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Found this post on one of my social media news feeds one afternoon. "Two hundred inactive FB 'friends' going today so I can make room for those that want to play here. SeeYa.'   This statement was posted by someone I consider a fairly savvy promoter, especially in social media, for a highly visible education and motivation organization.  Of course, I was puzzled why this type of statement was noteworthy enough to be made a post. I guess I was not the only person who was alarmed.  It appears there was some push back from the original post because immediately there were follow up posts that read: "Its easier to delete friends in real life than it is from Facebook." and "If you are following me here but not engaging do yourself a favor - go in private put your computer up to your temple and hit UNFRIEND from me so you don't feel rejected cuz I am about to make to make room for some new SuperFreak FB friends.  Do Me this last little Favor please."  

Are we so disconnected from each other that we can be harsh and inconsiderate because we are making a post on a social media site?  In real life, would you call together all your friends and make this announcement to the group, “Those not gathered here today will be deleted from my group of friends.”?  Probably not!  More than likely, you would just stop contacting those you no longer wish to be friends with.  Unless asked, no one in your group of friends would know the wiser.  If your social media friends list had grown so large that it was cumbersome, then why not just quietly remove members without fanfare. 

When making an announcement in a forum like social media, it is always wise to consider your audience and word your message for their eyes.  There are a variety of tools that have been developed recently within social media so you can filter who can view your messages, comments, posts and pictures.  We all want the ability to tailor how individuals “see” us on our social media channels.  In this case, if your social media friends were truly inactive, the announcement would be missed by them anyways.  This post is therefore a mismatching of message to intended audience.  So what is the purpose of making a statement directed at an inactive audience that would probably only been seen by the active members?  Was this a ploy to conjure up activity and conversation from the active members to prove they were active and therefore safe from deletion?  In reality, would you create fear to prove the validity of a friendship?  Not unless you want to grow up to be a tyrant.

Just because someone does not “like” your posts, make comments on your pictures or add posts to your social media pages, does not mean they are not influence by what you are sharing.  In marketing, we call it a "touch" when someone views an item but does not act on it.  A "touch" becomes a familiar reminder to an individual when they are “touched” again by something from you in the future.  All these “touches” add up and can trigger activity when someone is in need.  Think about it!  A friend of yours posted pictures about a recent vacation to Hawaii and made comments about what a wonderful adventure it was.  Months later, you are thinking of planning a vacation and the image of those pictures come to mind.  Even though you may not have commented on those pictures when they were posted, you now find yourself on Google doing a search for vacations in Hawaii.  The use of “touches” can be considered subliminal, but they are still a very powerful influence.  Even our reputations are molded by a series of “touches”. 

Another reputation bender is how you interact with people and often that includes how you express yourself.  If deleting friends from a social media channel was indeed a news worthy event, why not craft a message that strengths a positive reputation.  For example, “I appreciate everyone’s comments, posts and interaction on this site, but it is with regret that I will be deleting inactive members to make room for new members that wish to be active participants.  If you feel you were deleted in error, please send me a message.”   I think a message that shows compassion and appreciation would influence your active participants who are actually viewing your posts more so than an arrogant “people are disposable to me” message. 

Moral of the story, treat you social media “friends” like they are people.  Don’t hide in cyber space.  Interact with you social media contacts as if they were people you actually come face to face with.  You never know, you mom might be watching your social media channels and send you a message about getting along with others and how you were raised better than that.

 

Copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved

Views: 482

Tags: Branding, Marketing, Media, Reputation, SEO, SMO, Social, Stephanie, Young

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Comment by Stephanie Young on October 24, 2012 at 6:38am

Mr. Morris, I like that quote!!!  Plus you never know when you might need some help. 

Comment by Thomas Morris on October 24, 2012 at 4:31am

"Be kind to the people you meet on your way up the mountain, because they might be the same people you meet on the way down."

Comment by Stephanie Young on October 23, 2012 at 1:02pm

Michael, thank you.  It took me a weekend to think about it.  Was not sure I should get on my soap box or not, but something really hit home for me.  I just kept thinking over and over again, why have we taken the compassion and companionship out of our relationships just because they may be occurring in social networking.  On a recent trip to NYC, I had the fortunate blessing of getting to meet someone face to face that I had only done business with over the phone or online.  So glad that I treated him like a person in cyberspace these past four years, because sharing a meal with him in person was a true joy.  You just never know how the game of life is going to play out. 


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Comment by J. Michael Zak on October 23, 2012 at 12:26pm

Stephanie the sad part is you had to write such this post.  Likes, Facebook friends, etc., are real people and double checking your message or the intent should always occur before hitting the send button.  I believe the more people hide behind the social media current and the less time they spend socializing face to face they tend to forget why they are posting their opinions or thoughts.

Comment by Stephanie Young on October 23, 2012 at 11:35am

Marsh...and this is why you are one of my bandmates!!!!  Thank you for summing it up.  Take it to the source and not to the media.  I like it!!!

Comment by Stephanie Young on October 23, 2012 at 9:49am

Nancy, thank you for your support.  It is sad that somehow we have become disconnected, because we have the option of saying something without having to personally look someone in the eyes to do it.  This might be a negative comparison, but Social Media allows us to drop the bomb on someone without having to see the harm it can cause.

Comment by Nancy Simmons on October 23, 2012 at 8:14am

Nice post Stephanie!  I am with you on this 100%.  People have feelings on line too... Thanks for the reminder...Sad that this even has to be said!

Comment by Stephanie Young on October 23, 2012 at 6:48am

Tom, you are so absolutely in "touch" with the truth.  Social Media has become the world soap box.  With just a few words, our message can get networked out to the masses...for good or for bad.  Very little of what I write gets comments or a thumbs up, but I have seen my content forwarded, passed along, pushed to other channels, quoted by another blogger or even used as a resource.  I am always so surprised by where my thoughts turn up, the audiences they reach and the impact they can have. 

One a personal note, congrats on the editor position!!!!  I do enjoy your take on things and how your words have made me think a little bit outside of expectations. 

Comment by Stephanie Young on October 23, 2012 at 6:37am

Ralph, thank you for your comment.  Sometimes I am questioned why I am so silent from time to time on social media channels.  My usually answer is, "I really just don't have anything to say that I think would make a difference today."  Of course I have posted things with the best of intentions and made a flop of myself.  I often questions myself as my cursor hoovers over the post button "Who cares?"  If I can think of a few people this information can impact in a positive way, I click post.  If not, I delete it.  My goal is to be a contributing member of my community and not "Prom Queen" or "The Girl With the Biggest Mouth".  Ralph, you do post some great content...even if I don't always comment.  (smile)

Comment by Tom Gorham on October 22, 2012 at 8:17pm

I have seen the same types of posts and wondered why, as you did.  But like you, I am not sure and inactive friend is not worthy.  I think about all the people that read posts on ADM but don't comment.  You write a post and get maybe a few comments or quite a few if you're lucky.  But you might notice that 300 of your industry peers read it.  I've found out long after the post that it affected someone in a positive way and they remembered it.

Your mention of "touch" reminded me of a long forgotten post I wrote before I was an editor here on ADM.  It was called "The People We Touch".  It got just 11 reads. But it might sound familiar.

"What every dealer, manager, salesperson, and service writer should understand today is that is all about the people we touch with our communications, marketing, and interactions. With the Internet and digital communications, we have ALL become public figures. One slip of the tongue, one poorly written email, or one thoughtless text can become headline news the next minute."

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