Are you really being social in social media?

Some twitter users have thousands, tens or even hundreds of thousands of followers and they don’t follow anyone (or very few). I don’t mean celebrities, just experts, pundits, writers and the countless social media ninjas/gurus/rockstars/experts, etc. Or there are people who follow thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people and have an equal number of followers. Are they really being social or just amassing followers?

How engaged can you be when you don’t follow anyone? Or when you follow a massive twitter stream that is essentially a river at all time record flood levels? Either extreme suggests a true lack of interest in your followers. And this extends across plenty of other social platforms, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Path, etc. Whether you’re a brand or an individual the key is being social and showing genuine interest. We all want followers, likes and engagement, but we also need to engage right back. If you’re not it’s no longer really social media. It’s just a bullhorn and eventually many will stop listening.

What you have to say is important to me and I want understand your ideas, see the pictures you post, click on the links you share. I want to be SOCIAL. I want to engage in great ideas, funny moments, amazing experiences and remarkable thoughts.

Not everyone will follow us and we can’t follow everyone. The key is to find a balance between following a manageable number of social feeds and the right amount of time and attention to make the experience truly social. Sharing, listening, hearing, commenting, curating and engaging. That’s what success in social means to me. What do you think? That’s even more important.

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