Three Plays – What I Learned through Social Networks
Through years of surfing social networks, I learned three plays. The first of the three plays is begging. Six years ago, I knew nothing about Twitter and did not have many followers. I felt uncomfortable to answer what’s my doing every time I logged in. Yet, to get more followers, I followed lots profiles with a DM begging them to follow back. It’s a bad practice.
After many frustrating hours, I abandoned the play and almost quit Twitter. The same is true for start-up businesses. They have limited fund and limited client base. They kicking and screaming while trying to get every help they could find. However, their plays lead to spam and going nowhere in many occasions. It’s as rude as shoving somebody. Not a cool play, not social.
Out of nowhere, I read a blog post about mutual follow back and learned the second of the three plays. Immediately, I tried to find any signs that a profile could follow back, including hashtags and follow back lists. I knew some of them are bots or fake profiles. Yet, at that time, I only cared about follower count and how to pass the Twitter limit of 2,000. It’s a cost I was willing to stomach and ready to clean up after I gained 5,000 followers
Reciprocity is powerful tool if one applies right. Nevertheless, putting reciprocity as a pre-condition for networking or conducting business is a rude taste and a bad play. In many cases, the play shrink to transaction only relationship. It’s not a way to build a sustainable social relationship or a successful business. Only play, not social.
After several months of exercising through the same routine, I was ready to change gears and found the last of the three plays. It goes beyond the first two plays and inspires behaving naturally. I no longer devoted to the reciprocity for the sake of follow back. I follow and re-tweet best contents possible whether the other party would follow back. These asymmetrical actions did secure some follow backs. Yet, these are only by products of a meaningful and sustainable social plays.
The last play is also true for businesses. While building a survivable client base, businesses should looking for opportunities to help others, charitable and non-charitable included, to start a practical community. The asymmetrical play would show leadership and inspire others to join. Initiative play, definitely social.
So, what’s your three plays in social and business world?