Hello, are you out there? Why it’s okay NOT to answer every time on social media!

Jonas Klit Nielsen I probably spend about 10 hours everyday, talking, working or thinking of the impact that social media have on us, what social media means, how we use it as individuals or as companies.

I often get asked what the most important thing to remember about social media is – if you as a company want to work and create value by using these new tools.

It comes down to two things, and they are very close related. 

Now is probably the time to be honest with you – I am NOT an oracle, a guru or a so called Ninja, though I would love to be a Ninja, all dressed in black, fast, silent and incredible with my hands. I am just a guy spending a whole lot of time working, talking, writing and thinking about among other things social media.

And with that said, I am probably not the only one with my view of the following, enough said, back to the essence of this post 😉

Two things close related – Human beings and Identity!

This post is about some of the human aspects, the Identity deserves a post for it self 😉

Social media is merely technologies in fast evolution, it’s human driven and its all about people, don’t ever forget that. 

Don’t go all robotic in trying to answer everybody or trying to send out tons of information or having a presence everywhere, we are human and with time we will understand, that not everybody can get an answer all the time.

A lot of ‘experts’ tell you right now, that your company needs to be present everywhere, and that you need to answer everybody, you don’t! 

In ‘Trust Agents‘ a really good book written by Julian Smith and Chris Brogan, I read, and this is taken out of a long context and boiled down, ‘does it make sense for your business to answer, will it create value?’.

One of the wonderful things about social media is that you can get closer, and maybe even in contact with people, which you admire, or at least it seems possible in theory. 

My little personal experience with this. When I read in the above mentioned book “send out a tweet, let us know you are reading – Trust Agents, we will find you”, I did so, several times, but no one answered. I even tried the more direct approach @chrisbrogan, still no reply! 

Listen and prioritize your resources in answering the most relevant questions

First I thought, alright, all talk and no walk, got kind of mad, but then I came to realize, that when writing their book, they just put up or worked with a hypothetic idea, that they could always respond, but what they did not see coming, was the success of their book!

If we think for a moment, of course you can’t as a human being (no robots allowed) answer hundreds of people on Twitter, email or other places everyday, for one simple reason – time! 

What would have happened in my case if Chris (hope its okay to call you Chris, Chris), had answered my tweet? I was all worked up, ready to start having a long and meaningful conversation with him, and so would probably hundreds of others tweeting to Chris. At some point or the other Chris would probably have to ‘let me down’.

The whole point of my story is that with time, this getting in touch with companies or ‘stars’ as individuals will be leveraged out. We will understand that we can’t always just shout out and expect an answer.

So what should a company do?

Listen like a lot of the ‘experts’ tell you to, and then prioritize the amount of resources in answering the most relevant ones, the ones that actually have something you can help them with.

Some might be complaining about something relevant – answer and help them, some might just complaint, being a cry baby – don’t answer them.

Some might want to come closer to you because they truly love what you are doing – embrace them, some might just because they think they can – don’t waste your time.

All in all, you have to make your own strategy and prioritize your resources!

Finally, I want to share my admiration for an author, who seems to prioritize letting people know he is listing.

Eric Qualmann, the author of the book ‘Socialnomics’ has also been part of my little personal experience. Several times he has actually answered my tweets or left comments, when I mentioned him in blog posts, including a post on this blog.

Enough talk from me! If you think this post gets you thinking, please let me know your thoughts, we are all building our own theories right now about social media and the future, your thoughts are valuable for building our theories!

The author, Jonas Klit Nielsen is co-founder and Managing Partner of Mindjumpers, a Copenhagen based social media agency. Jonas works with various companies developing strategies for implementing and creating value through the use of social media. As a blogger it’s his aim to share the strategic insights and thoughts, generated through his agency’s work. You can connect with Jonas on Twitter here.

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