The Best Defense Is No Defense at All

See how I replied to this tweet.

Violeta
Violeta
Jan 1, 2014 · 4 min read

Often, social media networking comes with a catch.

How you conduct yourself online is always viewed under microscope. Take twitter. People follow, re-tweet, and talk to you based on their observations of your ethics and habits. For example, if you don’t re-tweet much, they’ll think you’re not interested in what anyone else says, and that’s a turn-off. If you don’t answer them when they reach out, you’re cold. And so on.

Each and every time, this person is right.

You know how they teach you at Customer Service that “the client is always right” even when they’re not? This should be applied to twitter (and social media in general) as well. Think about it. When confronted or reprimanded online, which reaction do you think will be more appropriate: defending yourself and making things worse OR actually agreeing with the person?

There are two scenarios here: 1. The person IS right. 2. They are right from THEIR perspective (even if you don’t necessarily agree with them). Both mean you might have done something wrong or that someone viewed what you did as wrong. This is called feedback.

Feedback helps you learn, grow, and improve.

Maybe you didn’t thank someone for the RT, so they thought you were unresponsive. Most would carry on, but one would call you out on it. What is the first thing that comes to mind as an answer? “Oh, you know, I’ve been so busy lately, I get so many mentions daily, the dog ate my tweet, and sometimes twitter glitches.” Please stop.

We all have excuses up our sleeves, and they seem handy sometimes, but they don’t really speak well of anyone. And this person might not want to confront you, but simply reach out, give you feedback, and that’s useful! If they do want to confront you, then you don’t want to waste time with them anyway. Politely change subject, thank them for the feedback, move on.

Today one of my followers made the following observation:

“Funny how the more followers/ings you get the less you converse with the first 50. Truly sorry.”

The comment stung. I’ve been so busy with my new project that I’ve been unable to answer mentions, thank for re-tweets, and follow back everyone. To make things better (and redeem myself), I could’ve explained that when so many things are vying for your attention, you have to prioritize, and if a tweet doesn’t require an answer, it can be starred and left that way.

But I didn’t want to defend myself because this achieves nothing.

The person was right, so I acknowledged their comment, mentioned some excuse, added it wasn’t an excuse (lol), and wished them Happy 2014. I said nothing about how numbers have nothing to do with it.

Also, I think that mostly, you don’t need to defend yourself.

The way you conduct yourself and your business is YOUR decision.

D’you know, the fact that I get so many follows and interactions is viewed differently by different people. While some will call me a “social butterfly” (not so much lately), others view my practices as dishonest, like I’m using tricks. And I’m just trying to express myself and help others!

Let’s get this out of the way once and for all: yes, I unfollow people.

I use ManageFlitter regularly to unfollow:

  1. Inactive accounts.
  2. People who don’t follow back.

The first is a no-brainer: if this person never tweets again, what is there to follow?! The second is a personal preference. See, I believe in mutuality.

I do not understand people who follow a bunch of accounts, which will never acknowledge or connect with them in any substantial or meaningful way. I might get the standard ‘thanks for the follow’ DM or a tweet saying thanks. While I appreciate that (as long as it’s not followed by “also follow me on facebook”, come on), it will never change one very important fact:

You don’t trust me enough to give me direct access to you.

I’m talking about direct messages. Since twitter doesn’t allow me to send messages to people who have not followed back, I prefer to bet on the people who do like and trust me enough to open that door for me to reach out. Don’t get me wrong, I rarely ever send messages on twitter. On twitter I’m mostly transparent, so the use of messages seems redundant.

HOWEVER, if I’m working on something secretly awesome (like I am now) and I want to contact people in a discreet way, I would not be able to reach these enigmas who refused to follow me. Now, that’s okay. Truth is, I’m pretty happy with the “numbers” I have, but they’re just stepping stones to what I’m looking for: engagement, which is what I truly care about.

Numbers are potentials for connection. More numbers means more opportunities to connect.

Now, things might just end at follow back, but it’s a start. The magic happens when one day a follower re-tweets you, you respond, discuss, and BOOM!

You become each other’s fans. That’s when the price is right.


Have a wonderful 2014, everyone! May it bring you love, peace, and success.

If there’s anything you’d like to ask or say, feel free to comment here or tweet. I may be busy but I’ve learned my lesson. Thanks for reading and spreading the love!

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