What will you put up with to succeed with Social Media?

by Julie on January 6, 2010

tornI’m torn.

You see, I have these ‘friends’ on Facebook and these ‘followers’ on Twitter (and on and on) – that I really don’t fancy being connected to. I like to think that they’re nice people, but I’m not sure. (Can we ever be?)

So, my torn-ess comes from this: do I stay connected? or do I let them go?

For example, I’m not a religious person (which isn’t to say that I’m not spiritual – I was recently told that ‘I got soul’) and there are a few Facebook friends that constantly (5-10 times per day) update their status with quotes from the bible (I’m not sure which one) and the like. Now, this is their prerogative – but I’m looking at my Facebook feed to get information about the parts of the world that I’m interested in. Honestly, I don’t want my feed clogged up with revelations about what Mary would do.

After reading that, it seems simple, doesn’t it? The easy answer is, stop being their Facebook friend.

BUT, here’s the other side. I’m a freelancer writer. And social media has been integral to the expansion and success of my company for the sole fact that now roughly 15,000 people from around the world know who I am. A seed was planted, sometimes they send me business. It’s hard for me to shut doors – who knows if one of those ‘friends’ doesn’t have a big job waiting for me around the next bend – and then, suddenly, they can’t get to me on Facebook anymore?

A gaggle of women, aka ‘tweethearts‘, were featured in Vanity Fair today for their massive amounts of followers. They’re getting work and notoriety. But, what do they have to put up with? 30K+ followers and friends that fill up their airways?

It’s an interesting dilemma. Riffraff vs. quality. And I’m sure there are as many answers to it as there are people on Twitter.

Image credit: bcymet

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bob Ragsdale January 6, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Social media is all about being social.

Some people are very comfortable being very social. They network like crazy, they enjoy doing it, and that inclination is a huge part of their success. Others (like myself) are less social, build fewer (but perhaps stronger) connections, and build their success on that.

I would imagine that to be truly successful in any endeavor one has to be comfortable with the means that they employ.

2 Mark Sherrick January 7, 2010 at 8:02 pm

There are as many formulas for success as there are participants.

Its also a risk vs reward thing. Yeah, that person who quotes the bible all day may have a job for you one time at some point, but is that worth dealing with them until then? That quiet guy might have some work for you, but you might not get to that point because you didn’t keep him around long enough.

Or both of those people could have nothing for you, and just take up space. Is that really all that bad in the long run? If you think so, then you’re a person who wants better connections with less people, rather than someone who wants as many connections as possible just in case.

3 Amber Seree (the Longwinded) January 15, 2010 at 4:03 pm

A big question really, and like you said, plenty of answers out there. But let me share with you two things that worked for me (though I’m small time, and have no where near what you have) but A: I simply (and kindly) asked people to stop sending me invites, suggestions, etc. This cleared my status feed radically. I also keep facebook to a minimum. And you can’t do anything about simple updates, except to put them as “less” important. I just value strong connections at that level, rather than weaker.

As for twitter, I love to get as many tweets as possible and in fact, I can’t keep up with ’em (who can anyway?), but I use twitter to find new things I wouldn’t have found any other way, and also for shameless self-promotion :), I’ll admit it.

But, once it got to be too much and I was following just to keep followers, I created a second account and kept it strictly to real friends and my absolute favorites whose info I didn’t want to miss.

Borderline schizophrenic? Possibly. The answer? Certainly not the only one. But to me, it’s like having a job you really hate, is the paltry paycheck really worth it? The only person who can answer is you. 🙂

Thanks for the awesome read, and good luck.

4 Orna Ross February 1, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I’d let them go… my way is to link with the like-minded. That’s the big advantage of social media, I reckon. If you’re going to link with just anyone, you might as well still be in your local village.

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