Social Media Group Dynamics: Don’t Be The Passive Aggressive Putz!

Social Media Group Dynamics: Don't Be The Passive Aggressive Putz!

Are you part of a Facebook group or a Google+ community?

They can be a fantastic resource when they’re full of like minded individuals all intent upon bettering the experience of all involved in the group.

However, whenever you get a group together you’re going to face occasional upset and some snarky comments when one or more group members believe that other group members aren’t holding up their end of the bargain.

She’s Not Doing It Right!

Inevitably, when a group’s intent is to increase the social media visibility of its members, you’ll find that a handful of that membership don’t necessarily take the idea of reciprocity to heart.

And, again, inevitable, you’re going to have some well meaning group members chiming in that said lack of reciprocity isn’t fair. And they’re right. But it’s the way they go about “voicing” these opinions that is the meat of this article.

Neither Life Nor Social Media Promised You Fairness

It’s hard enough for a group owner and moderator to deal with the bad habits of spammers and those who don’t read the groups rules, regulations and terms of service before plugging themselves and their services at every opportunity.

They’ve created these groups with the greater good of all members in mind and they’re putting in a lot of time and effort to make the group work, and work well, for all involved.

So, when passive aggressive Paulette starts whining about “someone” who is liking her post rather than sharing it, it’s just another reminder to the group owner that he/she is dealing with the infantile and illiterate.

We Don’t All HAVE TO Share Your Shizz!

As stated previously, many a Facebook group is created with the intent to increase the visibility of its membership.

Some group members, incorrectly, immediately assume that this intent to increase visibility mean all of their shizz will get shared by each and every other member of the group.

That ain’t gonna happen!

Generally speaking, the group owner sets the rules on how the sharing activity should roll out. Usually, when you hope to share your own goodies, you’re expected to share two to three items from the group.

Two to three, not every flipping item. We get to be choosy. Maybe your items don’t fit in with our niche. Maybe we don’t think the content you’re sharing is as valuable as you believe it to be. Whatever the case may be, sometimes your stuff just isn’t going to make the cut.

Whining that you share every group member submission, but don’t see the same sharing of your own submissions, doesn’t make anyone want to share your shizz! It shows that you aren’t very discerning and you’re only looking for shares for sharing’s sake, rather than shares that add value to your business and your audience.

Positive In Public, Passive Aggressive In Private!

If you’ve ever been part of a structured networking group like BNI or Powercore, you know this mantra. And it’s just common sense.

Veiled and cryptic complaints don’t add to or enhance the group experience. They detract from it and put the focus on you, when the focus is supposed to be about the collective “we.”

Don’t Do It!

For the love of Pete! Pretty puh-leeze cease the passive aggressive whining and complaining when you believe a social media group member is failing to play by the rules.

You don’t look like you’re looking out for the group in these instances. You simply look like a whiner.

Positive in public, but take the negative to the group leader via a private message or email. Let them deal with any infractions in the way they see fit. It’s their group. You don’t need to be the passive aggressive police.

Your opinions matter, but not when they take away from the collective group experience.

Social Media Smarts: Walk What You’re Talking!

Social Media Smarts: Walk What You're Talking!

I fairly often write about the idea of walking the talk. It’s a concept that many a social media and digital marketer has looked at and discussed. Each month we’re bombarded with new and increasingly ridiculous ways to get ahead and fast and easy. There’s no fast and easy when it comes to building a solid and smart presence online. If you fail to walk the talk and choose to engage in less than legitimate practices, it will follow your brand and your business like a dark cloud for some time to come.

That being said, why are so many new and even established social media marketers drawn to these shady tactics? I’m sharing a few of my thoughts with you today.

They’ll Never Notice | Those Rules Don’t Apply to Me:

Though I probably shouldn’t be, I am still shocked to see how many supposedly socially savvy “names”, be they big or small, feel that there’s nothing wrong with blatantly ignoring the unwritten rules of social engagement. It’s not as blatant as it used to be, of course. Remember, way back when, all of the ridiculous ruses to add contact information to cover images on Facebook? Right? Wrong. Those pages lost my like. Did that impact them much? Probably not. But I see the same things happening lately, whether it’s blatant disregard to stated terms of service or individuals simply engaging in gray area, murky tactics that leave many a marketer with a bad taste in the mouth.

Consider this. Daniel Newman of Millennial CEO recently launched a discussion regarding the practice of tagging a multitude of followers in posted memes and motivational quotes. This isn’t a photo in which any of these individuals actually appear. It’s generally a quote layered over stock photograph or a cat or dog meme. While I admit to not being a big fan of either kind of post in general, I’d not take offense if a colleague or peer chose to cater the occasional meme post to me.

And there’s the problem. It’s not catered to me or occasional. The individuals who engage in this practice do it daily, if not multiple times daily, and they randomly tag as many of their followers/friends as they possibly can. Why? Reach. Pure and simple. Which is? Selfish! Pure and simple. You’re not looking to reach out to me with a thought. You’re looking to increase the likelihood of your post getting seen. It has nothing to do with me. In this instance, you’re using me and everyone else you tag as a tool. Not cool.

Too many unwritten, but well understood, rules are being ignored. And certainly not just on Facebook. The tagging things happens on Instagram, A LOT. And there’s my favorite, the asinine auto-DM. How many times do we need to write about the woes of idiotic automation? Twitter isn’t the culprit, you are.

I’m A Little Guy So It Won’t Hurt Anyone:

Remember all of the contest criminality in Facebook’s past. Sadly, many a marketer didn’t learn from that. Contests continue to be a gray are where tawdry tactics taint what the sanctity of social. Pinterest has rules. Instagram has rules. Why can’t certain individuals play by those rules?

Looking beyond contests, let’s consider spam. I’ve been delivered a rash of ridiculously spammy messages on Linkedin lately. When did that become acceptable? It hasn’t!

I too often see newer social media marketers engaging in these tactics, hoping to get ahead. It’s not easy to get started in this business. When you have a low follower count, you might not be seen as the real deal by many who call themselves social media experts.

But is cheating or gaming the system really gaining you an edge? Thinking that you’re small and no one will notice if you engage in less than smart and savvy marketing practices is silly. Nothing on social ever really goes unseen. What happens if someone you really admire, someone you’d like to work with, sees what you’re doing? You can’t do anything that will make it unseen.

Follower Fixation | Failure to Follow:

How often do we see big name experts with tens of thousands of followers who only follow a minuscule 2-300? I see it all the time. What do I “see” when I see this? I see someone who doesn’t see much value in keeping abreast of the thoughts of others. I see someone who is interested in broadcasting their own content and ideas rather than sharing the best content and ideas with their followers. I see someone engaged in a one-way broadcast rather than taking part in a conversation, someone interested in shouting rather than listening.

Love for Sale | Also Known as Back Scratch Fever:

Likes, connections and the act of circling aren’t commodities to trade like baseball cards or beanie babies. I can’t tell you how many times a day I see something resembling this statement in my feed or in private messages:

I have just liked/connected/circled you, and I would really appreciate it if you would return the favor.

Yeah, ummmmmmm, your business and, thus, your online presence is all about parakeet grooming in Redwood City, CA. I have three cats and I live in Tucker, GA. Where’s the draw, the value, the impetus for me to like your page? And if I was even slightly intrigued, that message, which is basically begging, would quickly change my mind.

Reciprocity does rule in social media marketing, but there’s a right and a wrong way to go about it. There are no favor connections. Real reciprocity requires social savvy and smarts on both sides of the relationship, as well as mutual respect. I certainly don’t respect messages like the one above. Who would?

The One Way Highway: Also Known As Me Me Me Me Me!

This behavior shows up on every platform, so there’s really no hiding from it. It showcases itself in a variety of ways, including:

  • Blast Posting | Feed Takeovers | Digital Diarrhea – you know, 15 tweets within 15 seconds, etc.
  • Inspirational Quotes with no “introduction” or follow up from the poster as to why they find them important. So, why should I?
  • Caption this photos trying to take advantage of the extra engagement that photos are prone to get, except the photo is lame and has nothing to do, whatsoever, with your business or your audience.
  • Fill in the blanks of the same type in order to get the most “reach”.

My little list barely skims the surface. So come on, help me “fill in the blanks” a bit. What gets your goat when it comes to the “names” that seem more intent on remaining a name than in actually working within the proper social circles. Everyone loves an opportunity to clear the air and even get a little rant on, so have at it!

In closing, I continue to remove the “Like” from a lot of Facebook pages, unfollow a lot of Twitter accounts and even disconnect from a handful of Linkedin accounts. Did my own numbers plunge? Nope. On the contrary, they’re rising – even on Facebook! People like seeing someone take a stand, even a small one. If we each take these small stands, we will “save” social. If we all walk the talk, every day…it’s going to get us to a valuable and viable destination.

Explicit Content: It’s More Than Potty Mouth!

Explicit Content: It's More Than Potty Mouth!

The title’s correct! It’s not link bait to draw you in then leave you disheartened, distrustful and disappointed.

I am ACTUALLY writing about explicit content today, especially as it pertains to the launch of my new podcast: Ready, Set … PODCAST!

Explicit Content! More Than Dropping F-Bombs!

Every once in a while you see an article making the rounds across the blogosphere and social media feeds. That article calls out the use of explicit language in blog posts and marketing materials. Such language is:

  • unprofessional
  • dumbing down language
  • offensive
  • etc.

Did you know that if you look up explicit in the dictionary, there are few, or sometimes – NO, references to potty mouth or swearing?

One of my go-to sites, Merriam-Webster shares:

Full Definition of EXPLICIT

1 a : fully revealed or expressed without vagueness, implication, or ambiguity : leaving no question as to meaning or intent
b : open in the depiction of nudity or sexuality

2 : fully developed or formulated

3 : unambiguous in expression

4 : of a mathematical function : defined by an expression containing only independent variables — compare

While my writing style might give off a resounding WTF vibe, I rarely drop F-bombs. In fact, the only time I do is when I hurt myself in a stupid fashion. You know, walking into the door jamb, stubbing my toe, whacking my head on a low, open cupboard door. That kind of thing.

Most of the time, any explicit language you see on my posts is my own made-up alterations to commonly used swear words of a more benign sort.

Example: I often request that marketers refrain from engaging in activity that can be described with two of my favorite altered terms, jackassery and asshattery.

I’ve never been told by any of my readers, in private or in public, that my explicit language offends them.

Not Swearing? How, Then, Can Explicit Content Be Offensive?

This is just my best guess, I don’t have any metrics to back it up, but … I think people are offended when someone strongly, assertively, and without pulling the punches discusses the negative impact of an action or activity that the reader embraces as standard operating procedure.

This goes back to the definition of explicit shared above. When your content is direct, to the point and implies anything negative, people start to think you’re writing about them personally. No matter how careful you are to call out actions, rather than individuals.

That leads me to think that these people feel somewhat guilty for their actions, but again, that’s just my personal take.

I’ll Remain Explicit In 2015

So, after looking carefully at the definition(s) of the term, I will continue to adhere to my explicit content policy in 2015 and beyond. My new podcast, Ready, Set … Podcast, will have an explicit rating, because both my partner Brooke Ballard and I will occasionally use explicit language to make a point. Not because we think it’s cool, or because we want to be edgy.

We use the language we use because it’s real and authentic and that’s how we actually speak.

And my blog posts going forward? Same explicit content style. No ambiguity about what I think or the ideas I share.

Let’s lose the idea that explicit is simply the opening up and expelling of swear words. It’s a lot more than language that would have earned you a mouth washed out with soap as a child.

Your Turn …

Does explicit language, used well with the proper intent and purpose, bother you? Chime in with a comment!

When Social Media Starts To Smell Not So Fresh!

When Social Media Starts To Smell Not So Fresh!

I know, I know … what a title to start off a new year! It screams of snark and sass. But it’s actually a topic I’ve been toying with for a while.

The more I’ve thought it over, the more I felt it needed to be written. And, as I began writing it, I realized there were two ways I could go with it.

Let’s dive right in to the topic, but you might want to light a scented candle, first!

Stop Being A Social Media Sycophant!

That’s right people, I’m talking about digital butt kissing. Brown nosing. Sucking up. Kowtowing. Bootlicking.

I see way too many social interactions tainted by the temptation to grab audience share by grabbing hold of the nether-cheeks of an influencer, then smooching for all smooching’s worth.


While I’m sorry about the graphic image that may be making you want to carve out your eyeballs with the nearest sharp object, I’m not sorry about sharing this sentiment.

I’m not talking about real mentor/mentee relationships that might appear to be out of balance, when, in fact, they really aren’t. These relationships involve industry leaders paying it forward and choosing to give back by taking an interest in an up and comer.

Social isn’t about you getting all you can from those with a bigger audience. It isn’t about seeing your name in the shiniest digital lights (the elusive lists that flourish online at this time of year).

In case you need a reminder, social is about real relationships. Real relationships require balance. Brown nosing to such an extreme topples this balance and leaves you looking like a social climber, rather than a valued resource and smart connection.

Can You Smell That Enormous Ego?

So, you made it on one of those best of or year end lists? That’s awesome. I actually mean that, it’s a no snark, sass-free statement!

It certainly feels good to be recognized by your peers and your audience. You’ve obviously worked really hard to make a name for yourself, to create a strong presence and share a message with meaning.

Ahhhhh, but there’s the rub. When you start to believe the hype of your own presence above the message(s) you choose to share, you’ve been bitten by the ego monster, the ME monster.

I’ve seen it happen soooooooooo many times. A peer I once appreciated for their resolve to create real connections and build long and lasting relationships deservedly makes a splash and gets named to one of those lists.

Will he or she use that nod of recognition and clout to continue to further the social smarts and savvy that earned them the honor? While I always hope so, on several occasions I’ve been sadly let down.

Too Big For Their Britches

They stop thanking their audience for sharing their articles. They start to think it’s their due as a “big timer” in the social sphere.

All of a sudden they stop sharing anything except their own articles, no matter how old and outdated.

Some even create a relevant hashtag, something that showcases his or her own content, then fill their feed with that hashtag over and over and over again. Until it begins to lose meaning amidst the stench of a sadly overinflated ego.

Let’s Sweeten Social In 2015!

Let’s all get back to basics and scour that stink from social media marketing as we dive into a new year full of promise and potential.

Let’s remember that we can be proud of our accomplishments, those noted by others and, more importantly, those noted in our own minds and crossed off our own checklists.

But, it’s absolutely possible to take pride without pandering to some new sense of self-importance. Tell your self it’s important to remember social is a relationship. What does your audience see? What do your peers see?

Step away from that looking glass or reflective pool that shows only you and your trumped up sense of superiority, Narcissus. If you’re familiar with the myth, you know the ending is anything but sweet smelling.

Will you continue to walk the talk in 2015?

Connection Confession: You’re Really NOT All That!

Connection Confession: You're Really NOT All That!

I can already feel it. This could be it. This article just might be the one that lands me in more than a little trouble!

With a title like the one above, this article could go in so many different directions. But, in order to keep on topic, I’m going to focus on one key issue that I see far too often on Google+ and Twitter.

I got the idea for this article ages ago, after seeing Jimmie Lanley’s fantastic 12 Most article, 12 Most Crippling Mindset Hurdles on Google+. When I read the 12th mindset hurdle I wanted to clap out loud and pat Jimmie on the back for saying something I’d been thinking for quite some time.

But, since I don’t always flesh out my article ideas right away, I stewed on this one for a while. And the more I thought about it, the more I pondered several disturbing conversations from my past, on Twitter chats and in Facebook groups. And I knew I had to take it a step further.

Weird People Are Circling You?

So, someone new wants to make a connection with you? Great, that’s the basic premise behind having a presence on social media platforms. Connections that hopefully build and grow into relationships that provide the means for collaborative efforts or more.

But that newest connection? He’s weird and you just don’t like it.

What makes him weird? His name? The color of his skin? His native language. The very fact that it’s a him, as you’ll note I haven’t once mentioned a her?

I’m calling out bullshit!

Ever consider that the white bread American name you find so normal might be “weird” to him?

This is not something I see only amidst my digital marketing peers (just some of them, thankfully), although – sadly, I’ve seen way too many threads that discuss how horrible it is that weird men are trying to follow them or make a connection on Google+ or Twitter. When the same topic started cropping up from clients, especially those just starting out and trying to build connections and following, I knew I couldn’t let this article idea sit fallow any longer.

So, here’s the simple truth …

Ladies, You’re Not All That!

The Asian, Arab and African men trying to make a connection with you on Google+, Twitter, even Linkedin? They aren’t all bedazzled by your online charms. They aren’t all hoping to make you their beautiful American brides!

Shockingly enough, many of them have some of the same business interests that you do. You know, interests like marketing, social media, SEO, tech tools, start-ups, etc.

And while their connection attempts might not be perfect, that’s not an issue solely attributed to their sex and nationality. I’ve seen plenty of white, middle-America men and women send out generic connection requests on Linkedin, haven’t you?

Creepy isn’t defined by any race, nationality, creed or gender. Creepy is just creepy. And, being completely honest, the only creepy come-on I’ve ever received on Google+, or any other platform, came from a good old boy, straight out of America’s heartland. It was icky. GACK!

It’s Just A Connection!

As Jimmie so smartly stated in the article I linked above, you don’t have to return the connection if it feels off. You don’t have to add him to any of your circles and you don’t have to follow back on Twitter. You can easily ignore his connection request on Linkedin.

But consider why you’re doing it before you decide that the connection isn’t a good one. Does he share content you find relevant? Does he take part in some of the same groups and communities that you do? Could it be that he’s just a dude that shares some of your business and marketing interests? More often than not, I think, you’ll find that to be the case.

Are you really SO vain that you think that every male of a certain ethnicity wants to ask you out on a date? Honey, you’re really NOT all that and a bag of chips.

Marketing Moment: When Perfect Isn’t Plausible

Marketing Moment: When Perfect Isn't Plausible

It feels like every time I turn around I see another article touting top tips for crafting or creating “perfection.”

The topics range from creating the perfect blog title to setting up the perfect profile on specific social networks. Maybe it’s about the perfect time to post on Facebook or the perfect day and hour to send off your email newsletter.

Let’s Put Down Perfect!

My issue with these posts is the idea of perfection. The tips themselves are, more often than not, quite valuable, and when applied should bring some positive results. But the idea that there is a perfect profile or a perfect title that will reap serious rewards for everyone if they simply follow a formula is misleading at best and debilitating at worst.

Perfect is quite often subjective. Especially when applied to tasks or creations that are multi-faceted (although diamonds are multi-faceted and they can be perfect – WAIT … back on topic).

What’s perfect in my eyes, my thoughts, my ideas … well, it just might be flawed in yours. The same goes for your audience and how they perceive what you share, send, submit and publish.

The Wonder of What Works (And What Doesn’t)

I’m often amazed, even after engaging in social media marketing for so many years, when I’m completely wrong about how a post will “do.” Admit it, you’ve been there!

The article you thought would incite a riot of commentary and discussion goes over like a lead balloon. Never floats. Simply sits heavily until it loses all its air. Yes, I know the guys on MythBusters managed to float a lead balloon, but they’ve got a bunch of science knowledge and geeky toys that we don’t!

Then, the post you thought would generate a tiny bit of polite interest, a couple likes, maybe a share or two, erupts into huge debate and discussion.

Sometimes it can seem that there’s absolutely no rhyme or reason to what works!

Perfection Paralysis

There’s no governing body sharing a checklist for the perfect post or share. This means, too, that there are no points being awarded social media feeds for that perfect post or share. Except in our own minds.

If we get too stuck into the premise of perfect, we might find ourselves pausing too long before we take action. Planning for perfect, to me, is a form of analysis paralysis. We’re so focused on the crafting of perfection that we forget perfect is all in the eyes of the beholder. And our audiences are made up of a bevy of beholders, each with their own unique take on what’s tempting, topical and terrific.

Stop Deleting Imperfect Posts!

I know many social media marketers who, if a post doesn’t get enough engagement (enough is as subjective as perfect, actually), choose to delete the post. As if it never existed.

This saddens me. It’s quite robotic and inhuman. Duds happen to us all. They show that we’re engaging in a little trial and error testing, seeking out what actually interests those with whom we hope to converse and engage.

And, honestly, we all know when someone deletes a dud. What was once on the Internet is not soon forgotten simply by clicking the delete button!

Perfect Isn’t Plausible!

Perfect might very well be possible, but is it plausible? If we constantly strive for perfect, never allowing for some testing of what might fail, might we not miss out on something near perfect, just plain old good, that might really appeal to our audience?

Do you have a penchant for what you perceive to be perfect? Does it ever cause perfection paralysis, keeping you from publishing a post or sharing an idea across social media channels?

Social Smarts: Rant With Relevance

Social Smarts: Rant With Relevance

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, only occasionally poking your head out when Anton or Derek publish an article, completely missing everything I’ve ever published, you already know that I have a reputation for the rant.


verb (used without object)

1. to speak or declaim extravagantly or violently; talk in a wild or vehement way; rave.

verb (used with object)

2. to utter or declaim in a ranting manner.

Rant With Relevance

I’m not going to deny that I frequently rant, but my rants are delivered with careful intent and purpose. Ranting simply to rant soon loses any appeal.

A well intentioned rant is a vehicle to deliver knowledge. It’s a means for generating discussion. The intent is to entertain while you educate, in a punchy fashion. The purpose is to bring to light a mistake or misconception in the hope of enlightening the reader to other options.

If your rant isn’t relevant, meaning it doesn’t offer up solutions to the issue that caused it, you’re using the power rant with nefarious intent. You’re hoping only to draw eyes to your site. It’s click bait.

Your audience is smart, they’ll soon be on to such tactics and it won’t bode well for you.

Rethink that Rant!

Even with the proper intent and purpose behind the rant, they sometimes go awry.

You might want to reconsider your rant if:

1. It’s a topic already really well ranted by your peers and colleagues and your rant adds nothing new or interesting. There’s nothing like latching on to what’s popular and hanging on with a death grip. Wait, actually – that’s not such a good idea!

If it’s been said and done, it’s been said and done. Possibly better than you could say it yourself. Possibly by someone with a very large following that has spread it far and wide. If this is the case the discussion you are hoping to generate has already taken place. You’re simply rehashing what worked for someone else.

If you can’t add to the argument with your own unique perspective or offer a unique solution, you should rethink that rant!

2. The article upon which you’re ranting actually agrees with your opinion. Yeah, YIKES! We often see this in our busy, fast-paced industry.

I blame it on those who don’t actually read an article or post in full before they decide to go off. I also blame the pervasive need to craft incendiary titles. Titles which often have absolutely nothing to do with the final idea presented by an article or post.

Once again, we’re talking click bait, even though it’s often well intentioned.

It’s important that you read the ENTIRE article, from start to finish, before you decide to go off on a tear and show your audience that you’re ever so much smarter than the original author.

Failure to do so could leave you with egg on your face, as we’ve seen time and again that the provocative title doesn’t always match up with the content delivered.

3. It’s absolutely irrelevant to your audience. We get it, you’re a diehard. A fanatic. An enthusiast. From college football to healthy living, we all have something not tied to our business that we embrace effusively. And of course we want to bring our friends, family and peers on board.

The problem, though, occurs when we use our business vehicle (not the company van, I’m talking about your content delivery systems – your blog and social channels) to deliver our rants (or raves).

Our followers signed on or signed up hoping to receive our business expertise. While there’s nothing wrong with sharing some, even a lot, of who we are outside of our business, the focus must remain on the relevant topic. The topic which gained you the audience in the first place.

When we start using our business blog and social channels too often to champion causes and deliver rants relating to slights to our favorite TV show or soccer team, we shift the focus. If that focus gets hidden too deeply, we lose our hold on the very group seeking our expertise.

Have you ever seen a well intentioned rant go awry. What happened? Did our rant about rants manage to stay on topic?


If You Don’t ASK, There’s No Yes or No!

At some point in your social media or digital marketing career, you’re going to face a time when you need to ask a bigger name in your industry to help you.

It can be scary to ask, for anything. We get that. Being told NO is never nice.

But if we spend too much time prevaricating and pausing because we’re worried we’ll get a negative response, we just might miss out on some fabulous and, hopefully, mutually beneficial opportunities.

If I Don’t Ask, I’ll Have No Guests To Interview!

After a less than well-planned first outing as a podcaster I’m settling into a partnership with Brooke Ballard of B Squared Media to launch a new podcast. Part of any such endeavor involves asking our peers and colleagues if they’ll take part in an interview.

Brooke and I spent almost an hour making an initial “ask” list. And while the making of the list was exciting and almost intoxicating, we’re not fool enough to think we’re going to “land” everyone we ask.

There are many reasons someone might say no to your interview request (or any other request, but we’re attaching this to our podcast launch, so we’re talking interview requests). Those reasons might include:

  • He or she has a full plate at the time of your request.
  • He or she would like to see if the venture proves successful before they sign on.
  • He or she isn’t sure your audience is their audience.
  • He or she isn’t sure your audience is big enough at the time of your request.
  • He or she may feel that your connection isn’t deep enough to grant the request.

I think the final reason happens more often than we’d like to believe. Why? Because far too many social media users consider the simple act of clicking follow to equal an actual connection. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Connections Take Time. Relationships Take Even Longer!

Clicking the follow, friend or like button is just the first step. The road to creating real connections that last and have the potential to become even longer lasting relationships is a long one.

That initial click is only the beginning of the connection. Trust and respect are earned over time, never with a simple click of a mouse or quick send of a less than well planned DM.

It’s important that you take the time to converse, share and get to know your connections before you presume to ask them for anything. Otherwise they’re rightly going to assume that your reason for connection was simply personal gain.

Want a YES the next time you ask?

Any and all requests will have more merit have a better chance at an affirmative answer if you take the time to create a real connection.

Of course you have to ask the question before you have any chance at any response at all, be it yes or no. And yes, as we already shared, the act of asking can be a little bit daunting. But it shouldn’t be.

Why not? Because you’re a smart and savvy user of social platforms who understands that it’s about the relationship and the respect long before it’s about the request!

What do you think? Have anything to add to this conversation? We’d love to chat it out in the comments section!

Take Back Twitter: Ditch The Dumb DM!

A while back I wrote an article about the kinds of responses I’d love to send to ridiculous automated direct messages sent on Twitter. It was, of course, written in my regular tongue-in-cheek, snarky fashion, but I hope it offered up a few truths.

Yet the dumb DMs keep on coming. Not that I really thought one article was going to put a stop to the practice.

Let’s Take Back Twitter!

Maybe if we band together and share some more ridiculous examples, we can slowly turn at least a few of these challenged souls away from making this their response to any new Twitter connection.

Some “stellar” examples from my feed and my responses:

Thanks for the follow. Due to spam/viruses on DMs, I prefer mentions. I don’t reply here. Cheers!

Yet sent to me via, you guessed it, DM!

Welcome & Thanks for Follow. Please Retweet my tweet at:
Thanks in Advance

Yeah, we just connected. Do you think we could actually say hello and get to know one another before you try to drag me into retweeting your crappy service to my followers. It’s not going to happen, EVER, but at least ease into it. Sheesh!

Welcome to our design world! Let me know if you’d like a website. Send me a message here, or email.

Perhaps you could have taken the 2.5 seconds necessary to verify that we, indeed, are web designers!

Thanks for following. I will surprise you with interesting tweets!

As if everyone else in my feed is an utter moron throwing the same old uninteresting and craptastic tweets my way!

Hi gotweetsgo, Thanks for Connecting, Hope you are doing great. I do website designs for €99. Need one get in touch

Not only couldn’t you take the time to suss out that I’m a web designer, but you also want to undercut my pricing so that you win all of the cheap bastard business! Have at it!

Thanks for following me! I greatly appreciate your support! Have a look at my books at -via @justunfollow

Wow. We haven’t even exchanged names and I don’t know your sign, but you’re already hawking your latest book? Smooth!

Hi Go Creative Go!, Could we partner on gear reviews? … or 555-555-5555

Guessing this fellow thinks that because we provide social media services for a bicycle components company, we’re also ready to review all sorts of sports gear. Not so much.

Hi Go, We’ve succumb to G+, mind giving a follow and +1? … Tks!

I’m not impressed that you think I’ll be impressed that you’ve “succumbed” to Google+. Perhaps you should have asked me what I thought about the platform (I’m a fan) before you put the kaibash on me connecting with you there, or anywhere else. Unfollow! Oh, and spell out thanks for pity’s sake. We’re not 13.

Have any stellar examples of stunningly stupid DMs arrived in your Twitter inbox lately? We’d love for you to share with us. And, of course, include the snarky reply you wish you could send in response!

Better Blogging: Stop Being So Generic!

This better blogging series has been an absolute blast. As more and more content marketers embrace the idea that truly unique content will set them apart, there’s a need to take a deeper look at the idea of unique in order to create the articles, graphics and other types of content that will be consumed, shared and discussed.

Is anyone else tired of the proliferation of listless list posts?

Touted as top tips or best practices, these lists are so rarely enlightening, entertaining or educational.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing better than a carefully crafted list post. Done well they’re chock full of smarts and savvy and are often bookmarked for future reference and sharing.

But how many times do we need to see Hootsuite listed as a top social media management tool? How many times do we need to see Feedly listed as a top RSS feed/curation tool? Been there, done that and the T-shirt’s kinda boring.

What about top tips? How many times must we be told that consistency is crucial to content and/or social media marketing? Don’t put another dime in the jukebox, toots … I don’t need to hear that song again.

I know, I know, you’re about to tell me that your articles are targeting newer content and social media marketers, those that have no idea that Hootsuite is a much revered social media management and monitoring tool, those that have NO idea that consistency is a key part of any marketing effort.

Seriously? Stop!

Stop being so generic!

Maybe there are truly NO new topics to be covered. Maybe all you can do is share the same ideas as marketers X, Y and Z. But, if that’s the case, give them a little something that makes them your own.

These better blogging posts may, in fact, be sharing tips that others have already covered. BUT? I managed to share better blogging tips tied to Depeche Mode and R.E.M songs. And, in doing so, I managed to make those tips truly my own, as they featured my own unique take, my own spin, my own notes. I think that’s enough music references for now!

The point is, I added a good dose of Mallie and music to some ideas that have certainly been shared before. And adding that bit of Mallie and music made the content stand out from the listless lists and the regurgitated ramblings.

What are you doing to make the content you’re publishing sing?

Does each article you publish stand out? Is every bit of your blogging effort helping your expertise shout out from the rooftops? If not, it’s probably because it’s a little too generic.

Generic and generalized tips and lists don’t help you hop down from atop the shoulders of giants. Regurgitating the same sad facts makes for sad content. No one wants to share sad content. Very little discussion is generated by the same old same old.

How are you adding an extra dose of YOU-nique to your content?