Promote self less and value more.

A press release was issued today by self-described “The Powerful Promoter” Matt Bacak that highlighted his recent success on Twitter and Facebook.

What’s better than soaring to the top of a popular social networking site? How about skyrocketing to the summit of two of them? That’s the envious position The Powerful Promoter, Matt Bacak, found himself in last month when he entered the Twitter elite…

Earlier this year, Bacak hit the 5,000 friends’ mark on Facebook to land in the top 500 members. Now he’s entered the Twitter elite…That position places him handily ahead of the hometown big business competition: Home Depot…Bacak also ranks 468 out of 506,626 Twitterers worldwide.

Source: PR Web

The problem? He’s promoting his success that doesn’t exist and a lot of respectable bloggers and social media experts all believe that it’s all a sham. You can read their reactions here or take a look at the Twitter search conversation here.

But I’m not here to attack Matt Bacak. Rather, I’d like to examine how all this boasting and excessive networking can only go to hinder customer service and crowdsourcing. For someone who has numerous and perhaps thousands of friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, respectively, it seems to me that it’s a major dilution of your brand and message if you just simply set out to increase your fan base. First of all, why wouldn’t you want to keep in touch of all the people who have some important relation with your brand/message? Are you telling me that even though you are following 10,000 people on Twitter, you can understand and comprehend what’s going on in the Tweet stream of life? That’s not possible unless you stay at your computer 24 hours a day and monitor its every movement.

You might be saying that it’s no different than having 10,000 followers. Wrong. Having an excessive number of followers is not necessarily a bad thing, because they are all interested in something that you’ve tweeted about previously or it’s something about your profile and what you like to say that they find interesting.

Excessively promoting that you have accumulated thousands of friends on Facebook or any other social network is just friend hoarding. You need to make sure that with any network you create online that it’s truly giving you some value. Are they all your friends? Do they have some professional connection (e.g. you met them at a tweetup, sent them a resume, had a class together, etc.) with you? What investment are you putting into the relationship?

I believe I enjoyed what online expert Aaron Brazell wrote in his blog: “let social media be about the overall community.” Why not take his advice and make it be all about the community? There’s no need to try and reach out for personal gain. That is web 1.0. If you want to participate in the next generation of the web and market to your audience, you need to remember that it’s all about the community and that they are now your biggest advocates. Stop putting yourself on a platform and boasting about how much success you’re having on Twitter and Facebook. If you want to impress your audience, what about simply telling them what service and value you have provided them with your efforts online?

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