terms of the maturity and evolution of the function, particularly in integrating this nascent field into more business processes and making it live beyond the realm of just a handful of people within the organization.

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Is Social Media Just a Channel?

I have been in some interesting debates recently on Twitter in chats such as #mmchat and #techchat on whether or not Social Media is just another channel. While I disagree with almost every word these particular people type, I wanted to make sure this topic was approached objectively… well, somewhat objectively.

Why not just share my intensely subjective perspective on this subject? Well, here are a couple reasons…

  • Its a burning question for many marketers (and now senior executives) that once answered provides perspective on strategy, integration, approach, internal/external policy, and execution of your social program.
  • I take my responsibility as a blogger and consultant very seriously when it comes to presenting and arguing issues. The last thing you want is a lop-sided diatribe for or against… unless that’s your bag.

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Move over Don Draper – Ad Agencies Must evolve to survive…and prosper again

The Challenge

Just as the fascination with all things Mad Men is at its height, advertising agencies themselves are undergoing a period of great change.

The show, which follows a New York ad agency as it struggles to adapt to the television age and survive in rapidly-changing 1960s society, has many parallels with what ad agencies are going through now in our fast-moving digital age. This is a challenging and disconcerting time for ad agencies and their survival depends on their ability to embrace new media and adapt to a consumer-driven market.

In this fragile economy, many companies no longer have the budgets to throw at big-name ‘multinationals’. A business model based on creating a witty concept and buying media space to disseminate it no longer ensures that the message is heard. Consumers are so overwhelmed by an abundance of information on myriad platforms that agencies must purposefully engage with their target market, whether it be through their cell phones, iPads, or traditional print media. The traditional ad agency thrived on its ability to produce ideas; but ideas are no longer enough. Edward Boches, of marketing blog Creativity Unbound, sums up the challenge perfectly: “we can no longer buy attention”.

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How to Create Social Media Content that Inspires Action

The following is an excerpt from “If a Tweet Falls in a Forest,” my section of Chapter 3: ACTIVATE in The Social CMO’s upcoming book.

Imagine this scenario …

You hear how one of your competitors is driving business through Twitter and want to see if you can achieve the same results. You open an account and become overwhelmed by Twitter’s language – a mix of symbols and slang that makes no sense to you.

After a while, you familiarize yourself with Twitter’s interface and grow excited by the possibility of getting your message out to a new audience. You post frequent tweets that ask your followers to check out your website, blog and latest promotions.

A few months go by, and nothing happens. No new leads. No sales. No amazing opportunities. You wonder if anyone noticed your efforts and reduce your time on the social networking site. You decide social media is a waste of your resources and go back to the old way of marketing your business.

Does this sound familiar?

If you’re like many marketers who experiment with social media, you may not understand how to develop messages that not only get noticed as they fall in the dense social media forest – but also get acted upon. Sysomos, a company that specializes in business intelligence for social media, conducted a study of Twitter retweets and replies. They determined that 71% of all tweets are ignored.

To succeed with social media, you must create messages that fall into the other 29% and inspire action. Let’s explore some methods to help you write content that resonates with your target audience, motivates them to take action and ensures your tweets are heard.

Make Your Calls to Action Social Media-Friendly

A major difference between writing direct marketing copy and writing for social media is the nature of your call to action. In direct marketing, most calls to action are designed to push leads further along the sales cycle. Since blatant selling doesn’t mesh with the conversational nature of social media, your calls to action should focus on building trust and sharing relevant information.

Here are 5 examples of calls to action for social media:

  • Ask your community to click a link to a blog post, video or other educational content.
  • Invite others to share their comments on a blog post.
  • Pose a question for your community to answer.
  • Encourage others to share your content with their friends.
  • Invite your community to download premium content.

Social media is often the start of a longer relationship that can lead to sales. Use these low-pressure, no-commitment calls to actions to start a conversation. Once potential customers grow to trust you, they will be more likely to take the relationship further by completing an opt-in form on your website, making direct contact with you or downloading a free trial of your product.

Stay tuned for The Social CMO’s upcoming book and especially my section of Chapter 3 ACTIVATE which shares many more ideas on how to create social media content that inspires action!

Rachel Foster

9 characteristics of great Chief Marketing Officers

Now more than ever, all organizations are looking for the discipline of marketing, to help cure their organizational woes. With that said, excellence in marketing is more important than ever. Thus, the great CMO’s and top marketing professionals, in all types of organizations, are looked to for leadership and I believe they all share common character traits. As it is always easier to remember an odd number (in this case 9) items, you will find I have listed 9 characteristics of great CMO’s below.

  1. The highest degree of personal values, ethics and integrity. Superior ethics may not always win the marketing battle but most always win the marketing war.
  2. Continual positive outlook and enthusiastic vision. This is a key separator between great, good and poor marketers.
  3. Use of creativity to differentiate yourself from the competition. When products or services appear the same to the customer– creativity by the top marketing professional in approach and positioning makes all the difference.
  4. Reliability, consistency and dependability. These three traits separate the average marketer from the superstar marketing professional. Enough said!
  5. A sense of being “human” that builds brand loyalty. Being human and using humor makes your efforts and campaigns likable, and people like brands that make them warm and fuzzy.
  6. Unyielding belief in your organization and yourself. Real winners KNOW there are no shortcuts and that they will “win” in end by doing the little things right.
  7. Creative posturing that differentiates you in your market and makes you clearly known by all of your stakeholders. Superior positioning reduces competition– which is a great and value added bonus for doing your job well.
  8. Passion to excel and to be the best at what you do. This is a personal characteristic that is evident to others. There is no sense in striving for second best. So… don’t!
  9. Push the envelope. The marketer who appreciates the past, is dedicated to the present AND pushes the envelope with a vision for the future is the one that will achieve success.

So, remember the discipline of marketing is more important than ever in 2010 and beyond… and it is the job of the CMO, or top marketing executive, to exhibit the highest degree of excellence in all that s/he does. Have you seen such a great CMO in action? What other characteristics should we mention?

Ryan T. Sauers

Role of Major Influencers in Cause Marketing #MMchat with @ChrisBrogan

Did you feel it? Last night something happened when @ChrisBrogan took the stage on #MMchat for a tweetchat with you all about The Role of Major Influencers in Cause Marketing.

Not sure what you call it, spontaneous combustion, fusion or fission, but it sure was fun! And even more importantly we were all able to hear from and interact directly with @ChrisBrogan a major influencer in his own right.

Who better to talk about the issues from both sides surrounding working with major influencers for the creation of effective cause marketing in support social causes and the creation of positive change?

Please take some time to review and absorb the transcript from last night’s #MMchat with @ChrisBrogan. And I have no doubt that it will take some time, as there are more than 2,000 tweets from 450 contributors setting an all time record for #MMchat and perhaps all organized Twitter chats to date.

Thanks to all of you #MMchat tweeps and others for joining us last night and sharing your thoughts and questions on such an important topic, for it truly is all of you who make #MarketerMonday Chat matter!

Remember #MMchat makes Mondays MARVELOUS!!


Jeff Ashcroft