Twitter Clients? Twitter Followers?

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Twitter pated over Guy Kawasaki’s advice on how to pick up followers on Twitter…

Confused by the conversation around connecting, leading, tribes, raving fans, followers and dream teams?

Perhaps if we could separate all the social network-“follower, friends” advice from the leading, loyal tribes, creating raving fans and galvanizing movements know-how it would be easier, but these days the lines seem to be blurring and I am starting to wonder if the advice we are being spoon fed on ‘how to’ gain a follower and add a friend on a social network might actually work against or at least water down our efforts to build loyal tribes and galvanize movements.

Don’t get me wrong ‘connecting’ is the future. Web 2.0 offers incredible tools, I just find myself still hungry after all this fast food ‘get a new follower’ advice, it doesn’t jive with the nourishing leadership wisdom found in the practices of Obama, Churchill and Gandhi; maybe that’s okay and maybe it’s not…

Now, I know Kawasaki, is an entrepreneurial demi-god. I’ve bought his books and even played his cash flow game. If you want to learn about getting more followers on twitter, Guy at nearly a million followers is certainly a better ‘twitter’ advisor than me with my mere 98.

I admit, I’m a social network virgin of sorts, but I do have about 20 + years of leading, galvanizing; tribes, teams, and movements. So, I haven’t exactly been on ‘Walden Pond,’ my entire life.

4 Twitter tactics that leave me TWITTER PATED from Guy Kawasaki’s

            “Looking for Mr. Goodtweet: How To Pick Up Followers on Twitter.”

#1. Follow ‘Smores’ (social network whores?)

F irst of all, it is absolutely not okay for the internet loosy, goosies to hijack my favorite campfire food. No way. No how. Now, I’m not only, not swallowing this word but I’m also having trouble digesting the logic; follow ‘smores’ solely for their highly visibility. Kawasaki argues a ‘smores’ visibility is why you follow them, making you immediately more visible and instantly vaulting you from nobody to ‘cool’ on the twitter scale. In high school we referred to this as the ‘date a cheerleader or the quarterback’ strategy. What about purposeful ‘following?” Is following blind? No filters? What if you don’t like the taste of the ‘smores’ message, their ‘story’ is appalling or worse yet just about everything they say repels you? Silly, me, I thought I was suppose to be listening or reading- not just following; what a twit head, I am.

Tongue in cheek Guy  infers that  when you follow a ‘smore,’ the other ‘smore’ followers assume you know your twitter from your flickr and presto, a little ‘smore’ keyboard dust falls on you and immediately more ‘smore followers’ follow you because of your wise ‘smore’ decision. Whew!

So Kawasaki’s advice led me to my own twitter ‘follow’ list. I’m sad to announce, I only follow one ‘smore’ and I must admit it was entirely accidental. The smore I follow is Chris Brogan. (Sorry Chris I’d never call you a smore, at least not to your face, but hang with me for a moment) I didn’t pick Chris for his keyboard gold dust, or because I wanted to be cool or even because his photo was cute (he is kind of cute don’t you think?) No! I chose to ‘follow’ him because his flipping name came up about 45 times when I searched a key word! Never did it cross my mind that other ‘followers’ would be impressed with me because I double left clicked on a ‘smore’ named Chris.

#2. Send @messages to smores

Guy also advises, albeit with laughter in the air, to make sure you send plenty of @ messages to your ‘smores.’ Calling his own advice “bull shiitake logic, admittedly” Kawasaki states “but it helps.” His reasoning; it’s not who you are, it’s who appears to know you; that counts.

Now come to think of it, I did send Chris Brogan and @ message, but again I was totally clueless that this might be a way to impress all you other ‘smore’ followers. I sent and @ message to Brogan after reading numerous of his tweets, his blog and being impressed by his abundant stewardship of his brilliance.  Then, get this the mother of all miracles happened; I actually received 2 answers that I passed on not only to my twitter followers but to my paying clients- and now guess what; they are following Chris, for his content.  I was impressed. Chris’s behavior moved me from curious follower to engaged tribe member. I’m on the way to becoming a loyal, galvanized, Brogan movement goddess.

#3. Follow “Everyone” who follows you

So what happens when the next Charles Manson, Hitler gets a twitter account and your ‘automated’ ‘follow anyone who follows me’ twitter setting makes you first in his tribe? Is all ‘following’ equal? If everyone is in the club- is it a club, a team a following, a tribe? If you follow everyone but pay attention to no one is it connecting? Why are we following at all if we never connect, dialogue and experience? How is connecting different than voyeurism?

#4 Go Big or Go Home it’s about the numbers; silly!

All of the advice in Kawasaki’s article was about getting more followers. Granted some of the advice is killer info on social media, but the underlying belief of the piece is more is better. Is it? IS more always better in connecting, following and leading? Does more always lead to our best? That sounds like Wall Street, the Mortgage and Banking industry; didn’t’ they use to think ,more was always better too?

More numbers are certainly better if you’re a content provider whose primary goal is to generate a sales list. Some of these twitter’s are engaged in a one-way force fed, regurgitation of every saleable product and or service on their website and let me tell you, being a follower to one of these guys is almost as exciting as  listening to your parents tell you about the birds and the bees.

Can we be real for one moment? No one; not God, Jesus, Obama, Oprah, Brett Favre or even Charles Bronson has ever had a tribe or following that included EVERYONE. NO one. Well, God; maybe, no- come to think of it he has quite a group of dissenters, doesn’t he? So the question that begs to be answered is how big is big enough? Is it true all followers are equal?  Why do we want followers anyways?

This morning I was so twitter pated over Guys blog I spent an hour at the gym reviewing a couple chapters of Seth Godin’s, Tribes a chapter from Good to Great by Jim Collins and then with a few moments to spare rewound thru Ken Blanchard’s Raving Fans. I felt realigned. My heart stopped twittering so fast;  these guys are in my tribe; or better said; I’m in theirs.

and then 2 questions came …

Questions I have – what are yours?

Q.1 How is ‘connecting’ similar and different from ‘leading and leadership?’

Connecting, I argue, can be the initial moment of knowing that takes place between a leader and prospective loyal tribe follower.  Connecting can also, have nothing, absolutely nothing to do with ‘leading’ or leadership. Connecting can be done limitlessly in a million different ways in our society. Most importantly: most connections don’t lead to loyalty, raving fans, action, galvanization or anyone, doing anything; different than they were before the connection was made! Connections are the beginning, not the end of the story.

Leading is radically different than connecting, following or being a friend. Everyone can lead with today’s ‘connection’ tools but not everyone is leading. Effective leadership results in loyal tribes, galvanized movements and raving fans. The more effective a leader is at galvanizing a tribe, starting a movement the more repelled those who differ become. Non followers sense a disconnect, they don’t want to join, follow, or be involved. Great leadership doesn’t necessarily ‘connect’ everyone. Godin describes this as “excluding outsiders’ he goes on to state that “exclusion is an extremely powerful force for loyalty and attention. Who isn’t part of the movement matters almost as much as who is.”

The fact is leaders on both sides of the moral precipe garner non-followers exactly because they are effective at espousing their message, values, ideals, vision and galvanize their tribe to action. Think about it, pro-lifers don’t join pro-choice “followers’ at demonstrations. Churchill didn’t write love letters to Hitler. Obama didn’t invite Karl Rove to be a friend on face book.  The proponents of same sex marriage aren’t joining each other on IM or the tweet deck. The Linux Penguin doesn’t design new initiatives with the blue monster at Microsoft, Appleites don’t hang out at IBM’s Christmas parties.

I am not saying we want to create overly niched, closed and exclusive movements or tribes rather I am underlining the fact that great leadership has integrity,  is consistent, relevant, has a story, ideals, a vision, passion, beliefs and engages people in taking action and making something happen. Great leaders stand for something and that usually means they don’t stand for everything or everyone.

Q.2 Are followers and friends different than loyal tribes, raving fans and galvanized members of a movement?

The works of Blanchard, Godin and Collins seem to concur that just because you have a follower does not infer loyalty, engagement, dialogue, raving fan status or that change or action will result. Godin warns in his latest book Tribes, that “too many organizations care about numbers not fans they care about hits or turnstile clicks or mentions.  They are missing the depth of commitment and interconnection that true fans deliver. Instead of always being on the hunt for one more set of eyeballs, true leaders have figured out that the real win is in turning a casual fan into a true one.” Ken Blanchard defines this as the process of turning a    fan into a “raving fan.”

So go ahead get more friends, add followers but don’t for one minute think that’s going to be enough to galvanize the population like Obama or stop Hitler.

Leadership; it matters.

Pam Hoelzle

“With” is a powerful thing

pamhoelzle on twitter

No Responses to “Twitter Clients? Twitter Followers?”

  1. Myrna

    I’m glad someone said this. I’m new to this but it seems obvious that having a lot of followers doesn’t guarantee anything. I don’t get Guy’s logic. When I tweet about a post I’ve just written I don’t get a huge surge in readers. But, the people who I have a conversation with on a regular basis, DO go read my post. So, although I follow lots of people and will continue to – I also cull through my friends and stop following those that don’t contribute to the conversation, teach me something or make me laugh there’s always someone else out there who will!

  2. Pam

    You nailed my precise reaction to reading Guy’s post.
    Love most of his stuff. This post of his missed the mark for me as you described above.
    Continuing to enjoy your posts,