I have been learning some new tricks in my job with the content creation company -- social media tricks. How to manage multiple social media accounts easily, handling schedules, reasons for doing some things and not doing other things. I'm secretly, selfishly pleased to be learning many of these things, because I can put them to use (with any luck) as I keep developing my own career as a writer.
Today I logged into the tool which wrangles social media accounts, and spent some significant time perusing Twitter. I confess that I don't have a lot of personal love for Twitter. I think in long thoughts, not soundbites. The simplicity of Twitter is its strength, but it's a strength which doesn't match up with my own strengths very well and I haven't been interested in it enough yet to figure out how to deal. But, part of the job right now is to deal with Twitter, so I have been looking at my client's feeds.
The client in question is new to social media too, and so they are just starting to develop their networks. They don't have a ton of followers yet; it's too early days. There is a weird thing about their fledgling follower list, though. A whole bunch of the followers seem to be social media development professionals (is there an actual title for that?) They appear to be people who do what I am doing for this client now. It doesn't look like they have a need for or interest in my client's products and services. It rather looks like they are just trying to get more followers themselves.
This was a disconcerting realization. The only people paying attention to my client's feeds are people who want more attention for THEIR feeds.
This is what so much of the internet is now: the great cacophony. The pile of people all saying "Look at me! Look at me! Buy my services! Read my blog! Look at me!"
With everyone yelling, does anyone listen?
I can't answer this for The Internet and I would only make myself look silly trying. I'm no master of social media, and neither am I a master at blogging, a master at marketing, or a master at business. The number of things over which I have even a small degree of mastery are very few. (One of those areas of mastery is bending Word's field code functions to my every whim. That may give you some idea of the scope of my power.)
The one person I can answer it for is myself. Am I listening to people? I spend a lot of time online; do I listen to the people I make contact with there?
I spend time writing on this-here blog space. Am I doing it to be heard, or to connect?
Does the size of my following matter, if I only get people to follow me by shouting the loudest?
I'm still ambivalent about a lot of social media, but the fact is all of the services available are just tools. Tools only matter when they get used, and they aren't good or bad, they just get used in good or bad ways. I haven't settled for myself what I truly think of these tools or how I could go about using them in good ways. But I am thinking about it. If they can be used in good ways, I had better think about how to do it, else I might miss my best chances to offer something good to some folks.