Hello, is this thing on? Being heard online

Do you sometimes feel like your are talking to yourself online?  You are writing blog posts and no one is commenting, you are on Twitter and no one is retweeting or replying…but does that mean no one is listening?

There was an article on Mashable.com today, entitled:

Most Tweets Produce Zero Replies or Retweets [STUDY]

It states:

Sysomos, maker of social media analysis tools, looked at 1.2 billion tweets over a two-month period to analyze what happens after we publish our tweets to Twitter. Its research shows that 71% of all tweets produce no reaction — in the form of replies or retweets — which suggests that an overwhelming majority of our tweets fall on deaf ears.

This particular comment (about falling on deaf ears) and the overall theme of this Mashable article,  seems a bit too pessimistic to me, but is probably proof enough for some of you to stop tweeting right now.

I say “Wait a minute!”  As I read on a recent bumper sticker “Don’t believe everything you believe.” In other words, maybe there is more happening than you perceive. Maybe, and just go with me for a minute, people are reading your posts and tweets, maybe they are even reading your Facebook wall, and even your LinkedIn status updates, but aren’t commenting.  Could it be?

Well, I won’t say that everyone who follows you is reading everything you write, in every place that you write it – except maybe your mom (Hi Mom! Love ya!).  However, I bet there are folks who are following you here and there.  They are just doing it on their own terms, and in the environment they prefer (your blog, your Facebook account, your Twitter feed…or maybe in your email newsletter).

Why do I believe this?  Well, one reason is because if you are consistently putting appropriate and informative info out there, it gets more attention than you think and that pays off.

I know many of you who read my blog or social media posts wait until you see me in person or send me a personal email, to say, “I read what you wrote about…”.

I want to make it clear, I’m OK with whatever reason you choose not to comment online.  After all, you are still reading what I am writing, especially at this very moment (caught you!).

The thing that you may not have taken in, yet, is there are additional advantages (that trump getting comments) that come with contributing to online content.

For one thing, when someone does land on your site (Twitter page, Facebook profile or whatever), they get to know your persona, your ethics, your perceptions.  And, that helps them determine if they want to work with you.

Also, there are often a series of questions that multiple folks will ask about the same subject.  Whenever that happens, it’s time to write about it.  Then, when the next person asks you that same question, you just direct them to the place where you’ve addressed that subject.

So don’t give up yet!  I’m telling you, building your online presence makes more of an impact then you think.  It’s building a stockpile of great information, that people will discover and reference, on their own time.

So, I guess what I am saying is Sysomos’s data, like any stats, can be interpreted in two ways.  One is to say folks aren’t reacting and here is the proof.  The other way is to say, maybe they are reacting, but it is a passive reaction.  You know, quietly taking it all in.  I do agree they aren’t reading every word, every day, but when they want to find out more, they know where they can find you.

What do you think?  Do you agree with me, are you a quiet observer who enjoys reading, but doesn’t feel the need to contribute or would rather wait to make that one on one connection?  Or do you think Mashable’s comment about the new Sysomos study is correct and the Internet is just one big deaf ear?

Though I’d love for you to leave a comment, I’m OK with you waiting until you see me to tell me your perception.  I’ll just keep my ears open and let you respond when you are ready.

Bethany Siegler

Bethany is the founder of UniqueThink, an online marketing and web design/development firm in Boulder, CO. She specializes in WordPress websites and blogs, Email Marketing and overall marketing strategies.

View all posts by Bethany Siegler

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