2010 is a year of experimentation for me. As my regular blog visitors know, I have made some dramatic changes in my life this year. 2010 is my year to focus on my business, Design Resumes.
Let’s take Twitter for example.When I joined Twitter, initially, I was amazed that people were following me, people I didn’t follow. I felt wanted and somewhat honored. When people talked back to me, I was amazed. I grew the numbers I was following by researching interesting people and to some extent following back the people who followed me.
During the past summer, I got busy and didn’t tweet much. When I came back, I felt disconnected and thought it was because I wasn’t there and people didn’t know me any more. To some extent, that might have been true, but there was another cause. I had gotten to the point of following 1500 people. Most of the people were clueless that I was even following them and I hadn’t really communicated with most of them.
On the advice of Jim Connolly, I decided to decrease the numbers I was following so that I could actually see the conversation happening. I knew that would have an effect on my follower numbers but it didn’t really matter because I wasn’t conversing with most of them anyway.
When I am creating resumes for the sales profession, one of the keywords that often comes up is relationship building. For example, this bullet point from a Territory Manager:
- Generated over $3 million in annual sales through interaction with builders, building strong long-term relationships, which created repeat and referral sales.
You know how that client did that? He met with the builders. He built their trust. He shared their pain, rejoiced in their successes, and they in turn continued to buy his product. Relationship Building. It happens one connection at a time not in masses.
By trying to follow so many people, I couldn’t connect any more.
There was too much input. Too many voices. It was like one of those movies where a person is surrounded by voices talking, yelling, and screaming and after awhile, it just becomes one loud roar… no thread of conversation is left, just a constant roar, a constant din. Even using Tweetdeck, which lets me see columns of people I may not be following, I still find that keeping the number lower works best for me.
Do you know what is happening? I am talking to people again. I hear their voices (ok, their tweets). I find myself getting to know the people I follow better. I can rejoice in their successes, like HRMargo celebrating her new position. I can share snow shoveling strategies with InterviewAngel and TheJobQuest.
I would guess that everyone has different levels in input they can handle. For me, 1500+ was too many, I needed to reduce my numbers. Right now, I am following 240+ people which is probably still a few too many but I can hear the conversation.
How do I decide who to delete?
- First, I look for people who have not been using the tool. If their last tweet was a month ago, they won’t miss me.
- When I follow people to start out with, I look for conversation, not broadcasting because then I know that they will be valuable to me.
- Common ground is a good thing but I have a breadth of interests so many people fall into areas of my interest.
- People who do converse with me almost always stay on the list. I see Twitter as a communication tool, so talk to me and I will talk back.
If you were to use Twitter for job search with my old strategy, you would fail.
You would get lost in the shuffle and you would not be able to network. You couldn’t build relationships. Relationships are built through little interactions, building familiarity, confidence, and trust. However, if you would try my experiment and keep your following down, you will find yourself getting to know a community and communities network.
What do you think? How much input can YOU handle?
Talk to me, I talk back.