I’ve been thinking about the terminology that we use to describe our relationships on various social networks. I “follow” people on Twitter and people “follow” me back. I have “friends” on Facebook. I am “linked” to people on LinkedIn. The “follow” relationship is the one I find most fascinating.
When you “follow” someone, you:
- Accept them as a guide or leader
- Imitate or follow their example
- Watch their movement or progress
While I understand that my “followers” on Twitter probably don’t see me as a leader, there are certainly people on Twitter who I “follow” because I consider them thought leaders and I want to know what they’re reading and thinking. Think about it. We never say that we “follow” a Web site, company or newsletter, but we do say that we “follow” someone’s blog. I know I consider it a high compliment when someone tells me that they “follow” my blog.
In the book Tribes, marketing guru Seth Godin tells us it’s human nature to want to be part of a group that shares a common passion and recognizes the same leader; in other words, most of us want to be part of a tribe. Further, Seth believes that using the Web and social networking tools, everyone can now find or assemble a tribe and lead it.
So I say to each of you and your organizations: People want to follow, are you ready to lead?
[Post and graphic were cross-posted from the Matrix Files with permission from J. Pineda]
- Crain’s New York Business on small businesses gaining big from online social networks;
- Amber Naslund at Altitude Branding on building a social media team for your company.
Founder/CEO and self-proclaimed Chief Troublemaker of Matrix Group International Joanna Pineda is a Women Grow Business enthusiast. She is known for her visionary big-picture thinking and drive for excellence. Combining her broad liberal arts background and passion for technology, she started Matrix Group in 1999, today a leading interactive agency. As a trusted advisor, Joanna inspires and motivates her clients and employees alike to simply, “be better” with her mantra being: Do or Do Not. There is no try!