I’m employing the Social Media Rule of 3 this morning — If I’ve tried to chat it up with someone three times on Twitter and they haven’t replied, I’m unfollowing.
It may sound harsh, but let me explain.
Obviously, there are exceptions to this totally arbitrary rule. I don’t expect Jay-Z to take my restaurant recommendation and reply with what he ordered as an appetizer. And some people Tweet such interesting links that it’s worth enduring the cold shoulder. But if someone is (relatively speaking and totally at my discretion) my peer and they engage with others regularly, then I expect (want? need? maybe there is a deeper issue here) them to acknowledge my attempt at conversation. I make an effort to respond to everyone who Tweets me — it’s not that hard and it’s quite rewarding. I can’t even list the friendships forged just by replying to a random Tweet.
I think of it like this — not responding to a Tweet is like not answering the phone. If someone never picks up when I call, why would I keep calling?
Now, don’t go thinking I’m all Bitter Betty on Twitter. I love Twitter! And I don’t get my panties in a bunch when someone unfollows me. Could it mean they think I’m vain and obnoxious? It could. Did I perhaps offend them in some way? Potentially. But most likely, they just aren’t interested in what I have to say. And that’s okay. There’s a lot of people that I really really like in person and read their blog religiously, but I’m just not that into their Tweets. So we don’t follow each other. No big deal.
There’s other, more concrete, reasons why I unfollow people on Twitter (direct messages, Twitter parties, giveaways…), but this one seems the most personal (and has the most exceptions). Do you have any social media rules of your own?