Over the weekend, intoxicated by the power of Twitter lists, and falling down into the rabbit hole of looking up the followers of the followers of the people I had decided to follow, I went on a bit of an adding spree. My numbers have been bumped up across all my accounts, I had a load of reciprocal follows to deal with once I was finished, and I went to bed on Saturday night dreaming of various page backgrounds. Then, in an attempt to improve my social networking, I also included all of my main accounts in a post discussing Twitter on one of my LinkedIn groups.
I was feeling quite happy with myself, and rather purposeful, but then a sickening thought hit me: what if people took one look at my Twitter accounts and decided to block me forever? Even worse, what if they clicked through to this blog and found it somehow lacking? I started kicking myself for not having taken the time to craft a series of fascinating blog posts and erudite tweets before embarking on my following frenzy. I’d never get a chance to make a decent impression now! I had accomplished the virtual equivalent of getting hit by a bus while wearing a mismatched bra and knickers, marking myself out as an online slattern.
Or at least that is how it seemed in my melodramatic nightmares. But really, it isn’t that bad. While I would always consider doing special posts if I were going to be doing a big publicity drive or marketing push to drive people to the site, all I had done was to make my existing Twitter accounts known to a larger audience. It’s flattering that any decided to follow me based on my weekend’s output anyway, especially as one of my last tweets was on the merits of listening to Norwegian black metal music during the winter (it soothes me). And it would have been impossible to plan specific tweets anyway, as I usually just link to interesting stuff I’ve found and have the occasional chat, which is not the sort of thing you plan three weeks in advance.
There is a lot written these days about personal branding and social media, and it can seem as though you always need to be planning your next move, triangulating all your efforts for maximum impact and making each and every blog post a succulent morsel with which to tempt passing visitors. But that is an untenable amount of pressure to put yourself under. If you spent all your time tarting up your blog and primping your social network profiles, when would you actually get anything done? Far better to have the occasional spring-clean, make a few days’ worth of concerted effort, then get back to doing what you do best.
Being at the top of your game is not necessarily spending each day at the coalface of promotion. Rather, it is being ready for a sudden uptick in traffic, or enquiries about your services, and being able to respond quickly to the demands that places on you or on your business. So while I may not have gussied up the blog or rejigged any of my social profiles in anticipation of a tsunami of new interest, I am aware that I will probably have more eyeballs on me in the week to come, and I am prepared for that. While I could have done things differently, I didn’t, and instead have now changed my approach with what is to come. I may not have gone about my promotional effort in the conventional manner, but I am game-ready now. Are you?
[Image by Adamrhoades]