How To Win Friends And Influence People (On Twitter)

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Episode #229 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

I don’t think you should follow back everyone on Twitter who decides to follow you. It didn’t seem like a big deal to say it. It turns out it was. Mark W. Schaefer (over at Grow) had a great Blog post titled, Bringing Down The Twitter Snobs, that ran contrary to a post I had published titled, Being A Twitter Snob Is A Good Thing. It’s not the first time we’ve had discourse over a hot topic (in fact, we debated Ghost Blogging right here: SPOS #214 – The Ghost Blogging Debate With Mark W. Schaefer). I like debating Mark. He’s not a Social Media Guru – and you know the kind of "guru" I am talking about. He’s a professional and an educator with real experience and a great perspective on all things Marketing and Communications. As you can tell by the comments on both of our Blog posts, this is a hot topic. We decided to take the gloves off and discuss it, right here. Enjoy the conversation…

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast #229.


  1. Listening to you both now, after missing the beginning of this podcast because my background music got in the way while updating my website. Definitely, interested in both of your views on Twitter engagement, following followers, noise and quality vs. quantitiy. My plan is to listen, re-listen again and again because you both have lots to offer “bloggers.”
    Thank you Mitch and Mark for bringing and sharing these issues to forefront to “move people forward” by encouraging, inspiring, motivating and supporting each other.
    The music at the end of this podcast is very heartfelt, please share with me the name of the piece, etc. etc. etc. ~ thanks?

  2. Mitch, I enjoyed your conversation/interview with Mark Schaefer. Though you may debate each other, it seems to me that you agree on many aspects. In my opinion, it would be counter productive to attempt to follow everyone. The truth is, there isn’t enough time in the day to do that, even if one wanted to. In addition, as you mentioned, the quality of a conversation, relationship, idea, etc. would be lost.

  3. I enjoyed listening to this episode because twitter etiquette and how different use twitter is interesting to me.
    As discussed on the podcast, I find any obsession over number of followers a total joke. The primary reason I believe is that you don’t need to be following somebody to see what they are doing on twitter or engage with them. I can put you on a list or see you in my searches without ever following you. I am seeing twitter become invaded with, and I don’t even know what to call them except maybe spammers or scammers, who go out and follow everyone they can find in order to get some semblance of credibility. Therefore, looking at how many followers somebody has is a complete waste of time.
    Like it was said on the show, I agree that you have to be careful about who is following you because that may affect how people view you. When a self-storage facility in Tampa follows me, I block them because let’s be real here – I have no need for space in Tampa and they aren’t following me to hear my wonderful musings on about Ottawa.
    Likewise, I think people shouldn’t get upset when somebody isn’t following them. I have seen a few instances recently where people got upset on twitter when they realized people they knew/interact with aren’t following them. I would say “who cares?”. That doesn’t mean they aren’t seeing what you are doing or engaging with you. If somebody I follow or respect isn’t following me, I don’t care because is somebody who is following 20,000 people going to see what you’re doing anyways? Probably not.
    For me, it always comes back down to engaging people, providing value to your network and being real. Do those things, regardless of # of followers and you’ll be alright in the long run.
    Management may like to see number of followers but I always like to a site like tweetstats to run % of replies and retweets to show that I’m not always shoutcasting. I like to show that I am also retweeting a large number of people instead of just the same old 5 people. And finally, I like to use a site like tweetreach to show that by connecting with people, your messages go farther than if you just try to talk to your followers alone.

  4. Mitch, Good discussion and I too look forward to the experience vs. popularity podcast. With Mark’s fans and obvious humility, sure it’ll be a good one. πŸ˜‰
    Think you and Mark both had little murmurs of admitting the other was at least “not wrong” in your personal approaches to Twitter. That’s the thing, it’s a personal approach to whom and how one chooses to follow. There IS too much noise, it does require filtering via lists and Tweetdeck groups etc. to cut throw the clutter. And yet I find myself always looking for more people with whom to connect, to share, to learn, to follow. Those colliding atoms that can come from unexpected places like Mark mentioned. Now to check out that David Usher song, thanks.

  5. I can break it down for you:
    1. If you follow everyone, you agree with Mark.
    2. If you don’t follow everyone, you agree with me.
    Otherwise, I’m pretty certain Mark and I feel the exact same way about Twitter and what it can do.

  6. The bigger point too is that you don’t really lose much serendipity by being a Twitter snob. As you stated, you still meet new and interesting people that you would have never connected to before.

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