Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Twitter in Real Life

HubSpot recently published the cartoon below. It's worthy of your attention for two reasons: what it says, and what it is.

What it says:
It's a great illustration about what's becoming one of the most important aspects of social media -- you are known by the company you keep. Whether it's following someone on Twitter, or friending them on Facebook or whatever the process is called on the social network you're using, reciprocity shouldn't be a given.

Why? Well, you can block people from following you (to stay with Twitter terms), but except for the truly offensive, having a lot of followers that you barely know isn't necessarily a bad thing. Especially if you're Twittering to promote your career or business -- the larger the audience, the better. But you're not obligated to return the favor and follow everyone who's following you.

One reason is manageability. When you only have twenty followers, then following all of them yields a small trickle of hourly tweets. For 200, it gets noisier. And for even larger numbers the volume of tweets can easily take up far more time than you want to take to read them, rendering the service virtually useless.

The second reason is personality. If you have 2,000 followers and you're following 2,000 people, then you're clearly not choosy about the company you keep. If you're only following a fraction of that number, then the choices you make provide additional insight into the kind of person you are (or business you represent). And that can be very important and beneficial in attracting the right kind of attention to your profile.

What it is:
This is an image made available with a Creative Commons license. HubSpot created the cartoon, posted it on their Inbound Internet Marketing Blog, and encouraged people to use it. Under their Creative Commons license, anyone is to free to share or even work with the image as long as they properly attribute the source -- which would be HubSpot.

Why would they do this? Because they want this image out there, doing its job. And that job is not just to make an important point in a witty way, but to raise HubSpot's profile as a resource for social media marketing. And as this cartoon is a good example of said marketing, the success of it spreading demonstrates how well HubSpot knows its area of expertise.

By giving the cartoon away, they generate more traffic and potentially more business.

Yep, I'm following them on Twitter.

- Ralph

Day 177 of the WJMA Web Watch. (Haven't heard a peep, much less a tweet.)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the article. You hit the nail on the head. That's *exactly* what we're out to do.

    (the HubSpot guy)