James Mayes

Posts Tagged ‘engagement’

Connections or relationships? Online or offline?

In Facebook, LinkedIn, Personal Development, Recruitment, Social Media, Twitter on July 2, 2010 at 8:38 pm

I was reminded earlier this week of a mantra I’ve often passed on to those new in Social Networking.  It’s something I’ve often kept in mind, but occasionally, something happens to really drive the message home.  The mantra is simple:

Make connections online – build relationships offline.

Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc. have allowed me to make contact and engage with a far wider audience than I would have believed possible, only a few years ago.  Casting a quick eye over those contacts and it’s immediately clear that in the vast majority of cases, the stronger engagement is with people I’ve met – or at least spoken to by phone. Of course, there are those exceptions that prove the rule – and in those few cases, it tends to require a deep shared interest that underlies the connection, or a connection which has taken years to cement.

The reason I felt compelled to write on the topic?  A brief coffee last week.  Someone I’ve not known for that long, originally a few tweets back and forth, then a chance meeting at an industry event.  That chance meeting led to a more focussed discussion, then an opportune coffee this week.  As I left the coffee-house, I reflected on a few conversations we’d had where my companion had offered to go the extra mile and help me out. Real trust and confidence.  We’ve only known each other a few months; I have connections on LinkedIn and Twitter which go back so much further – but carry significantly less weight.

I guess it’s just human nature and no doubt there are specialists in this field who can really explain the detail behind it. I’m not one of them, so for now – I just wanted to share that mantra in the hope it helps others too.

Even the masters of the Internet struggle with Twitter

In Personal, Social Media, Twitter on May 27, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I bought a new camera recently. Online, as is often the case with commodity goods like this. I searched round a bit for bundles and competitive pricing and wasn’t particularly surprised to see Amazon come out on top. A few weeks into using my new toy, I find there’s an issue with the auto-focus.  These things happen, even with the best manufacturing processes – so I’ll just return it for a fix or replace.

I’ve got a few gripes about the way they handle returns, but that’s of no significant relevance here.  What IS important is that I thought I’d check out their Twitter presence, just to see if I could get a quick response through that medium. After all, they’ve still not responded to the email I sent them three days ago…

@amazon – Bio completed, url present, corporate logo in place. 21k followers, yep, I’m in the right place.  Then I looked at the Twitterstream.  Since the 1st February, there have been five tweets with a link of some kind Amazon wish to push. Every other tweet is a retweet of another Amazon channel.

I didn’t bother to try to engage via Twitter. It’s pretty clear that they don’t want to talk here.  I checked out a handful of Amazon’s other accounts, to see if this was an oddity, or standard practice. Of the five I checked, each one was pure and simple broadcast.

I have nothing against the use of broadcast channels – it’s part of our strategy at TweetJobs – but I do believe it remain just a part. Content and dialogue offer the real value in the experience. Walking through those Amazon accounts, I couldn’t find a single @mention or @reply. For a leading player in Internet consumer retail, that just seems horrific to me.

For the sake of balance, I should say I like Amazon. I’ve bought a fair bit from them in the past and will continue to do so in future. They let themselves down here though!

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