Wait a minute, did Guy Kawasaki just call me a “Social Media Nazi”??

Well I guess he sorta did. I went to the Ragan Social Media Summit event at Cisco #RaganCisco ) last week and I have to say Guy’s presentation was outstanding. He’s amazing and I loved it. Even if he DID call out a certain group of social media mavens as “social media Nazis”. Ok, and he’s right to some extent. There are loads of people who say the way Guy Tweets isn’t the “right way” to use Twitter, and you can’t blame him for being a little defensive about that. After all he built an amazing empire in Alltop by tweeting the way he does, and he’s very transparent about what he does and why he does it. I follow him and I read Alltop all the time. There’s great stuff here, and you can quickly scan the headlines in almost any category you could possibly think of.

So let’s look at how Guy Kawasaki uses Twitter and whether it’s right for what you want to do.

Auto-posting
He’s a big fan of ObjectiveMarketer and Twithawk and he and his team use it to point out fascinating, odd and often useful bits of information. He advocates posting the same post more than once a day, and scheduling posts for future release. he also feeds RSS Streams of information to Twitter and Alltop.

Upside

  • This can be a very good way of building followers who enjoy wandering off topic into distraction land on occasion.
  • Tweets like this get re-tweeted a lot and that boost your following
  • Tweeting at different times of day reaches different readers so your absorption rate increases
  • Every time that tweet goes out in increase your SEO value
  • Feeding related rss streams to Twitter is just brilliant if you’re driving traffic to a portal
  • If you’ve got a lot of followers replying to a hundred “thanks great post” tweets and re-tweets is time consuming

Downside

  • Too many tweets will turn some people off (I have a column in Seesmic just for @GuyKawasaki)
  • If your tweets get too far off-topic you can lose some keyword saturation and people (and search engines) will have no clue what you’re about
  • Sometimes it’s just plain annoying to get duplicate posts
  • Twitter doesn’t like duplicate posts. Maybe you could re-phrase it a bit for each iteration?
  • Feeding rss streams to Twitter that don’t relate to what you want to promote is just noise

Auto Following

Guy says he follows everyone out of courtesy. And when you’ve got a following of over 244,000 people it’s a full time job to keep on top of who to follow! I’m of the quality over quantity camp here. I view every profile and look for people I want to talk to. Preferably ones that are smarter than I am. Anyway, here’s the pros and cons of auto follow.

Upside

  • Auto-following will build your numbers faster
  • Once people know you auto-follow you’ll get added to lists of people who follow back and your numbers will skyrocket
  • You don’t have to view all of your followers and decide whether or not to follow them or not
  • Some who you might not have followed could actually be lost opportunities

Downside

  • This is how you start getting those spam direct messages offering you answer to problems you never knew you had.
  • If you auto-follow you might be paying less attention to who people are in your network.
  • It’s just so mindless. Social media is about being social, so if you auto follow go through the list occasionally and reach out to people.

Ghosting
Lots of outrage poured out on Twitter when Guy let the world know he wasn’t writing all this great content himself. DUHHHH people, he wouldn’t have time to do anything else! I don’t have any issue with using ghosts in social media and having multiple people feed the Twitter stream as long as there is transparency that you’re doing that. Lots of companies do it too and it frees the team up to actually engage with their followers. Besides, if you send a tweet to @GuyKawasaki odds are good he’ll respond in person and not one of his staff, so what’s the harm?

So, am I a “social media Nazi”?
Mebbe so. Mebbe not. I’ll let Guy decide. My goal isn’t to drive traffic to a portal of fantastic information like Alltop at least not on this blog. I like to filter things more. I wouldn’t ever say the way Guy tweets is wrong because it’s not wrong for some sites. If you’ve got a site that’s all about sharing information and you need to drive traffic, Guy’s techniques are a brilliant way to build traffic.

Do I auto-post? Not so much. I don’t follow everybody back and my network is relatively small, but I’m OK with that. I’m a quality and depth of conversation girl. But you can be sure I use his ideas and share them with my clients!

Want to learn more about how Guy Kawasaki Tweets? Here’s a link to the page on Alltop he uses in his Twitter presentation, and here’s an FAQ on how he tweets. Oh and if you ever have a chance to hear him speak, GO. I’ve seen several presentations. He’s never boring and you always learn something.