To follow or not to follow – that is the question!

by Paul Allen on May 28, 2011

Follow wedding professionals on any social media platform and you’ll soon realise just how much this fascinating industry is embracing new media. So I was both delighted and flattered to be asked to address around 40 wedding professionals at The Elephant in Pangbourne on Wednesday 25th May.

Two of the industry’s most respected names Tamryn Kirby & Julie Tooby invited a group of friends and associates out into the beautiful Berkshire countryside to connect, chat & discuss their social media activities.

For such a social industry, it was perhaps not surprising the conversation was lively from the start & everyone was soon making interesting new connections and exchanging business cards. So during my presentation, I felt the need to ask why many in their industry appear reluctant to follow their Twitter followers back!

Surely, the more genuine two-way relationships, the more opportunities to build reputation & do business?

Many quoted a lack of time as their reason for not being as attentive as they would like, but they also assumed auto follow would lead to spam and irrelevant status updates.

It’s not a view endorsed by the self-proclaimed gurus of social media, but just like the fundamental principle of the UK justice system, surely tweeps should be assumed innocent until proven guilty?

Luckily, social media luminary Guy Kawasaki seems to agree. As a matter of common courtesty, he auto follows everyone. In his view, each party then has the opportunity to DM the other, a platform he infinitely prefers to email, because with a limit of 140 characters, contacts are forced to get to the point! If new contacts choose to spam or post irrelevant content then they are promptly unfollowed.

Inevitably, this does mean using programmes such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to divide your conversation streams, but in my experience it is proving to be a really effective way to monetize the time I spend on my social networks.

In my experience, Tweeps using Twitter for business usually follow others for a reason. It may be because their businesses are complimentary, they have similar personal interests or it could be their service would be of assistance.

Unless we connect and engage we will never realise the potential of the relationship.

Interestingly, that’s exactly the way Tamryn & I connected which ultimately led to the chance to address such a great group of forward thinking professionals whose business it is to make beautiful memories that last a lifetime.

Photo courtesy of Brown Box Photography


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