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Dysfunctional Social Media Strategies

In a race to amass as many followers as humanly possible, in the early days of Twitter small business owners relied heavily on the tried and true approach of “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” And although the days of boldly and openly proclaiming “follow me and I’ll follow you back” in profiles and automated direct messages are pretty much over, to my surprise they still pop up every now and again. When they do, it gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling inside—the kind that makes me feel really special.

Like this one…

automatic response to new twitter followers

Dysfunctional followership strategies come in many shapes and sizes although most seem to gravitate towards two primary buckets: “overfollowing” or “underfollowing.” One usually makes you look a little desperate. The other usually makes you look a little blowhardy.

As a small business owner, finding your follower sweet spot is hard--especially when you’re trying to establish your social presence.

You want to be seen as a subject matter expert or an influencer. For some, that means following as many people as they can, as quickly as they can. Instead of building a solid base with people who are most likely to engage in meaningful dialogues, in most cases all you’ve created is a lopsided following to follower ratio that makes you look 1) totally desperate or “spammy” to potential followers or 2) like what you have to say isn’t meaningful enough to warrant more followers. Either way, that’s usually not good.

On the other end of the spectrum are the folks who deem the majority of people on Twitter aren’t worthy of their followership. You know the ones—folks with thousands of followers who only follow 5 or 10 people. That’s definitely their prerogative but it still feels awfully blowhardy to me. Not to mention the message it sends to the people they aren’t following (again, think warm and fuzzies).

In a perfect world, you want to build you followership organically like the Dancing Guy. You want to put yourself out there, be easy to follow, and start your own movement—not dance by yourself while others just sit around and watch. 

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