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Growing A Social Network Is Like Watching Paint Dry

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Checking For The Social Post

It turns out that I am a nightmare! Well, not in everything of course, but when it comes to growing a social network, I always knew I was bad, but I’ve just realized how bad I actually am.

Let’s try and put some perspective into this by using the following analogy. You’re getting married, and you send out 200 wedding invitations to most of your closest family and friends. Now, the thing is, you’re a popular old chap (or chapette) and have 300 people that you wanted to invite!! After sending those precious invitations, you desperately watch those RSVP’s come dropping into the mailbox so you can invite more people.

Well, I am the same online and it’s taking over my life.

Yeah, yeah, you’re thinking that I invite people to be my friends on Facebook and I constantly wait for them to accept/decline. You’re right, but this isn’t the whole picture and it gets much, much worse.

…..talking of friends

The same applies to all the other networks I use as well. I send out invitations on Twitter, Foursquare, Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn, and do exactly the same on them all. I get upset when my count doesn’t go up and, even worse, I almost cry when my followers leave me, and I think that there’s something wrong with me. Perhaps, I’ve did something wrong to upset them?

But then there’s Twitter…..

I watch my Twitter followers like my life depended on it. I think I’ve worn my F5 key down reflecting the number of times I’ve refreshed the page. I update Twitaholic all the time to see how I compare against others in my peer group, and I’m constantly using every tool that god put on this earth to see who’s unfollowed me this day, week, month etc….

…and not forgetting Klout

On top of all this farce, I watch other statistics like a hawk. I check my Klout score almost daily: who on earth does that!! I’ve read countless articles saying that Klout is a load of cobblers, but I still check it religiously. I look at the little graphs over the last 30 days, I check the topics in which I am considered an expert, and I see who I’m influencing. What’s the matter with me?

But worse still….

I check the statistics for my websites all the time. It’s the same old story, and it’s starting to drive me mental. I look at the total number of hits, where they live, and who/what sent them to me. Analytics are great, and I’ll be the first to agree how important they are in optimizing and driving traffic (and ROI) to your website, but please, let’s not go over the top here.

….so are there any positives?

Well, like any decent Social Marketeer (which I am not claiming to be here), you dip your foot in the water and see what the reaction is. It’s better to post a comment, and then check for the type of response, than to not check. You need to optimize and tweak your efforts (and that includes expanding your network) and watching it all day does actually help.

In Conclusion

Building A Network Is Like Watching Paint Dry

There are two conclusions to take this this obsessive, rediculous and tedious behaviour. Actually, there are three really:-

  • It’s a complete waste of time. I know from experience that you’ll waste hours – no, days – achieving very litte when you could be doing so much elsewhere. Take your partner out for dinner. Put a DVD on.
  • Yes, it’s worse than watching paint dry. The numbers will creep up so slowly, it will be like pulling teeth. You won’t get anywhere fast, and it’s be more painful than most kinds of torture. You’ll stress yourself out over nothing. If you want my advice, leave it, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you look.
  • Finally, in conclusion of the conclusion, I can confirm having written this post how very very sad I am. Sorry, but I’m not even sure if I can change…..

……and don’t forget to connect with me to follow my ramblings on the various social networks

About Adrian Britton

Sometimes I will talk about things that are interesting, and sometimes I won’t. Sometimes it will be a bit of a laugh, and sometimes it will just be a downright rant about something going on in the world – I’m often accused at moaning a lot, and I consider myself quite good at it !!



4 Responses to “Growing A Social Network Is Like Watching Paint Dry”

  1. I see this a lot and have concluded that just like building a branding, building a social network is something that happens when you busy doing other things:)

    Posted by Tony Swaby | 04/06/2012, 2:01 pm
    • Yes, sometimes you are just saying the right things at the right time when you are busy elsewhere, and the network can take care of itself. The trouble is that I can’t take my eye off it for more than 5 minutes, and hardly have time for anything else. You are right, of course, I need to focus on other things…

      Posted by Adrian | 04/06/2012, 2:29 pm
  2. If the objective is to express opinions, share perspectives, and influence others, you may find that responding to other blogs, like HuffingtonPost.com, and participating in selected LinkedIn groups is more effective than creating your own website, blog, FB fan page, Google+ page, etc. I recently got rid of some unproductive LinkedIn groups so I could add others and maximize my time with 50 of the most active and influential groups. I’m often able to include links to related articles on my blog if it adds value, and I’ve found that over half of my site visitors now come in through LinkedIn. This tactic is also helping me raise overall awareness and position myself as a subject matter expert. ‘Hope this helps.

    Posted by Wayne Caswell, Modern Health Talk | 17/06/2012, 7:08 pm
    • Thanks Wayne,
      There’s some excellent advice here! For me, there hasn’t been an objective, and I guess that’s half my problem. I like sharing my thoughts, problems and issues with others to see if they feel the same way. The LinkedIn tactic is a great idea, but some of the things I discuss on this blog do not fit in with the culture that LinkedIn provides, so I would have to be selective or change my approach. It’s great to know that it actually works though.
      Thanks again

      Posted by Adrian | 18/06/2012, 6:14 am

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