The Balancing Act

To succeed in social media, you must interact and engage with others.

This is seemingly common sense to many of social media’s advocates.  In building a website, you strive to foster debate and create a forum for comments.  Facebook is a process of give-and-take.  Twitter demands that you participate in the conversation if you’re going to get anything out of it.  However, it can be difficult to strike a balance between building your brand (personal or otherwise) through interaction and providing valuable content to those seeking it.

This is the problem I have had with Twitter, lately.

In my Twitter tutorial (see it here), I advocate asking questions, engaging, and participating in the conversation.  However, in using it can be hard to determine where to draw the line between @replies and original content/links/commentary.  On the one hand, it’s imperative to participate in conversation (and DM’s can get annoying).  On the other hand, you don’t want to alienate followers who don’t have filters on their feeds and may become irritated with constant @replies.

When I take a break from Tweetie and look at my feed online, I’m often shocked how many of my tweets are actually conversational.  I’m the first person to caution that your Twitter feed is not your Facebook wall, but I find myself increasingly committing this social media sin.

On the other end of the teeter-totter are those who don’t engage.  One of my Twitter pet peeves is when individuals (often representing firms/brands) ask a question to engage their followers yet don’t respond to their answers.  Why bother asking a question if you aren’t going to acknowledge its response?

I need to clean up my Twitter act.  How do YOU balance replying and engaging with providing original content?  Do you delete your tweets?  Do you DM? Leave me your advice and strategies in the comments!