I’ve been following the debate that has surrounded the Twitter Unfollow Experiment that Chris Brogan started for some time. It made me think about my motivations to blog and use social media tools.
Why do you blog?
People blog for a host of reasons; self discovery, self promotion, to make money (SHOCK HORROR) and some do it because they feel they should.
The bottom line is, if you blog do it because you want to. Do it HOW you want to.
Why do you follow people on Twitter? Do numbers count?
I’ll be honest here, when I started tweeting I would get so excited when I got new followers and immediately I’d follow them back. Now, I don’t and yes, I regularly unfollow people.
Why? Because I want to follow those who bring VALUE to what I am doing. You might be the coolest person around but unless you tweet and blog about something I am interested in I will not follow you back.
How many people follow you is NOT social proof of how successful you are as Robert Dempsey wrote.
I stopped caring about numbers. I started off tweeting under a different twitter handle and my direction was totally different. I tried to bridge my breastfeeding tweets with entrepreneurship and it didn’t work.
So I started a new twitter account with my old handle. I have 25% of my original following and I follow even less but my conversations are RICHER, more interesting and traffic to my site has increased. What does that tell me? I was looking at the wrong numbers.
Bringing value and spring cleaning social media accounts
This goes back to the question of why you blog. I first started blogging on MummyinProvence because I wanted to share the information I found about having a baby in a foreign country.
I was stunned when I received emails from mothers saying that I’d helped them or they found my posts interesting or even, inspiring. The bottom line was I bringing value to a specific group of people – not the masses.
Chris Brogan, Michael Hyatt et al. have publicly unfollowed their entire Twitter following and received a beating from other bloggers but they have also experienced a spike in traffic (which I am assuming has transferred in to sales).
Is it really that terrible that these people shared their methods? Through sharing they brought value to many. Don’t we all blog to share something? Sharing methods, tips, tools, stories etc … it brings value to someone, or at least we hope.
If someone unfollows me that is fine, I didn’t bring them value. I cannot bring value to EVERYONE.
In the same way I clean up my Facebook from time to time or I erase phone numbers of people I don’t speak to anymore (or have no desire to speak to) – we don’t need to hang on to all of relationships of the past no matter how short the past was. Spring cleaning your social media accounts shouldn’t be any different to clearing your attic or basement.
Motivations differ but the tools are the same. It’s how YOU use them.
We all use the same platforms, some more than others depending on our motivations and what we are going to get out of it. When I am researching breastfeeding I’m not going to hop on to LinkedIn to find that am I?
Our motivations differ. There are many people who are out there to make money. And guess what? That’s fine. Art for arts sake and all that jazz is cool too.
Judging others only takes you away from your focus.
Some use Twitter and Facebook as a way to contact their friends, some use it to pass the time, some don’t know why they use it and some use it for financial gain.