Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
January 22, 200811:55 PM

The One Thing You Should Never Do

Okay, there must be more than one thing (I think we've all seen "those" Websites), but when it comes this Six Pixels of Separation Blog, my Podcast and my ever-pending first book, the one thing I will never do is be silent. If someone emails me, Blogs, Podcasts, interviews me for an article, I do my best to - at least - leave a comment (or email) letting them know that I am reading, paying attention and - most importantly - appreciative.

Make this same one thing your one thing.

I've read a lot of books lately, commented on a lot of Blogs, written to people who have minor popularity (and some that have major). Who do I never forget? I never forget those who respond. Now, there are instances when Google News Alerts fails or a Technorati driven ego surf does not pull in every result, so if you have written about me and I have not responded, please accept my apologies (again, it is the one thing I will never do ;)

More than anything, Social Media - Web 2.0 and channels like this Blog provide a global platform to share. If you've been following, there is the Momentum Effect that Marketers are increasingly paying more attention to - when a Consumer mentions your company, brand, product or service in their profile in an online social network and the effect it has in the marketplace. I find it completely insane that individuals (and companies) that have Blogs and are currently pimping products that they were able to get mass distribution with on the platform of their Blog popularity, and yet they do not take the time to acknowledge when they are mentioned in spaces like these.

It's a responsibility to always respond to an inquiry. This is why Marketing plays such a critical role in Customer Service. It's simple: I say "thank you," you respond with, "you're welcome." But now take the real crux of action here: someone bought your product, took the time to mention it in their own space (to the potential detriment of their personal brand), don't you (as the person or company being mentioned) feel in any way obliged to at least drop in a simple "thank you"?

If anything there's that Raving Fan who you are all but ignoring. This is further amplified because the feedback in being given in one of the Social Media channels.

Whenever I get an opportunity to connect with companies about Social Media Marketing, they all want to dive head-first into Blogging. Before getting all hot n' bothered with Blogging, the first real exercise needs to be monitoring the space, listening to what's being said and being a part of "those" conversations (responsive) prior to trying to start your own. Nothing reeks of insincerity more than a Blog/Blogger that is not listening to the other conversations.

I know people are busy and they can't respond to every comment or postings. In this day and age, can you really still afford to have that kind of attitude, especially when it was this channel that gave you access to those other opportunities in the first place?

I don't think so.

In as much as I can, I'm going to continue to respond and be thankful. If anything, my recent disappointment has only fuelled my passionate fire to make sure that all of the links in the chain are (and stay) connected.

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Tamera Kremer
    Mitch Joel

    This is excellent advice Mitch. I try my best as well, but it's tough with the amount of multi-tasking we all have to do these days.

    I think if you remain mindful of it though, it helps put 'time management' in perspective and keeps you grounded and participating in the space.

    Reply
  • Posted by Crispin Bailey
    Mitch Joel

    Great advice Mitch, and so easy to follow, yet so few do. I know it can seem like a lot of work sometimes, especially if you have no idea what's being said about you. Using the Google Search Alerts service is only so effective (and I find it is often days or weeks behind), and we all know that it's impossible to be everywhere on the web all the time. That being said, if you're in the game, you gotta be on your game, otherwise you'll never be a champion. ;)

    Reply
  • Posted by Derrick Kwa
    Mitch Joel

    Really good advice. Agree completely with you. It's something I try to do as well. And it's one thing I admire about you - how you always seem to comment whenever I mention you.

    Reply
  • Posted by Roland
    Mitch Joel

    Hi Mitch, your ambition is good, and you have indeed left a lasting impression with me doing exactly that. It's probably more than a year ago that you even sent me an email saying thanks for a comment I made. At the time I thought that was really remarkable and hence I still remember that incident :)
    Keep up the great work (also love your podcast!)

    Reply
  • Posted by Martin Lessard
    Mitch Joel

    My insight on it is that some company might think they are bigger they actually are. Let me explain.

    Let's assume this can be true: I buy a coke and complain about this near-death experience on my blog.

    Is Coke willing to link to me throught the coporate blog, and by the same way increasing my voice share, aka page rank?

    If it happends that this company has many many blogs (like Sun or Microsoft), the backlink will be diluated, so answering is good. If not, I assume it is PR as usual.

    That said, not every company (if almost none) has the notoriety of Coke. That means answering worth the effort.

    I guess, no offense here, you can respond as long as you are not as big as, let's say, the president of united states.

    Conversation at some level, i.e. at the top, might not suite other levels.

    And as far as I'm concerned, I agree that almost all company (with a blog) with not so big notoriety should always respond, as per your recommendation.

    But it is in fact a budget to be took from the PR enveloppe. If there's any. Oops.

    Reply
  • Posted by Edward
    Mitch Joel

    I think by engaging the community in this manner, you are supporting the development of potential brand evangelists. And this is a good thing. Thanks for helping me get my arms around the concept.

    Can you think of any situation where you would not want to respond?

    Reply
  • Posted by Todd Jordan
    Mitch Joel

    I've seen this in action, the good side that is. Being a small time blogger, you'd think folks hardly notice you, but team members from Utterz, Seesmic, Photrade, Photophlow and others all reached out to me after I blogged or twittered about them. Truly appreciated and rememberd. It got me to give them all more than a second look.

    Now I have a name, someone real, behind the fun socnet name. I'm not looking for swag but a small thanks does wonders for what I'll talk about to my network.

    Good post. Thanks.

    Reply
  • I can't think of a moment when you would not want to respond - good or bad.

    Isn't that the whole point of this channel?

    The crux of the Blog posting was about how people who have a Blog don't respond... now that just seems weird to me.

    Reply
  • Posted by Marty
    Mitch Joel

    I think you'd be surprised as to how much a comment can mean to a blogger with little popularity. Particularly when its from someone with a lot.

    Reply
  • Posted by Donna Papacosta
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch, you are the Master of Response. I fully expect an email after posting this comment. ;_

    Reply
  • Posted by ashish
    ashish

    I personally believe one should always stay connected with world, it gives one ample opportunity to learn. The idea of leaving at least a thanks was really wonderful, i frankly loved your thought of mind. Anyone who follows these thought will have great success in his/her field. Thanks & may god bless you..

    Reply
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