Social NetworkingSocial networking is really the buzz word at the moment for all things internet, economic, financial, personal and professional. Chock full of scams and opportunity of course.

As an author, it is a medium of great interest to me, and I try very hard to keep myself informed of the many wonderfully creative developments. However, one aspect of social networking I am becoming increasingly concerned about is automation and what I would class as impersonal social behaviour.

I read an article yesterday written by a business guru here in Switzerland espousing the virtues of social networking for business. No problem there. Where I did find a problem was when the columnist explained how this could all be achieved in only ten minutes a day. With heavy duty automation naturally.

My problem is that this is not my definition of social. It is unsocial. I don’t want to socialise online with a recorded message, or inexhaustible list of silly quotes. I want to socially interact with real people.

For social networking to work for you, you need to have a personal approach. So for a business, it needs to have a real person responsible for monitoring and interacting with their potential clients. Otherwise, you may as well use email spam.

While I personally use feeds and pings for my blog so it can be circulated to a number of blog sites, I keep a careful eye on all the comments, which I receive by email, and attend to them all personally. Equally with Twitter. I can’t be sitting on a computer all day answering tweets, but I can allocate an hour a day or so to scroll my messages and answer or respond.

We live in a twenty-four hour world now, so to be effective there is certainly a need for feed, pings and scheduled messages. What must not be lost though, is the social aspect. That is why it is called social networking. As in real life, it is impossible to be social if you are not interacting with people.

Socially Speaking
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4 thoughts on “Socially Speaking

  • 26/01/2010 at 9:18 pm

    Communicating directly with your readers and friends is essential in developing authentic relationships and in feeling truly connected.

  • 26/01/2010 at 11:14 pm

    I am still at the stage where I find it cool to be communicating with people in EU, UK, Canada (and others) while I sit in my living room. Note this might be why I rarely follow people who spam, or bots, or automate in any way. They don't communicate. I enjoy following your tweets; you actually communicate.

  • 27/01/2010 at 2:23 am

    I know its redundant to say I agree, but I absolutely agree with you. I personally look at everyone who follows me to see if we are at least on the same planet.
    And I look for tweets made through an API. That usually means they are automated. OK for a few maybe, but if I don't see any from a live person, I don't follow back.
    Better a few people who actually interact than 200K who never look.

  • 27/01/2010 at 5:19 am

    I couldn't agree with you more, Derek. The best way to use social media is to build actual relationships with people, even if it is through virtual means.

    BTW, this is a recording. (LOL! Kidding, of course.)

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