What’s in it for me?

[tweetmeme source=”barrydewar” alias=”http://ow.ly/2eXFf” only_single=false style=”compact”]If you want me to follow you, be your friend or like you, then I have just one question:

What’s in it for me?

Seriously. There’s a very fine line between social networks and cliques. I look around and see large groups of people blindly following someone largely because there’s a large group of people following them. It’s a self-perpetuating myth and it’s largely without merit.

Take a closer look at those networks and it’s hard to see the value outwith a handful on meaningful connections which are either generating business or giving value in some other way.

It’s really not worth following someone just because it looks like everyone else is doing it. In fact #followfriday on Twitter is a perfect example of bad networking. Telling your friends to follow someone with no background is pointless, it fills up streams on a Friday and can be really annoying. (See my #followfriday post for my alternative suggestion)

A connection with no common ground is not going to lead to any engagement except by blind chance. All you’re getting out of the deal is another name to scroll past as you look for the content that your real friends are providing.

Think very carefully about every connection you make. And ask yourself at every turn “What’s in it for me?”

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2 thoughts on “What’s in it for me?

  1. Hi Barry,

    I certainly agree with your sentiments regarding #followfriday – The incentive is honest but the benefit to the end user is almost worthless. The only exception is when the user recognises the person in the #followfriday tweet, possibly from a previous retweet.

    I think there’s a lot of networks where the vast majority of the communication would be considered as relative rubbish, but only because the users are following the wrong people, and this is one of the biggest barriers to entry for Twitter – there is a huge volume of Twitter users who are sitting on the fringes of the service, not moving forward and engaging in it properly because all they see is irrelevant drivel. It’s a catch 22.

    Still, as long as I regularly refine my following list it’s not a problem for me.

    1. Thanks Steven. From recollection, your Twitter experience changes enormously from your initial sign-up.

      At first you follow the Stephen Fry’s of the world, maybe a few athletes or artists that you like and slowly you find real people to follow as well. At some point your stream tips over and you get more engaged with the non-celebs. I also remember the point where I could no longer read every single tweet from those I was following. It takes a bit of getting used to.

      Things like #followfriday, in the format it’s most commonly used, don’t help people find like minds. It just gets messy.

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