I’m sure you’ve seen this pattern before, but please share your experiences.
In Seattle there is an IT tech group that consists of professional practitioners. In fact, there are chapters similar to this group throughout the US. The original intent was to bring knowledgeable IT resources together to present and discuss trends, solutions, opportunities and threats, build connections and share ideas within the tech community. The group became influential and gathered many of the top CTO’s, CIO’s and other IT business leaders from the area on a regular basis.
Then, over time, it happened…
As staffing, tech, IT and solutions vendors realized their prime sales contacts were all gathered regularly in one place the vendors started sending their reps to troll the events. It was easy to spot the sales-types from the technical professionals because the sales folks were handing out business cards faster than a Blackjack dealer in Vegas. This behavior by the vendors spoiled the events for the participants and, ultimately, even for the vendors themselves as the events were attended by more sales people than the clientele they were pursuing.
Another example of this type of behavior is when The Beatles stopped touring in 1966 in large measure because the band could not hear themselves playing over their fans screaming. (See http://bit.ly/daHF80) The fans themselves not only spoiled the event for the band, but for all the fans as well.
Now there’s a new study released just this week about Twitter, one of the quintessential Social Media platforms, becoming decidedly anti-social. (See http://bit.ly/bfjiSq)
The study convincingly illustrates how Twitter is becoming more of a broadcast news outlet than a social network and supports this premise upon several factors.
- Instead of 2-way connections and conversations Marketers are pushing their messaging.
- Only 22% of Twitter Follower/Following relationships are reciprocal and
- Many tweets themselves are merely pushing timely or newsworthy events rather than carrying on a conversation.
Will Twitter become so infested with tweeple pushing sales & marketing messages that the users will ultimately kill the service?
This would be an unfortunate outcome, but the momentum is decidedly in that direction. And yes, I’ve been guilty of the same behaviors myself and have added to the problem.
Can we fix it?
Some additional ideas that might help:
- One thing you can do to change this trend is converse “more” and broadcast “less.” Don’t blast tweets constantly about your company products or services or about your MLM expertise.
- An astounding idea – follow back people who follow you. Why are you so picky when they weren’t? (See my thoughts on Following Back http://bit.ly/8tBjwP)
- Don’t set up auto DM’s that pollute the environment. Go Green, I say, and don’t litter Twitter with spam DM’s. Experienced users don’t like them or trust the links within them.
Twitter can become social again and we can change the trend. If we don’t then Twitter will soon go the way of AM Radio or Newspapers and the only people tuning in will be the pitchmen.