When you stop to think about it, perception is an extremely powerful branding tool. It can make or break you. It never ceases to amaze me how well social media enables us to brand ourselves, our company and/or our service.
But there are some downsides to branding and perception via social media.
Here’s my story:
A few weeks ago, I received a note from Twitter that @Tweet05 (not his real name to protect his identify) was following me.
I always check profiles before clicking to follow back – there have been some strange tweets out there that I want no part of.
My first impression of @Tweet05 was based on:
1. Hip looking custom Twitter background (not like the boring clouds I have)
2. Intriguing bio w/ fancy photo. Borderline unbelievable but I trusted it’s truth
3. MANY followers, but he only followed a handful – under 5
“Wow! @Tweet05 looks pretty interesting. With so many followers @Tweet05 must be extraordinary with amazing tweets about ‘must have’ information,” were my immediate thoughts. I’ll be honest with you, I was kind of flattered.
So, I did what most of us would do. I clicked the follow back button.
Within a seconds, I was dumped by @Tweet05. The marriage was over as quickly as it begun.
It was as if Tweet05 had written some kind of bot code to “auto-dump” it’s followers. DUMPED! No more web 2.0 between @Tweet05 and @heathergardner. I had been cut off from all @interaction.
On Twitter, your followers and who you follow speak to who you are. Let's face it, you can tell who puts the energy in to "nurture" their Twitter relationships. I’m proud of the diverse network of tweets and have built some genuine and solid professional/personal relationships via this 140 characters forum. I'm not there for purely a high number of followers, but rather "connections". I follow a lot of very talented individuals that share a lot of knowledge and resources in their tweets. I love the web 2.0 back and forth banter and appreciate every single unique one of them. I find myself in a deep communication and idea exchange on many occasions.
@Tweet05 used me to inflate a perception and persona. I felt slighted, like a dumped girlfriend.
So I did what any girl would do in my same situation. I dumped @Tweet05 right back!
After all, what good is web 2.0 without the two way interaction – doesn’t it then become web 1.0?
So let’s hear it… what would you do?