relationships – Stay N Alive

Lists Will Kill the Unfollow Star

video killed the radio starAll the rage of the blogosphere the last few days has been the launch of Twitter “Lists” to the 5,000 or so “lucky” accounts, enabling users to organize and sort their friends, as well as subscribe to large lists of friends, one list at a time.  While not yet available to the masses, lists will revolutionize the way we receive content and the way we organize our communication on Twitter.  As Scoble puts it, this is the best thing Twitter has launched in a long, long time.  I propose we’ll see a new culture from all this – the death of the “unfollow”.

So many people have complained that building “numbers” is an ineffective means of using the Twitter service.  We even talked about it in a panel I was on yesterday at BlogWorld Expo.  I think the net result of the panel was that the end result of using Twitter should be about building relationships, converting followers, and encouraging clicks.  If numbers help that, then good.  They usually are far from the only factor that goes into that end goal though.  Because of the focus on relationships, many people and brands (I can confirm this as the Founder and CEO of auto-follow.  This does one of 2 things – it “initiates” a relationship between individuals, highlighting what could become a potential real-life relationship in the future, and finally it enables users to DM you since you have to be following an individual to send them a direct message on Twitter.  For any reason, users usually auto-follow for at least the DM capability.

Now that Twitter is launching lists, I predict a new layer will be added to all this.  I predict the stigma of “auto-follow” being a bad thing will go away.  People will soon be able to “not follow” as many people as they want while still not offending them because they will technically be able to auto-follow them, but keep them in a list they do not check as often.  Now, with lists, you can create lists of potential relationships, and then organize other lists of people based on various categories of how you like to follow.  There will soon be no reason to “not follow” anyone any more (unless they are truly a spammer, which SocialToo will help you identify) because if someone is not interesting you can just add them to another list.  Now they can still DM you and you don’t necessarily have to pay attention to their tweets mixed in with all the tweets you want to pay more attention to.  The entire landscape of Twitter is about to change.

With Twitter’s introduction of lists I predict an entirely new Twitter.  I predict an environment where you don’t have to unfollow anyone.  I predict an environment where everyone can be a potential relationship, and we’re finally able to listen to the conversation in ways we were never able to accomplish before.  Our relationships have officially been organized.  I don’t yet have lists at the moment, but you bet I’m checking out Twitter’s API on the matter.  How do you plan to use Lists?

Strategically Growing Your Business Using Facebook & Twitter

mari smithI had the opportunity today to sit and listen to Mari Smith’s BlogWorld Expo talk today, “Facebook & Twitter Fortunes: How To Strategically Grow Your Business Using the Top Two Online Social Networks”. I have been on a panel with her before and even spoke for one of her online webinars, but had not yet had the chance to see her in person yet.  Such a meeting was a pleasure, as that actually ended up being the focus of her presentation – relationships.

The power of Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites is in how you use them to build real-life relationships with others.  Facebook itself does this superbly (Twitter is getting there, and can still be used for such if done right).  Mari spoke about that connection, stating that “more than content, people are looking for connection”.  She had a great quote stating that “if Content is King, Connection is Queen”.  The “Pied Piper of Facebook” (and arguable one of the nicest and most genuine people I’ve ever met) knows her stuff, and if you can use these social networks effectively to do this for a brand or business, you will see the most success.

Mari stated that the most powerful part of Facebook was Facebook Pages.  She shared that you can encourage people to fan your Facebook Page simply by sending “fan yourpageusername” to “fbook” (32665) on your mobile phone.  She uses this in her presentations to encourage people following her presentation to also fan her and mentioned it’s a great strategy to build a fan base.  I realized I really need to do this more often as well (my fan page is “stay” on Facebook).

While I do agree with her that Facebook Pages are a powerful aspect of Facebook I do disagree slightly that it is the most powerful aspect of the Social Networking site.  I think if more marketers, product managers, entrepreneurs, and businesses spent a little more time learning what they can do with a little knowledge of HTML, JavaScript, and access to HTML files somewhere they can begin to integrate Facebook right on their own site, bringing a user and their Facebook friends into a person’s own brand.  If you ask me this is the most powerful component of Facebook and more people need to learn it.  Facebook Connect is Facebook’s “Building Blocks” contributed to the Building Block Web I spoke of earlier.

I love Mari’s focus on connection and relationships in her presentation.  She also talked about opening up a little, sharing how she shared some of the details of her recent divorce and by opening up she was able to connect with people better.  She stated that the new social media marketing methodology is moving from “controlling our image” to “being ourselves”, something radically different from the way it used to be, and these tools are enabling us to do this!  She stated that the tools are making people go from “hard to reach” to “available everywhere”.  How true that is.

Unfortunately I was only able to stay for half of Mari’s session, but I quickly was reminded how much Mari knows her stuff.  If you want to meet someone on Twitter or Facebook who is genuine, will build a real relationship with you, and help you learn how to make money off of these tools at the same time in a rational manner that is not a “get rich quick scheme”, Mari is the person to follow.  You can follow her on Twitter at or on Facebook,