Saturday, September 24, 2011

Twitter Asks: What's The Difference Between A Duck?

This is a mashup of awesome photos from bradleypjohnson and Auntie P
Question asked at a recent social media seminar: What gets you more follows on Twitter, using hashtags or posting links? The questioner was in charge of her company's social media presence, and said she was anticipating this question from internal stakeholders.

The speaker was a bit flummoxed by the question, kinda like he'd been asked, "Do you still beat your wife?" or "What's the difference between a duck?" He did his on-the-spot best, but you could tell he knew something was wrong with the question. I couldn't quite figure it out at the moment, either.

After some thought, here it is:

That's like asking, "Do I make more friends when I wear high heels and a cocktail dress, or spike shoes and a golf outfit?"

Well, it depends on whether you're at a holiday gala or a golf outing.

Twitter isn't a system that you can game with metrics, hashtags and links. To quote Scott Stratten (I quote this a lot), Twitter Is People.

Use hashtags when hashtags make sense. Post links when they're relevant and of interest. That's what gets you followed.

Twitter is a lot like real-life networking, whether you're tweeting as an individual or a company. Dress appropriately, be nice, introduce yourself, listen well, try to be interesting, and when you can, be helpful without expecting anything in return.

Don't get me wrong, traditional marketers, it was a great question!

And the best answer is to question the question.